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I think a few readers are interested in the technical side of making ebooks. (Okay, I can think of two. You'd be one, Charles. I forget who else, but definitely one other person.) Anyone who finds it tedious can rest assured I'll undoubtedly post about cats, beer or the latest thing I wrote soon.

It's been making me crazy that my ebook covers and graphics weren't showing up in my PDFs when they were opened with Adobe Digital Editions. How many of my readers use Digital Editions to read PDFs? Heck, I don't know. At least one. It was the principle that bothered me.

Turned out the issue was with the way I was exporting my PDF from InDesign. I had the distiller JPG compression set to lossless jpg2000 thinking how smart I was for using an advanced jpg format that would make my covers look really crisp. Well, I finally found out that Digital Editions doesn't display jpg2000, therefore my images all disappeared.

So, back to good old crunchy compressed jpgs for me. :(



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 9th, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
Isn't it wonderful when the shiny option doesn't work but doesn't tell you it isn't working? Congrats on figuring it out.

I try not to read in Adobe Digital Editions as I don't like the layout options. I'm used to the limitations of Adobe Reader so they don't irritate me as much.
Apr. 9th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
Testing ebooks is a pain in the ass cos you never know how people will be reading them. The discovery that my jpgs were disappearing was a truly weird one, because I had "notes to self" underneath the cover that appeared on my friend's copy of the ebook! Talk about a big surprise!
Apr. 9th, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
I'm interested. Not always specifically (i.e., I'm not to the point of using this tip), but am a geekhead, am thinking about formatting some of my free stuff soon, and will remember that JCP said something about exporting the jpegs...

Apr. 9th, 2012 06:57 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna try to tag them consistently with "tech stuff" so they're searchable. I wish I'd been more inspired to think of a good tag :(

I'm a little burned out from ebook making I guess.
Apr. 9th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)


As I said, I'm looking to maybe this summer turn some of my free stuff into ebooks (one novel, a couple of shorts) -- hopefully pdf, epub and mobi. I'd kindof poked around and learned that there's freeware that'll turn Word files into epubs, and then Calibre can convert those to the rest. I'm anticipating that I won't especially like the results on some of these.

Well, OMG, here is one awesome thing I learned from your post: I googled InDesign and learned A: that its for making ebooks, B: that it's an Adobe Product, and C: (get this!) I HAVE it! (I bought a package academic deal a while ago because I needed illustrator and wanted photoshop and needed the full reader software. So WHOOT!

Is it hard to learn (I'm pretty intuitive, but no software genius)?
Apr. 9th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
Aw, man, geek-speak would've been perfect.

I hope you won't feel discouraged if I admit that InDesign has a stunningly steep learning curve and is probably not worth your time unless you're a graphic designer or a publisher. Which isn't to say you shouldn't play with it since you already have it! But unless you're accustomed to layout programs, it's like you open it up and go..."Yep, There's a square."

I only use InDesign for making PDFs and paperbacks anyway. I use Scrivener for mobis and epubs and they look better with less messing around...and THAT is a cheap and easy program!

Edited at 2012-04-10 12:27 am (UTC)
Apr. 9th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
Good to know, thank you! I know that I do well with illustrator, but whenever I try to teach it to someone non-graphics oriented they throw up their hands in dismay. So it is probably like that.

I do have Scrivener--didn't realize it would do that. Yay. See, I'm glad I asked! I'll figure it out, don't worry, now that I know to look for it. :)
Apr. 9th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
There's a free plugin called Kindlegen that you need to install for Scrivener to make mobis...but it makes really great mobis!
Apr. 9th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this tip! I'm a publisher who is constantly fighting the e-book conversion battle. Seems like as soon as I fix one glitch, another one pops up. It drives me crazy.
Apr. 9th, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
It's such a young field. I feel like I revisit my entire workflow about once a year, though at least it keeps getting easier. Hopefully now that the field is narrowed down to PDF/mobi/epub it will stay that way for a while.

I'm baffled as to why Dreamweaver can't make epubs.
Apr. 10th, 2012 03:57 am (UTC)
No techie me, but I hate Adobe Digital Editions. So sloooooooow. And to think that the whole Norwegian "Book-cloud" is based on ADE? Insane. You can't buy a book in Norwegian without going through ADE. Which bugs me no end. Which is one of the reasons I still haven't bought a single Norwegian e-book. (that they're insanely expensive doesn't have anything to do with it. Oh no.)
Apr. 10th, 2012 09:11 am (UTC)
I think I have checked out a library ebook that way too. Thankfully my library now lets me check out Kindle titles right from Amazon now. Though of course I seldom finish them before they expire.
Apr. 10th, 2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
I'm seriously thinking of buying myself a Kindle. But a lot of titles aren't available in my zone for some reason. Upgrading to something with Wi-Fi would be good. I might find myself stranded somewhere without my pc and running out of books. Now what a catastrophe that would be!
Apr. 10th, 2012 04:05 pm (UTC)
UGH, that's a pain in the butt about zone restrictions. I borrowed a library book on the Kindle, and today had an appointment to go to. I almost brought the Kindle along, then decided to instead synch the Kindle app on my iPod and just bring that...it was pretty damn sweet to bring that book I was reading on my MP3 player in my pocket.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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