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I also need e-book export for fixed page books. I have photo books to publish and each page must remain separate and not "flow" as a text-only e-book does. Sure I can publish a printed photo book from a PDF, but it is currently not feasible to take the Affinity Publisher output and turn it into an e-book.

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  • 3 months later...
On 7/23/2022 at 3:56 PM, PaoloT said:

Isn't Calibre doing a good job?

Paolo

 

I tried using Calibre. The code it produced was bloated and seemed strange to me. It works I guess, but as a web designer who is a purist about html code, I couldn't tolerate the code produced by Calibre. For example, it added a class to every single paragraph. There's no need for that. Style paragraphs as a whole in the css stylesheet, then only add classes where the style will differ from the base appearance.

I'm hand coding each chapter of a recent book, (70 🙄) then I will fine tune and put it all together in Sigil.

A good epub export in Publisher would be great.

 

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On 10/31/2022 at 5:00 PM, vwatson said:

I tried using Calibre. The code it produced was bloated and seemed strange to me.

If you were trying to convert a PDF into a reflowable ebook, Calibre will not work well by definition. I guess any conversion from PDF can't work particularly well.

In the case of a fixed-layout ebook, like in the case or our fellow thetasig above, I wonder if this is as problematic. It should work rather well.

Paolo

 

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Yes, I had a pdf created from Affinity Publisher, so I tried a variety of pdf to doc converters to get the best word file I could come up with to import into calibre. None of which worked very well.

I ended up converting the pdf to html (TalkHelper PDF Converter) and have been working from that, manually editing the html. 

Ideally, I suppose, you would use the text file or doc you imported into Publisher, but I made changes after laying it out in AP, so I couldn't use that original text file.

My process is working, just slow. A click of a button to an epub would be nice. 🤩

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Whew! Finished. I ended up using Calibre after all to edit and combine the html files rather than Sigil. I like Sigil's interface a bit better, but it crashed on me continually when I was spell checking the epub. (the pdf to html conversion left some hyphenated words and others combined without a space between.)

I'm pretty comfortable with Calibre now and will stick to that.

Perhaps as part of the upcoming new reveal from Affinity will be an epub export! 🤩

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1 hour ago, vwatson said:

Perhaps as part of the upcoming new reveal from Affinity will be an epub export! 🤩

Don't count on it.

In any case, I find it interesting that you combined the html files in Calibre. I was not aware thta was possible. Need to test that.

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I created my document/book from scratch within AFPUB. I don't use Word (or Windows) and I'm not that familiar with HTML. I have Mac computers. For printing a paper book, the AFPUB exported PDF works fine. My foray into Calibre and Sigil territory met with mostly non-fixed pages and little of my original presentation seemed to be respected in the epub output. I am very novice at the whole topic just now.

Many thanks for any help you could provide -  steps to take from AFPUB to epub and tips-n-tricks and would be a big help. I suppose it would be useful to be pointed to a good primer aimed at artists, not programmers :oP

I hope to be able to publish the epub version at the latest in 2023. I agree that it is a sorely needed feature of AFPUB and hoping for the best from Serif.

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1 hour ago, thetasig said:

I created my document/book from scratch within AFPUB. I don't use Word (or Windows) and I'm not that familiar with HTML. I have Mac computers. For printing a paper book, the AFPUB exported PDF works fine. My foray into Calibre and Sigil territory met with mostly non-fixed pages and little of my original presentation seemed to be respected in the epub output. I am very novice at the whole topic just now.

Many thanks for any help you could provide -  steps to take from AFPUB to epub and tips-n-tricks and would be a big help. I suppose it would be useful to be pointed to a good primer aimed at artists, not programmers :oP

I hope to be able to publish the epub version at the latest in 2023. I agree that it is a sorely needed feature of AFPUB and hoping for the best from Serif.

There are two types of e-books (in both the EPUB and Kindle universes): "reflowable," and fixed layout. For most books that are primarily text and intended more for reading than for viewing, the first choice is reflowable. A reflowable e-book allows the reader to change the type size to suit his/her reading device, eyesight, and personal preferences -- and the text automatically adjusts line length and line breaks to fit the available screen width. Since most e-books are arguably novels, the default is for EPUBs to be reflowable.

