Jump to content

Recommended Posts

While I'd really like to see GREAT ePub support in Publisher, I've had to look for other options in the interim. Depending on your epub requirements Vellum (https://vellum.pub macOS only) might be an viable option. It's really tailored towards flowing pubs, typically novels, fiction, non-fiction - stuff that doesn't require tons of formatting and minimal media support (ePub tends to be quite limited in this manner regardless). My biggest complaint with it is that it doesn't provide much in the way of design options - essentially a handful of styles and fonts, with no way to add your own. That said, it's quite easy to work with, and publishes to all common ebook formats as well as print ready PDFs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, bryanrieger,

Seems quite a good solution for people not having yet Scrivener. But Scrivener is a very complete and precise app, yet at a far cheaper pricing. It only takes some time to be able to use its e-bub export in a way to avoid the error alerts when testing the results.
That said, a Publisher integrated module would still be the very best solution.
Hey, Affinity crew, I'm ready to $ help you if you propose some crow founding to push the job!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vellum does quite good quality epubs but as you say there is not much you can do to tune your design, and it is a bit expensive.

Jutoh allows much better control of actual HTML but it is not straightforward to use. Even when creating simple reflowable content you must have a lot of technical knowledge to get simple and effective content and CSS. (I still do not know why it insists adding extra blank page after image at the end of the chapter.... and how to get rid of it.)

Yes, Publisher should add robust reflowable epub export ability (which will throw away most of your lovingly honed typographical finesses ;-)  ---but it should supply simple and rigorously implemented XHTML/CSS features.

Fixed layout epubs can follow much better Publisher layout but then you have to aim to certain reading devices to maintain readability. 

Both export styles are needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One really nice feature that I am beta testing for Ultimate eBook Creator is that it checks for "weak words" in your writing which most grammar checkers do not look at.  It also counts most used words to see if you need to upgrade your vocabulary.  Both are a very handy features to have for yoru books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/8/2020 at 12:42 PM, Castle Al said:

PC CD only, it seems... with a price that invites me to work further on with trying to master the e-pub exports from Scrivener.
:7_sweat_smile:

Scrivener does it really well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, HarryMcGovern said:

Scrivener does it really well

I still get error alerts like: 

ERROR

./tmp/uploads/1565850427757_0000101295/inputFile/LaMalediction_v0.1.epub - File 'OPS/Images/Crapaud3piècesRecadr.png' could not be found.

WARNING

./tmp/uploads/1565850427757_0000101295/inputFile/LaMalediction_v0.1.epub - item 'OPS/Images/Crapaud3piècesRecadr.png' exists in the EPUB, but is not declared in the OPF manifest.

WARNING

OPS/Images/Crapaud3piècesRecadr.png - File name contains the following non-ascii characters: ̀. Consider changing the filename.

ERROR

OPS/css/stylesheet.css - 34 -86 - CSS font selector declaration uses unexpected font-size value '2rem'.

These are just details, yet it needs, from my part, a less WYSYWIG approach... and this is a hard thing for me :34_rolling_eyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I would like to see ebook export as soon as possible, please let me put things in perspective. APub is a tool to make commercial books (either educational, fictional, or technical). At the moment, printed books are still outselling ebooks by 11:1. This means that getting layout and printing done right is the absolute need before reaching version 2.0. Doing ebook export before everything is at the right place would make an inferior export function.

On the other side, once the app is completed, there is 9% of sales to be cared about, by implementing ebook export. Done right (contrary to most other apps). This will be strongly needed – then.

Paolo

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Castle Al said:

I have 8 books to turn into Ebooks this year. I'll probably try it again through Scrivener (it will certainly make a good job, once I'll have learned to use it right).

If you are on a Mac, I would also suggest Apple Pages. It is a mini-publisher, with excellent ePub export features. It opens .docx files very well, so it can be used as a touchup tool for works made in other wordprocessors.

Paolo

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/29/2020 at 7:14 PM, PaoloT said:

At the moment, printed books are still outselling ebooks by 11:1.

This means that getting layout and printing done right is the absolute need before reaching version 2.0. Doing ebook export before everything is at the right place would make an inferior export function.

Paolo

 

Can you supply some source for the 11:1 please?

