View Full Version : Options of Publishing Online

02-12-2013, 01:52 PM
I'm looking for some options of publishing a book online that can be viewed online, mobile devices and simple for non savvy users to click through, read, search and maybe watch a video, interactive popups etc.

Some that I am currently looking at is treesaver.com, uberflip.com, yudu.com

Any other ideas of digitizing a book for easy access to non tech savvy? Would an interactive PDF be better than the above choices?

Interested in hearing your thoughts.

02-12-2013, 02:48 PM
I think the 3 major formats for ebooks right now are the simple .pdf, .epub, and .mobi. Many applications can take something you write and convert it to any of these formats. Not all applications will be able to add video and interactivity though.

For non tech savvy people who are likely to read ebooks I think they'd likely read them by buying the book through Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Apple's iBook store. Assuming I'm right you'll want an .epub and .mobi version of any book. I'm actually working on an ebook now and I'm using a application called Scrivener to write it. The site is literatureandlatte.com (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/). I have a version for the Mac and I think they have one for Windows too. I know it can output in the different formats, though I haven't reached the point of actually doing that yet.

If you're on a Mac Apple released iBooks Author as a free app. It's an easy way to get interactivity into the book, but you can then only use it to publish through the iBookstore.

I'd ask yourself how much video and interactivity you really need. I think a lot people are realizing for many types of books those are more flash than substance. People are still often happy with a book that contains words and pictures only. Some books are certainly improved with more interactive elements, but it's something I would think hard about before automatically assuming you need it.

I took a look at the 3 services you mentioned (treesaver.com is treesaver.net by the way). Treeserver and Yudu look like they're just building website, in which case I'm not really sure what the advantage is, since you should be able to do what they do without their help. When I looked at Uberflip I got the impression they were more about adding interactive for the sake of adding interactive. In other words style over any substance. In fairness I'm not familiar with any of these services and I'm making some quick judgements based on a minute or two looking through their sites.

How important is adding the interactivity and video to your book? And if it is that important are you sure you need a book? Would a website work?

Harold Mansfield
02-12-2013, 03:29 PM
I vote for PDF. With Adobe Acrobat you can create interactive PDF's and embed videos, flash animations, html, forms and just about anything else.
Users only need Adobe Reader, which is free and almost everyone already has it installed, and it will be compatible with any and every device that has reader installed.

I also vote for selling it yourself on it's own website rather than cutting in Amazon, Google, iTunes and everyone else who is just going to take 30% just to drop it in the back of the pile and you'll still have to promote and advertise it anyway. If you are going to do all of the promotional work, why split with anyone? Just send people to your website.


02-12-2013, 08:06 PM
Thanks for the input. This will actually just be a digital version of an annual report. I think iv concluded that a PDF would be best.. but I have offered another option to my client to see which one they might want to use.

The benefits with the pdf is that it involves no extra software, I can design the whole interface, it doesn't have that annoying flipping page feature, the ratio of the pages will be optimized for screens as apposed to page sizes.. no facing pages, and i can add rollover popups, videos, links etc.

This is all going to be distributed to non tech savvy people, so PDF is probably my best bet at this point.

02-12-2013, 10:45 PM

I use issuu.com for e-book and marketing materials for clients and target markets.

I am not sure if this may be an option for larger data like a book (do you mean a non fiction or fiction 200 page book for example?)

Anyway thought it may assist, I have found them really good although I must say it doesnt allow you to personalise to your domain URL and this may be better for you if you could achieve that, build a website for it and sell it on your own.

Cheers, good luck

02-14-2013, 12:03 AM
This will actually just be a digital version of an annual report. I think iv concluded that a PDF would be best.

It certainly depends on what your client wants, however I wouldn't throw out the idea of other formats. There's free software online and downloadable that will convert a pdf to epup or mobi.

04-12-2013, 02:32 PM
PDf is the most easiest for your customers, all they need is free adobe reader you just tell give them a link to download that, Adobe - Adobe Reader download - All versions (http://get.adobe.com/reader/)

pdf's can also be viewed in browser if the customer has the required plugins in his browser.

04-14-2013, 12:33 PM
I think PDFs are a must, but I would also include .epub and .mobi files if you can. People are reading much more on iPads, Kindles, and other tablet device. I think many of the applications you would use to create a PDF can also export to the other types of files.

04-15-2013, 01:18 PM
Regarding uberflip - a few of the industry magazines I read use it and I hate it. From a reader standpoint it's slow and cumbersome, and it doesn't seem to have mastered allowing you to share links easily, which is something that is a must in today's world of social media. I've also found it very slow to load. Not sure what the alternatives are in the magazine world, but this would not be my first choice.

05-23-2013, 01:28 PM
I'm currently working on a lit mag with a friend, and we're using Scribd on top of publishing in mobi, epub, etc. You should check it out. I'm pretty sure it costs little to nothing and we're embedding it on Mag's site with a wordpress plug-in.

05-29-2013, 01:35 AM
Scribd is an interesting site. I often get pointed there for one thing or another. I find it a little hard to navigate at times as I move my mouse out of the window and start scrolling the wrong thing, but that's a minor annoyance.

05-29-2013, 11:33 AM
Scribd is an interesting site. I often get pointed there for one thing or another. I find it a little hard to navigate at times as I move my mouse out of the window and start scrolling the wrong thing, but that's a minor annoyance.

My partner on the project is doing the publishing end, so I'm still not completely sure how it all works (and I haven't spent a lot of time on Scribd.) We're also looking at some print on demand stuff--while our mag is mostly digital, some of the contributors are interested in having paper copies to keep as mementos. I was looking at Magcloud and Blurb last night--Magcloud will also publish the digital product as well, and you can set pricing (if you choose) and sell them all from their store front. You can also set pricing on Blurb, but I didn't spend a whole lot of time looking into it, I can't really tell which is the better price. I'll let you know once we've made our decision and started the process (if you're interested)... it should be within the next week or so.

05-31-2013, 01:53 AM
Oh yeah, definitely let us know. I'm certainly interested. I'm more likely to stick with digital publishing only mainly because of the costs and extra work involved with print. I'd probably need to be convinced it would be worthwhile before getting involved with print. At the same time I know there's still interest in printed materials and the extra work and cost is probably coming down all the time.

06-02-2013, 12:28 PM
I found a couple more publishing sites (epub) today that are pretty cool-- Calameo (Calaméo (http://www.calameo.com/)) and epublish4me (Digital Publishing for Web, iPad and Android | ePublish Yourself (http://www.epublish4me.com/)).

I'm still looking into POD sites--we've priced at Blurb and Magcloud, but the size of our mag will put prices (without a markup) at 16.00/copy at Magcloud and $20 at Blurb -- which is just too much (I think). We uploaded to createspace which would be ideal if we could make it work--there was an issue with the image files and the size. We might be able to pull it off if we lower the size/change formatting--the paper weight would still be an issue. There are some hacks listed in the forums there from people who've successfully pulled it off, so we may still play around and see.