The other choice, to use your words, "respects" the book designer's fixed layout. Fixed layout is generally chosen for cookbooks, childrens' books (which usually have illustrations occupying the majority of each page), and photo essay type books. When creating an e-book from a word processing file, you need to specify whether you want it to be rerflowable or fixed layout.

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I don't use online software either, but I kind of feel the same way about ebooks in general. It's not hard to copy the content out of one.

I tried a variety of pdf to doc converters (desktop software) and finally used this one. https://www.talkhelper.com/pdf-converter/

I ended up using it to convert the pdf to html, but there was some clean up even after that.

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In comparison, PagePlus has been able to convert to epub and mobile for four-five years. Probably there was an HTML engine running in the background, that's why Affinity can't integrate with Publisher. The joke is that they dropped ebook export just as it was getting more widespread. That's also publishing... And we'll have to wait a few more years, if ever.

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19 hours ago, thetasig said:

I have Mac computers.

My suggestion is to copy & paste your Publisher document into Apple Pages, and export the ePub file from there. If the document has a very simple structure, maybe you will just have to apply some heading style, and that's all.

Paolo

 

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Recently had a client buy my Indesign license back so I could have an easier go at this. Too many pictures/charts. Too many anchors. 500+ pages. Yea I'm not even going to deal with a copy/paste scenario--or a calibre round-about--that won't work with anything that has anchored & fixed media in it. ePub exported without much issue which was even better than before. Since I now have my license for at least a year back on ID I guess I'll stick there and look with desire at AP waiting to see if they decide to come into the modern age of publishing. Until then this glaring, glaring lack of feature will continue to be many a sore thumb.

Oh I also had a client want me to use their Indexing service which AFAIK AP doesn't even touch either. Never used an Indexing specialized person before but I can get it with the size of depth of this project. That required ID as well since they didn't have a plugin or work-flow for AP.

If AP wants to be an Apple Pages replacement then I guess that works, but if they want to play with the big kids we're going to need to see a little bit more in the future.

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Just updated to the version 2 apps. Sadly, still no epub export in publisher, but there is a new Books panel. Not totally sure how that works yet, but that may be helpful for longer books. My recent one was 238 pages. AP handled it well in one document, but Books may make it even easier.

Hopefully epub export will be coming to version 2 in the near future?? (eternal optimist) 🙃

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2 hours ago, vwatson said:

but there is a new Books panel. Not totally sure how that works yet, but that may be helpful for longer books

Definitely helpful.

 

Also: https://affinity.help/publisher2/en-US.lproj/pages/Advanced/aboutBooks.html

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
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2 hours ago, vwatson said:

 there is a new Books panel. Not totally sure how that works yet, but that may be helpful for longer books.

This was a featur that existed in PagePlus and was very handy because it took ages to update some text (even a typo) in a long document (I have books of 600 pages). It allows to create separate files for the different chapters, and combine them into a single PDF. I have not checked how they update the index, but will try to find out as soon as I start playing with it.

And yes, it's a pity that it does not have ePub export yet.

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I used the book feature in QuarkXpress, just not sure how it's implemented in Publisher. It should be a boost for creating long documents, although I was surprised how well Publisher handled my 238 page book all in one file. If we're allowed to post links here, this is the book I recently completed in Publisher.

https://www.amazon.com/Following-Narrow-Path-Devotions-Horses/dp/1733391231

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  • 3 months later...