Waiting till V2.0  for ebook export would be unexceptionable, since that would mean a pay update for something  Patrick Connor said that APub would have this feature after it's initial release.

I highly disagree with your concepet of when ebook should be introduced. If ebook is not solidly in the planning structure of the program now.  It may make it very difficult or impossible to add later. Planning is key to fast solid code.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts on the epub export option as of today:

  • It would be ok for regular books with uncomplicated layout and formatting, without endnotes & footnotes (Apub doesn't support those yet).
  • It's not ok if you start having more complex formatting or layout, like bilingual editions with one page in one language and one page in another. To keep that parallel reading, a table might work best for an epub, but tables have limitations when there are readers ranging from smaller than 5" screens mobiles to 13" tablets or above with PCs and I'm trying to avoid them after the results with my latest epub with tables (I wasn't able to make one column fixed width and the other variable).

Another issue is the lack of capabilities in ebook readers and mobile apps to read epubs to render formating correctly. I own a board and run a test a while ago showing people a pdf with the thing as it should have been shown on their readers and the epub with the needed embedded fonts. Things like capital letters and small caps were all over the place with 0 consistency between apps. Open type support was lacking in most readers. Even with embedded fonts, those weren't being used by the vast majority of readers, which where switching to their default fonts for serif and sans serif instead. And the readers that did read correctly are used mostly as epub editors and/or a kind of library organizer and conversion tool to send to another reader (Calibre and Sigil).

Somebody a while ago told me this was not his problem, but the readers, and that he wasn't changing the way he worked. Well, I don't agree with him and I'm trying to simplify book formating to have readers to have a consistent experience with the books regardless of the reader or app they're using.

By the way, if the epub output is to be so crappy as inDesign, I'd rather not have it. Cleaning the mess afterwards was a nightmare. And I'm already bugging LibreOffice support so they convert properly instead of following the InDesign way. To no avail, I must say, but fortunately for me the Latex developers updated their writer2html extension to be 6.x compatible. Unfortunately, they have already said they're not going to update that in the future.

So I'd rather have first and foremost the native endnotes & footnotes capabilities than a partial html export capability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes Imarcos, I'm with you regarding the perpetual sabotage of standardization. It's a nightmare since there are no more existing tools to create things the way graphists and artists dream of. Everything has to go through conformity. It's a pitty and a shame... but who are we to fight this strong established claws?
Yet, I dream of the day websites and ebooks will look pretty, and full of astonishing visual freedom!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Guyon said:

Patrick Connor said that APub would have this feature after it's initial release.

Just to clarify, I think we have to read "after" in that statement as "quite a bit later," as I am not aware of any post by Patrick or another Serif representative that ePub support would come soon after initial release, or even at all in the 1.x updates. Frankly, I expect it will not be until at least the eventual version 2 (but I have been surprised before).

 

1 hour ago, lmarcos said:

Even with embedded fonts, those weren't being used by the vast majority of readers, which where switching to their default fonts for serif and sans serif instead.

I am not sure I understood what is your own opinion on the behavior of the vast majority of readers who use eReaders, but just by way of general participation in the conversation, I feel rather strongly that eBooks and printed books are two very different media, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, and they should be approached so that each can do what it does best. In print, I strive to always improve my layouts to be clean and attractive. In my spare time, I am also a frequent reader of novels on Kindles (specifically the e-ink models). One of the advantages of an eReader is that the user can choose a font and font size that is pleasing to him, and that is a major reason why I will chose an eBook for pleasure reading over print every time. (I haven't read a novel in print in years.)

The task of the person preparing a document for eReaders is very different from preparing for print. For an eReader, the book semantics need to be marked up very cleanly, formatting that has meaning should be included (example italics or bold for emphasis), and any other formatting should not be forced.

I am one of the "vast majority of readers" that switches the fonts. Or rather, on Kindle, I have set a font and font size that is easiest for me to read, so that I can enjoy the book. Occasionally one can find a novel that is exported to an eBook format with a fixed page layout based on PDF. That is the wrong approach: the designer is trying to force a print book approach onto a user who chose the eBook format for a reason. Inevitably the print on those fixed page layouts with the designer-forced font is too small for my comfort, margins are unnecessarily large and wasteful on a screen the size of a small paperback, and it really takes away from the pleasure of reading the book. When I get a book like that, I usually give up reading it from the beginning.

