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4 Ways to Create an Ebook

Category : Book Review

This is the second in my series of blog posts about ebook creation. It was originally posted on Joel Friedlander’s wonder resource site, TheBookDesigner.com.

Last time I talked about just what an ebook is -- a website in a box. Ebooks come in a number of flavors, but for the purposes of this discussion I'm going to stick with the most common and most malleable format of ebook, the ePub file that is the basis of all of the major retailers' ebook offerings.

There are four basic ways to create an ebook (that is, an ePub file):

  1. From scratch
  2. Saving from a word-processing or page-layout application into ePub format
  3. Using a conversion app or online service
  4. Hiring a designer
The trade-off among these methods involve quality, time, and price. As the old saying goes, you can generally pick two. In order to get all three, you're going to need to become an ebook maven yourself, which will take a fair amount of time, but which will allow you to control all of the variables yourself. Let's look at the options, and you can see whether that's the road you want to take.

Option 1: Create the Ebook from Scratch

An ePub file, as I've said, is simply a website in a box. The box is nothing more than a ZIP archive that's been given the file extension .epub. If you want to test this statement do this:

  1. Find an ePub file (it can't have DRM -- digital...  Read More

David Kudler


David Kudler is an expert provider of publishing services and a consultant to independent and self-publishers. An author himself, he lives just north of the Golden Gate Bridge with his wife, actor/teacher/author Maura Vaughn, their author-to-be daughters, and their (apparently) non-literary cat. He serves as publisher for Stillpoint Digital Press. Since 1999, he has overseen the publications program of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, for which he has edited three posthumous volumes of Campbell's previously unpublished work (Pathways to Bliss, Myths of Light and Sake & Satori) and managed the publication of over fifty print, ebook, print, audio, and video titles, including the third edition of the seminal Hero with a Thousand Faces. He is honored to serve as the president for the Bay Area Independent Publisher's Association (BAIPA). A published author, he is currently working on a young-adult historical adventure novel set in sixteenth century Japan. Hide full bio

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