I want to add my voice to this subject/request. Like many others here I really like the Serif/Affinity suites and have used them for many years. I bought all three as Serif,and used them alongside Adobe which I was at that time given a license to via my workplace. When I 'lost' Adobe after leaving that job I replaced my home-working Serif software with the Affinity ones as they became availabe. I am an author who is also a designer and take all my own book photos and draw the diagrams myself so use Photo and Designer a lot but tend not to use Publisher as I work with a publisher so no need to layout pages. I amhowever just getting around to tackling the idea of self-publishing and have updated and purchased the latest version 2 -  only to find that I can't export to ePub! Yes, my bad that I didn't check this out beforehand, but TBH I didn't think that software aimed DTP would NOT have this export feature. I don't want to publish my book as a pdf, that is a great format for paper based publishers, but not what I want in a dynamic eBook. The old PagePlus had this feature, so why oh why does this 'new' software not have it? I guess I will have to resort to doing it all in Libre Office and then exporting to Jutoh, but its more software to learn, and more processes. I have a lot of images in my books, and not sure how they will export.

I am really, really disappointed in Affinity Publisher and would not have purchased the new version 2 at all if I had known that it had this basic and (to my mind) fatal shortcoming. It a white elephant as far as I am concerned, wish I hadn't wasted my money on it and stuck with PagePlus!! Dont think I will be purchasing from Affinity again.

Affinity, please please put this in as an update to the version 2 Affinity Publisher software and make your loyal customers happy (and keep them)!

 

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Hmm. I've been self-publishing e-books for many years. I've never had a problem using calibre to export a properly formatted .docx to .epub for Google Play Books and Kobo. I've been doing it so long with calibre it's second nature now. Ditto for Smashwords and their .doc format requirement. Save As to convert the .docx works for Smashwords, which gets me to Apple, B&N, and so many others I've forgotten. In fact, I consider it all a part of my job as an indie author for almost 30 years.

I must admit that Publisher is a godsend for creating POD books on Ingram Spark and Amazon. I don't know where I'd be without it now.

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13 hours ago, Twolane said:

Hmm. I've been self-publishing e-books for many years. I've never had a problem using calibre to export a properly formatted .docx to .epub for Google Play Books and Kobo. I've been doing it so long with calibre it's second nature now. Ditto for Smashwords and their .doc format requirement. Save As to convert the .docx works for Smashwords, which gets me to Apple, B&N, and so many others I've forgotten. In fact, I consider it all a part of my job as an indie author for almost 30 years.

I must admit that Publisher is a godsend for creating POD books on Ingram Spark and Amazon. I don't know where I'd be without it now.

How do you get it into .docx from Publisher. There is no export for that either.

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55 minutes ago, pixelstuff said:

How do you get it into .docx from Publisher.

I do all my writing in Scrivener. Others might write in Word directly - or whatever writing platform works for you. From Scrivener, my final product is exported as a Word .docx file. Minimum formatting later, I have a final .docx that is ready to publish as an e-book, once I run it through calibre for the .epub file.

Smashwords takes a .doc file. In Word, that's a Save As, and that keeps the formatting. Google Play Books and Kobo each take an .epub, which, as I said, is prepared via calibre from the Word .docx file. Running a properly formatted .docx file through calibre takes mere seconds to get a properly formatted .epub.

Publisher will take a .docx file and quite nicely put it into a POD book with the appropriate Master Pages. Learn Publisher properly and you will be able to provide output to rival that of the Big 5. I will admit that I found learning it to be a bit of a bear, but I persevered, and now I am extremely happy with Publisher.

Like I said, I've been doing this for almost 30 years. It is all second nature now, and really quite simple once you have the flow worked out.

I do print and e-books only. I do not do books with images, beyond preparing my covers, and the occasional b&w image on a preface page. I have no insight into how one would prepare photo books, or anything else with any kind of images. I quite happily admit that is far beyond my level of expertise.

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  • 1 year later...

The option to export as epub directly from Publisher would be practical and necessary. In the meantime, I use the following technique, somewhat tedious but effective:
1. I export the document as PDF.
2. I convert the PDF to .docx in Word. In Word I correct layout errors resulting from the conversion, apply necessary styles and save the document.
3. I open the document in Atlantis Word Processor, an extraordinary word processor for epub export. Its conversion engine is flawless and does not give errors when checking the epub.
For a professional publication, adjustments can be made from Atlantis itself or with Sigil or Calibre, but this is a separate chapter depending on what you want to do.

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