I do believe there are cases for eBooks of fixed page layout: any kind of layout more complex than basic long-form novel or similar. In those cases the fixed page layout is a compromise to get a presentation best suited for print (or a large color screen with high DPI) to be approximately usable on an eReader. For those kinds of books, I typically buy print. Dedicated eReaders are one-trick ponies in my view: great at the one thing the do, and terrible at everything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, garrettm30 said:

I am not sure I understood what is your own opinion on the behavior of the vast majority of readers who use eReaders, but just by way of general participation in the conversation, I feel rather strongly that eBooks and printed books are two very different media, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, and they should be approached so that each can do what it does best. In print, I strive to always improve my layouts to be clean and attractive. In my spare time, I am also a frequent reader of novels on Kindles (specifically the e-ink models). One of the advantages of an eReader is that the user can choose a font and font size that is pleasing to him, and that is a major reason why I will chose an eBook for pleasure reading over print every time. (I haven't read a novel in print in years.)

The task of the person preparing a document for eReaders is very different from preparing for print. For an eReader, the book semantics need to be marked up very cleanly, formatting that has meaning should be included (example italics or bold for emphasis), and any other formatting should not be forced.

I am one of the "vast majority of readers" that switches the fonts. Or rather, on Kindle, I have set a font and font size that is easiest for me to read, so that I can enjoy the book. Occasionally one can find a novel that is exported to an eBook format with a fixed page layout based on PDF. That is the wrong approach: the designer is trying to force a print book approach onto a user who chose the eBook format for a reason. Inevitably the print on those fixed page layouts with the designer-forced font is too small for my comfort, margins are unnecessarily large and wasteful on a screen the size of a small paperback, and it really takes away from the pleasure of reading the book. When I get a book like that, I usually give up reading it from the beginning.

I do believe there are cases for eBooks of fixed page layout: any kind of layout more complex than basic long-form novel or similar. In those cases the fixed page layout is a compromise to get a presentation best suited for print (or a large color screen with high DPI) to be approximately usable on an eReader. For those kinds of books, I typically buy print. Dedicated eReaders are one-trick ponies in my view: great at the one thing the do, and terrible at everything else.

I mean, one ereader shows font:smcp small caps but not font-style:small-caps, other readers do exactly the same and some show not one of them. Capitular letters are even worse, but at least you can carry over if you create a character style and then edit the css to at least have a bigger initial letter. Regarding the embedded fonts, some readers used the embedded font, some used a defaultfont taken from somewhere, but certainly not the embedded font and a few used the embedded fonts. We tested Apple ebook reader, Kobo, Kindle, Aldiko, Calibre, Sigil and some others. My idea of a perfect world would be that a correctly formatted and epubcheck validated epub should render the same in all readers, the same that happens with pdf. And then, if you find some font more confortable to read, you switch it. But most people weren't even aware of having set a default font on their reader to override the book's font.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Guyon said:

Where in your link does it say  printed books are still outselling ebooks by 11:1?  All i see is the word more.

From a quick look at the article, the 11:1 comes from the sales figures as opposed to volume numbers, I think.

20.6 to 2 billion

The average book price in the US is $18 (average price from trade paperbacks to hardcover best sellers in 2018). The average eBook price (worldwide) is $14. So if those figures are nominally correct, print is selling more volumes. The turn of eBook selling pace came when publishers could set their own eBook pricing versus deals with the likes of Amazon who had kept the pricing lower. Once the publishers were in control and jacked the prices up on eBooks the sales have basically tanked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This year, I'll probably turn about six of my existing books into ebooks. But They definitely will cost much less then the 14$ average. It is absurd to sell a formless and graphically downgraded (non)object at such prices! Text content alone can be beautiful, of course, but typography and page arrangements are fundamentals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One again, I feel like an idiot.

I've been looking for affordable solutions for students. I decided to do a major project using only Affinity products, after a year of testing, I thought I had a good handle on the shortcomings and workarounds necessary.

