Creating an eBook for iPad and Kindle in InDesign

This tutorial is for people with a grounding in InDesign already. You should know the basics of creating a new document, adding Paragraph Styles and manipulating text. I'll be covering the "gotchas" I found creating an eBook from InDesign. Creating an eBook in InDesign will give you the option to export as EPUB, PDF and HTML all from the same source, with minimal changes. What follows is my preferred flow.

Regular readers might want to tune out now. Go read an old Rex Havoc or something.

Before you start you'll need Calibre. Calibre is a "swiss army knife" for eBooks. It converts to and from all sorts of formats. To keep the code as pure as possible though, I only use it for the final conversion from EPUB (eBook format) to MOBI (Kindle format), which is not currently possible straight from InDesign.


Comixology: Comparing Digital Comic Readers

David Hawkins at What Culture! asks Can Marvel Digital Comics Conquer The Comic Readers of the World?

The Marvel Comics apps for Chrome, iOS and PSP let you read a large swath of the Marvel back-catalogue online or on your Apple/Sony devices. You can subscribe for $60US a year, and read a lot of classic Marvel comics, as well as a selection of the new stuff.

"You wouldn't like me on a tiny screen"

David has been collecting printed comics for 20 years, and says he was spending hundreds of dollars on comics in a month before trying out the Marvel Digital route.

I too have been going digital, but I've been coming at it from a different direction. As an Android user, I discovered the Comixoligy comic store before I discovered the Marvel store. For the uninitiated, the Comixology store offers comics from a range of publishers (*except* Marvel) on iOS devices and Android, as well as through your browser. For the first time in my life, I've been enjoying comics the way I imagine most of my comic-loving peers used to when they were younger.


iPhone Competitors, You Have 4 Months

This might be my next phone...

In about June or July my iPhone contract expires. Looking at the new 4.0 software that won't run on my 3G phone, and knowing that the next model will be out about then with (hopefully) the newer faster processor and better battery life, I'll probably be looking to upgrade. The problem is despite loving my iPhone, and what is to come, I abhor that what my iPhone can run is subject to the whims of Apple, and I hate that I'm tied to iTunes in any way.

So this is my wish for all the makers of Android handsets and iPhone/iPad competitors:

Wolfenstein 3D – officially the greatest thing on my iPhone.

Wolfenstein, busting out of your iPhone
Wolfenstein, busting out of your iPhone

When I was 13 I was around at my mate's place as often as I could be just to play Wolfenstein 3D on his better-than-mine system. He had colour graphics and a sound card, while my Commodore 64 only had enough grunt for side-scrolling platformers and breakout clones aNot to besmirch the C64 - in any other context the machine was the best thing invented. and my IBM clone could barely muster monochrome. Wolfenstein was the pinnacle of gaming. It was just like you were there, with your little gun waving in front of you and meals left on the floor. And B.J. Blazkowicz's face peering out at you to remind you to keep away from big men with chain-guns. I couldn't play it enough.


Asides   [ + ]

a. Not to besmirch the C64 - in any other context the machine was the best thing invented.

Oh 2.7, you know just what I like…

The Visual design of WordPress 2.7
Good Design in WordPress 2.7

The latest WordPress update, 2.7, manages to get WIN all over my keyboard. It fair shoots out of the screen and all over the place with its sexy sexy curves and simple lines. I want to give it a hug.

The 2.6 update was pretty good. It was good enough that 2.5 is all but erased completely from my mind. 2.7 however, looks gorgeous, plays nice with all my extensions and adds a couple of neat features that make me want to go home with it, and I barely even know it.

Awesome Feature Number 1 is automatic site software upgrades. Untested as I write this, the idea of its existence is enough to make me "ghee" with joy. Found under Tools > Upgrade on the new left-hand menu, it offers simple upgrades to the latest software that bypasses the old "upload each new file/directory" that some have been subjected to, and even cuts out the middle man web-hosts who have been offering something similar for a while abyebye fantastico.

Awesome Feature Number 2 is plugin searching and installation RIGHT FROM THE FRIGGIN ADMIN PAGE! This makes plugins so easy to install that it practically guarantees broken WordPress installations across the world as people just install new plugins 'cause they can! No more tossing up if it's worth it to upload and install something new. Why waste a second thinking about it when you can just press install and see? In minutes of upgrading my site tonight I had a working iPhone version of my site, and (hopefully) some integration with my FriendFeed account. That is the "killer feature" of WordPress right there my friends, found under Plugins > Add New. It makes me so happy I could cry bit could just be that I'm tired. I get weepy when I'm sleepy.

So go and update it today. It'll be the last painful upgrade you do.

Asides   [ + ]

a. byebye fantastico
b. it could just be that I'm tired. I get weepy when I'm sleepy
I footnotes