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How to format .epub books to display properly on Nook
February 19, 2014 | 6:53 pm

NookDo you own a Nook (either tablet or eInk version)? Does it annoy you when you load an .epub to your Nook, and the paragraphs are block style (or even block indented style)? Want to learn to format .epub books to display properly on Nook? Read on. That's an actual Nook book, purchased through Barnes & Noble, and it bugs me. I like my paragraphs to be indented, with no spaces between them. Other .epub readers display books properly. It's just the Nook reader which adds the extra spaces. I decided to hunt around and see if there was an answer,...

Easy instructions for organizing Collections on Kindle Touch and Paperwhite
July 28, 2013 | 10:00 am

Amazon Kindle Touch software updateSo maybe you like keeping Collections on your Kindle, but you think it's a pain to organize them on the device. Or perhaps you have two devices, and you like to keep the Collections in sync. Fortunately, it's easy, and I'm going to show you how. Note that if you have an older Kindle (Keyboard and earlier), you can use the Kindle Collections plugin from Calibre to easily organize your collections. And, unfortunately, neither the Fire nor Kindle apps support Collections. This is an E Ink device only feature. The easiest way to set up Collections is on your computer, using the...

Video: How To Turn Off Popular Highlights on Kindle
July 23, 2013 | 6:51 pm

It's a common question from a new Kindle owner. "What are all these underlines, and how do I get rid of them?" Well, let's start with what they are. Amazon keeps track of words and phrases that are commonly highlighted and displays them, if you choose to view them. If you're like me and preferred to buy your text books new, the "feature" probably drives you crazy. Fortunately, it's easy enough to get rid of them, as I'll show you in the video. Please note that I'm demonstrating on a Kindle Touch. Your screen may look slightly different, depending on your model. ...

Marvin and Calibre: Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly (video)
July 16, 2013 | 10:35 am

Since I just received a shiny new iPad (fourth generation) as an early birthday present, I've been doing more reading in Marvin, which I reviewed earlier this year. There have been several updates since my initial review, and one of the things I noticed was a "Calibre Connector" in one of the menus. I did some searching and discovered that books can by synced to Marvin directly through Calibre, over a wired sync. Since Marvin has one of the best Dropbox integrations I've ever seen, I wouldn't suggest this for loading one or two books, but it's a great way to sync...

How to stream Amazon Instant Videos on a Nexus 7 or other Android Tablet (video)
July 8, 2013 | 9:30 am

AmazonDan commented on my post last week about the Kindle Fire sale, asking if there really was no way to watch an Amazon Instant Video on an Android tablet (specifically a Nexus 7). I said "nope," but someone (Bree) reminded us that alternate browsers, like Dolphin, support Flash. So I went hunting. Good news: It can be done! The bare bones instructions are here, and you'll want to follow that link because it'll take you to the all-important Flash .apk file, which you'll need to download. So follow along, and I'll give you more details. Note that this method will not work with a Nook...

How to Learn a New Tablet the Easy and Efficient Way
February 28, 2013 | 3:31 pm

So you’ve bought that shiny new tablet and fired it up. Now what? You’ve got a bunch of app icons, and you know it should be a great tool. But how do you learn to use it? This article assumes you’re new to the tablet world. If you’ve changed operating systems, like moving from an iPad to an Android tablet, you at least understand the basics of using a tablet. Your challenge is finding apps in the new platform to accomplish the things you’re used to on your old tablet. However, plenty of my clients have purchased their first tablet and hit...

Kindle Quick Tips: How to Organize Your Free E-Books
January 18, 2013 | 3:23 pm

Do you like to "buy" lots of free books, but you don't want them all downloaded to your Kindle? Not a problem. Try this. 1. Install Kindle for PC (or Mac) on your computer. 2. When you "buy" a free book, have it sent to your Kindle desktop app instead of your Kindle 3. Select a Collection category for your new book You can import all your collections from your Kindle, just like in the screenshot below, so you won't lose any of your organization.  When you're ready for a new book, browse your collections on your computer, select a new book and go to...

“How to Preview Kindle Ebooks in a Web Browser” by Piotr Kowalczyk
August 5, 2011 | 5:58 pm

Sometimes, if you are on your computer and visit Kindle Store, you’d like to start reading a book immediately – before making a decision to buy. You can obviously send a free sample to a device connected with your account, but some people just don’t want to clutter their Kindles or Kindle apps with too many book samples. Here is a simple tip to read a free chapter of a Kindle book without sending it to a device – and even without leaving a web browser. 1. Check whether the Kindle ebook you’re interested has a print version: paperback or hardcover. 2. Click on...

Smashwords releases updated style guide
August 4, 2011 | 2:26 pm

From the Smashwords blog: We updated the Smashwords Style Guide today to include improved instructions for building linked Tables of Contents, controlling your NCX, building intra-book links for footnotes and endnotes, and troubleshooting. The new instructions are included in an expanded Step 20. Download the latest Style Guide here. [...] Separately today, we reached an exciting milestone. Today, the 100,000th copy of the Smashwords Style Guide was downloaded at Smashwords.com. Thousands of additional copies have been downloaded through our retail distribution network and Amazon. ...

Apple explains how to sync narration tracks in EPUB files for iBookstore
August 4, 2011 | 9:31 am

Back in June, Apple introduced a new iBook feature it calls Read Aloud, which is similar to Nook's Read to Me feature in that it provides a human voice narration that syncs to the onscreen text. In both commercial cases, the feature is meant primarily for children's books. Now Apple has updated its iBookstore Assets Guide to include instructions on how to add a Read Aloud narration track to your EPUB file. You can't access the latest guide unless you're a registered iTunes Connect member, but eBookNewswer has printed part of the relevant section: "You can create a Read Aloud book...

Check out “A journalist’s guide to eBook publishing” from Online Journalism Review
July 30, 2011 | 10:53 am

Over the past couple of weeks, Robert Niles at OJR has posted a series of guides to help journalists self-publish their content in ebook form. He starts with suggestions on how to choose good content for epublishing, then moves into technical issues like formatting and listing content with ebooksellers. The three posts together come in at about 3,400 words, so it's a quick way to jump start your own self-publishing project if you need some guidance. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 [Online Journalism Review]...

“Ebook Specific Cover Design: #2 – Size and Resolution” by Piotr Kowalczyk
July 22, 2011 | 11:21 am

When you make a decision to publish your book only in digital format, you are also making essential change in how you approach cover design. You no longer have to deal with dots per inch in a high-quality print. The goal is not 9 x 6 inch, 300 dpi any more. It's 1024 x 600 px, 118 ppi of a typical netbook's screen or 800 x 600 px, 167 ppi of a Kindle 3 display. We also have to keep in mind that the readers very seldom will have a chance to see the cover in full screen. If yes, it's going...