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Using pages to publish on Kindle

2372 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 29, 2012 10:49 AM by PeterBreis0807 RSS
johanna kate Calculating status...
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Jun 5, 2012 12:34 PM

I would like to create an ebook on pages and publish it for Kindle on Amazon.  Is is possible to preview the book on my kindle BEFORE I publish?  The amazon site makes it sound like the only way to do this (for Mac users) is to know HTML and use Kindle Gen.  I hope that is not true!

 

Kate

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,865 points)
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    Jun 5, 2012 2:00 PM (in response to johanna kate)

    There are other ways to get to the file format required by the Kindle, e.g.

     

    http://ebook.online-convert.com/convert-to-mobi

     

    Then I suppose you can transfer the book via a usb cable or something like that.

  • Peggy Level 8 Level 8 (38,085 points)
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    Jun 5, 2012 2:31 PM (in response to johanna kate)

    You might take a look at Calibre. A young man in my user group demoed it last month & it looked quite interesting.

     

    Peggy_sig.png

  • bobbysue Calculating status...
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    Jun 30, 2012 7:42 PM (in response to johanna kate)

    You're all wrong.

     

    I'm in the process of making an ebook now.

     

    I originally laid the entire book out in Pages for print using Create Space, figuring from there I could convert to an ebook with Kindle and have my print book too.

     

    After finishing the book, what I did was NOT go to SmashWords...NOT use Calibre....NOT go to anywhere else.  Do this:

     

    First, make a copy of your Pages document to use for your ebook.  Take out all the headers and footers, as they are useless in a Kindle book.  Take out the top and bottom margins too.  Replace any images you have that were for print work (which for the best look should be 300 dpi tifs).  I then made 300 dpi gifs, then pulled the images in to size.  I replaced anything that the standard fonts that  a regular ebook would not support, like fancy script I used for titles, etc, making them into 300 dpi gifs too, pulling them in using the little tabs to fit.  On and on I went.

     

    With my huge book, which is a reference book, my worry was links, because I wanted to cross-reference it and there are many thousands of links.  I tried originally to do them in Appleworks, but Appleworks couldn't even support the 954+ anchors that were required.  Pages 1 (which is what I'm still using) handled them EASILY.  NO problems whatsoever.

     

    When I was done, I exported the Pages document to a WORD document. Then used that manuscript document to upload to Kindle Digital Publishing.  From there on it was a breeze.  No problems whatsoever.  And my book is not a novel.  Not so simple as that.  It required a little thought for ebooking, but it went dreamily. Suprisingly better than all the other alternatives that I attempted.  So fear not...and don't believe all the hoopla and negativity you've heard because it is sooooo easier done than said.

     

    I tried everything...including WORD, NeoOffice, etc.   Frankly, for this kind of thing, they all fell incredibly short of the mark, making it more complicated, and wasted months of my time.  I should have just had faith in Pages, and not believed all the negativity that I had read on this forum...written, apparently by people who didn't actually try to create an ebook with it.  Because it is no trouble whatsoever. 

     

    Good luck with your projects.

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,380 points)
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    Jul 1, 2012 6:40 AM (in response to bobbysue)

    You are not being quite clear.

     

    1. Are you saying set all margins to zero?

     

    2. Are you saying tiffs are incompatible? Because this contradicts the Kindle guidelines which recommend jpeg and tiff, no mention of .gif at all.

     

    3. Are you saying only gifs work? ie you have tried other formats and they did not work.

     

    4. When you say "pulling in" do you mean resize?

     

    5. If this is for an eBook why are you using 300dpi images and then resizing them, presumably to an even higher resolution?

     

    6. Have you opened and examined the final Kindle eBook to see what the end format contains?

     

    7. Are you sure that the Kindle Digital Publishing service is not just converting and fixing your formatting? This is quite common in the Print Industry where clients think they are creating "perfect" documents, but force the printer to quietly fix it just to get it out.

     

    Peter

  • bobbysue Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 1, 2012 12:37 PM (in response to PeterBreis0807)

    First of all, I'm starting with regular Kindle.  Not for Kindle Fire yet.  So these are for the basic Kindle that most people have.  Kindle Fire has other options, like the use of color and such that I might take advantage of.  But this book is not printed in color so I didn't utilize color.

     

    I did not reset my side margins.  I removed the top and bottom margins, setting them to 0 because Kindle defines them, not the document.

     

    Tiffs are fine BUT are huge in file size.  The image files cannot be huge because they will not load properly and could crash the Kindle.  My book, printed, is 8x10x440 pages with 27 full page b&w images and THOUSANDS of links with 954 anchors.  That's a lot of book.  That's even MORE ebook.  So concession must be made for the sake of the ebook on any non Kindle Fire ebook.  And remember too, that it seems that all the different readers have different specs.  I'm starting with Kindle and working my way out.  It's a major p.i.t.a. in general but not nearly as painful as I thought in Pages.  Actually, Pages simplifies the process a LOT.