Today, I am shocked, flattened, completely discouraged to discover on the day I'm uploading files to the printer, EPUB is not supported. Why? My project can't go through, NONE of it can go through until I upload both the print AND digital edition. Ingram Spark ONLY accepts EPUB format. Countless hours wrangling 70 artists and writers, refining layout, typesetting and everything that goes with it and now I have no idea how I am going to resolve this latest setback because I trusted Affinity at their word when they say, "Bring your vision to life with Affinity Publisher, the next generation of professional publishing software. From magazines, books, brochures, posters, reports and stationery to other creations, this incredibly smooth, intuitive app gives you the power to combine your images, graphics and text to make beautiful layouts ready for publication."

Also, on a different topic, IDML import does not work, not even slightly. Professional? Not yet. 

So once again, I've been burned for sticking with Affinity. I just don't know if I can trust Affinity again. Prove me wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ingram accepts PDFs.

While .idml isn't fully complete, import of .idml does work. What isn't present is export to .idml. Which are you wanting to do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 for ePub- and maybe mobi-Export 👍

I have bought AD and AP recently and have almost completely switched to them from Ai and PS.

I would buy AP instantly if it was possible to create ebooks with it.

Waiting for the next release and hoping this will come.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Scrivener user, I find myself less disappointed of a lack of ePub export in Publisher.
Yet as I see how well the job has been done by the Serif's team, I have no doubt that an Affinity Publisher epub export will be amazing. A real Applewise WYSYWIG way of bringing out exactly things you want to have them done!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Castle Al said:

...

A real Applewise WYSYWIG way of bringing out exactly things you want to have them done!

That would be a dream come true ☺️

in the meantime a simple "normal" export would be great too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, MauricioC said:

One again, I feel like an idiot.

I've been looking for affordable solutions for students. I decided to do a major project using only Affinity products, after a year of testing, I thought I had a good handle on the shortcomings and workarounds necessary.

Today, I am shocked, flattened, completely discouraged to discover on the day I'm uploading files to the printer, EPUB is not supported. Why? My project can't go through, NONE of it can go through until I upload both the print AND digital edition. Ingram Spark ONLY accepts EPUB format. Countless hours wrangling 70 artists and writers, refining layout, typesetting and everything that goes with it and now I have no idea how I am going to resolve this latest setback because I trusted Affinity at their word when they say, "Bring your vision to life with Affinity Publisher, the next generation of professional publishing software. From magazines, books, brochures, posters, reports and stationery to other creations, this incredibly smooth, intuitive app gives you the power to combine your images, graphics and text to make beautiful layouts ready for publication."

Also, on a different topic, IDML import does not work, not even slightly. Professional? Not yet. 

So once again, I've been burned for sticking with Affinity. I just don't know if I can trust Affinity again. Prove me wrong.

Wait: you embarked on a full publishing project in Affinity Publisher and did not check whether epub export is possible before doing so? And you knew in advance epub export is required (Ingram Spark clearly states what is required for upload)? How could you NOT check for epub export?

Anyway, there is perhaps a solution.

1) use a conversion service such as magicepub.

Free to register and try the service. It will watermark images, but at least you can try the service before paying for the conversion (which is a couple of euros per conversion).

But this service merely converts either all pages to images, or embedded SVG files. I found the img + text conversion to be lacking, and it will need manual intervention.

So, since a service like magicepub needs to convert your complex layouts to either flattened images or SVG, why not do it yourself?

2) convert all your pages to SVG, and use an epub editor like Sigil to create a epub3 fixed layout file. Place each SVG on its own page. Save the epub.

Or if you want to publish on Amazon, export as PDF, and then use Kindle Creator to create the KPF file. Creator includes a TOC, and converts the entire thing to SVG as well.

The advantage of SVG is that text and vectors will be rendered at high quality. Converting the entire page to a JPG obviously results in a fuzzy looking text, and is probably something you want to avoid. PNG works much better, but may blow up the file to unacceptable file sizes.

There are many online PDF to epub convertors online, although the quality of conversion varies. I prefer to keep the conversion process under full manual control, so generally for complex fixed layouts I will use SVGs and place those in Sigil. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PDF to fixed layout probably works well, but PDF to reflowable epub is something that usually takes days of work to fix and requires some understanding of HTML.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please note the Annual Company Closure section in the Terms of Use. These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.