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I can’t help thinking that Publisher is missing a huge market segment if nothing else if it doesn’t also include ebook production.

it already does excellent pdf creation, and a number of other formats, but not true ebook production as Vellum does.

Just a thought.

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Created with usability and elegance in mind, Vellum is a fantastic software for creating Apple-, Kobo- and Amazon-approved ebooks and POD books with one click. While there are other, much cheaper software solutions to do this for you, some of them even listed in this guide, Vellum is unique: it creates not only professional but beautiful text-centric ebooks. If your goal is to create a book as elegant as a Penguin edition, Vellum can be your choice. The creators took care of everything: simple to use, efficiently imports from Word, and easy to change things even after the epub export.”

 

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 I think Vellum gives too little control in epub creation and uses too much unnecessary features. IMHO Jutoh creates more streamlined HTML and gives you more control in creation. Though Jutoh has its own weirdnesses admittedly.

But indeed it would be nice if Publisher exported reflowable epub. It should not be very difficult task as required HTML is very simple (and indeed the simpler code the better behaving epub). This book describes quite nicely what kind of HTML is needed: https://www.amazon.com/Zen-eBook-Formatting-Step-step-ebook/dp/B00KJAH4HS

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IMO, Vellum targets self-publishers and small publishers without a strong technical staff.

I think it can work very well for an ebook designer working with writers and editors who are not going to be comfortable using InDesign. The base software is free and is WSYWIG, so you can have any number of people reviewing and editing ebooks, with one person designated to be the "publisher" (There is no cost until an ebook is produced.)

It is limited, as Fixx noted, which is both its strength and weakness. I found my users who had excellent design sense (but not the technical ability to create ebooks) simply were not satisfied with the output. I ended up editing the ebooks with Sigil, which means the files are no longer readable by Vellum, and thus are no longer shareable.

I might note that it took Adobe several releases (beginning with ID CS5.5) to get ebooks "right" so I recognize it may not be so easy for Affinity to implement this function. The problem is not simple HTML per se; it's "translating" more sophisticated design features to HTML. Also standard ebook features such as the navigational Table of Contents were Adobe's downfall for the longest time (e.g. not really fixed until ID CC).

But perhaps Affinity could take a step by step path. Have an option noting that the final product is to be an ePub. Then turn off any features that are not readily exportable. Over time, keep adding additional features.

 


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Thanks for the reply, yes I realise it will be no small task to add ePub exporting. But I’m sure the team will have it in the pipeline if only because it’s another mountain to climb. So I’ll just wait impatiently. :-)

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A bit off topic, but most frustrating deficiency in simple epub HTML (IMHO) is that there is no intelligence in placing images. Images are inline and if pagination flows a certain way there may be horrible gaps in pages (as image does not fit to the end of the page it jumps to next page and leaves a lot of empty page..). There should be an option to let device adjust its location so that pages are full.

Hyphenation is another weirdness... I have not really looked to it technically but most devices do hyphenate, with about 30-40 % error rate. This may be language dependent (and english is better).

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On 6/30/2019 at 1:19 PM, HarryMcGovern said:

Thanks for the reply, yes I realise it will be no small task to add ePub exporting. But I’m sure the team will have it in the pipeline if only because it’s another mountain to climb. So I’ll just wait impatiently. :-)

In addition to .epub exporting, I would find Affinity Publisher essential if they included .mobi (Kindle) exporting. InDesign can do it (although Amazon wrote the plug-in), so to truly cut the Adobe cord, .mobi and .epub exporting are ESSENTIAL for me.

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4 hours ago, AuthorCraigHansen said:

In addition to .epub exporting, I would find Affinity Publisher essential if they included .mobi (Kindle) exporting. InDesign can do it (although Amazon wrote the plug-in), so to truly cut the Adobe cord, .mobi and .epub exporting are ESSENTIAL for me.

I believe they are working on this for a release some time this year. I’m looking forward to it myself.

meantime the files it can export to are really good quality and can easily be converted by third party systems, like KDP and the others.

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5 hours ago, HarryMcGovern said:

I believe they are working on this for a release some time this year. I’m looking forward to it myself.

meantime the files it can export to are really good quality and can easily be converted by third party systems, like KDP and the others.

Is conversion to Kindle formats still useful? Amazon seems to prefer people to use Amazon's own newer tools rather than the Amazon Kindlegen plugin. Amazon's own tools seem to be kept more up to date and to offer extra facilities such as better font handling.

Personally, I would appreciate a way to publish / export from Affinity Publisher in a file format which is compatible with importing into services such as Amazon Kindle. From Serif PagePlus, I normally use ePub3, for flowing text.

(PagePlus can use the Amazon Kindlegen plugin, but I've stopped using that mode; preferring to use Amazon's newer offline or online conversion tools.)

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