     

    Considering that the images are b&w (mine are to start with) and you know how to convert a color image into a great b&w image in Photoshop by doing more than simply desaturating it (I know how to do that...simply desaturating will turn a color such as red to black so it looks awful.  There is a simple process to convert, but desaturating is not it.) Why use a huge file like a tif for a b&w graphic?  It is simply ego and not common sense.  A gif that is set for 16 shades of grey, dithered and then saved at 300 dpi then resized down will look utterly amazing.  AND and the file size is quite small in comparison to a tiff.  AND a jpg isn't even as clear.  Other images will work...but they weigh down the file.  And my file data, alone is huge.  And the images are simply iimages....for looks not information.  That part is up to the writer.  You experiment.  This is what works for my book.

     

    I insert the image at 300 dpi, into Pages...it's big.  I resize it manually from there.  Especially for the smaller images like fancy drop caps, that after I look at the document on my Kindle itself, I may want to adjust a bit.  Which is easily done in the original document, rather than having to redo the image, etc.

     

    I have examined my Kindle ebook by downloading the converted file from KDP and installing it on my Kindle and I fudge around with it from there.  It looks amazing.  the links all work (which is what I was stressing over) and I can't believe it was SOOOO much easier using Pages than other apps that I tried on the Mac and on the PC's (which make me crazy). 

     

    I've been fortunate to not have to do a lot of fixing in the HTML file that must be downloaded from KDP because the Pages HTML file is pathetic, so I don't even mess with that ever.

     

    KDP is NOT converting and fixing my formatting.  There is nothing to fix.  The book looked the same when I put the document on my Kindle BEFORE I uploaded it to KDP.  After I loaded it onto KDP.  After I downloaded it as a book from Kindle.  I'm quite impressed.  I'm ready to do my others now.  That was the MOST complex of the books, and the largest.

     

    The others are novels, poetry.  Such and such.  But the real challenge with Kindle now, and I will also publish it on iPad, etc. will be a young child's book that is in color, will have media and all that for Kindle Fire and other such devices.  I have yet to take on that challenge.  It's an entirely different animal. 

     

    When I was first starting my project (back when I had began it in Appleworks and then moved it to Pages midway) I was reading all the negativity and began to panic.  I almost bought Word.  But then I experimented with Word on one of the kid's PC's and it was so complicated and I thought this isn't going to be any better.  I tried NeoOffice and it could not handle the size of my document with all it's links.  I tried some other wp program Abi something or another and it was so slow with such a large document it could barely scroll to the bottom of a page.  Taking it up into Calibre was a joke.  Etc., etc. 

     

    I am still using Pages 1 for crying out loud!  My computer is so obsolete and my memory is limited.  I need a new machine badly.  But it was all handled quite well. 

     

    The one big problem that I had with this particular document is that because my memory is so low, I have 768MB of Ram (which is laughable) and cannot add more because I have a Powerbook 13" and it cannot go up more than that.  I could not export into a PDF file for Create Space.  I freAKeD!  I called Create Space and they told me to download their template, which is a Word template and use that.  So I did.  I downloaded their template, opened it in Pages, copy pasted my entire book into it from my original Pages document and then if you cannot, for any reason, convert to a PDF you simply upload THAT document made in the template to Create Space and it automatically converts to a PDF within their system.  Like magic.  Whew!  One really good thing about that template is that it has a TOC box that I used and it worked better than the Pages TOC did.  So I copied pasted that box into other documents and my goto TOC :-D

     

    You gotta' do whatcha' gotta' do.  Thank goodness there are work arounds when needed.  However, I've found that MANY folks will tell you how to build a clock when you ask for the time.

     

    This book was an education.  From there on it will be easy.

     

    I hope I clarified.

     

    Peace.

  • Iowashorts Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 29, 2012 7:43 AM (in response to bobbysue)

    These are EXCELLENT posts, bobbysue!

     

    I have been struggling for WEEKS with a 263 page InDesign book that I was commissioned to convert. It has a LOT of fancy formatting - which makes for a great-looking printed book, but is tough to recreate for Kindle, iPad.

     

    I read on blogs from the start that starting out in Pages and going to Word is the ideal, but this book is so broken up that it would require me to spend hours putting it back together in Pages. Well, I ended up spending four times as much time fixing the InDesign document than it would have taken moving it into Pages to start.

     

    You made things VERY clear and I would like to follow your progress if you would post on a blog or the like. My next move is to create an iBooks Author version which will be a piece of cake compared to Kindle and ePub. I know Author well from Keynote and Pages and the most important thing to know is to do the upfront work in the Master Layouts FIRST. Setting up your masters to work correctly will make things a lot easier when you bring content in and for consistency between landscape and portrait modes.

     

    Best to you and thanks again for taking the time to post this. I've scoured the web for solutions and yours has been the most clear so far.

     

    DK

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,380 points)
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    Oct 29, 2012 10:49 AM (in response to bobbysue)

    300dpi gifs sounds extraordinarily oversize for an ebook.

     

    tiff files can be compressed and if grey scale, or B&W, are dramatically smaller, especially as you do not require high resolution for an eBook.

     

    Peter

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