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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Let there be magic! » » Creating An Ebook (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Carron
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UK
960 Posts

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Hi guys, I'm looking for sofware that will allow me to create a nice looking ebook as opposed to the plain word document converted to pdf that I've used in the past. The basic look I'm going for is sort of like Andrew Maynes, and Daniel Garcia ebooks
andrewmayne
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V.I.P.
139 Posts

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Carron,

I use Adobe InDesign (Pagemaker before that and Microsoft Publisher a long, long time ago) and then save it as a PDF (a regular feature on most layout programs on Macs).

Best,

Andrew
djrdjr
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Austin, TX
226 Posts

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Yes, Andrew's correct. You're going to need some professional graphic design layout software -- InDesign, Quark XPress, etc. -- then (speaking as a professional designer and art director) you'll also need some industrial strength design sensibility. It's not something everyone can do, that's why certain people get paid a lot of money to do it. But you never know until you try, so go for it!
MrGreggy
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You are so correct djrdjr, design sense is the most important element. Just because a person owns a hammer does not mean they are a carpenter. This also applies to web design. It's almost always best to hire a professional for any type of design work.
DavidG
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Quote:
On 2006-12-30 22:24, andrewmayne wrote:
Carron,

I use Adobe InDesign (Pagemaker before that and Microsoft Publisher a long, long time ago) and then save it as a PDF (a regular feature on most layout programs on Macs).

Best,

Andrew


Thanks for the info!
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aalexander
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Awhile back I shopped around a bunch and almost bought an expensive publishing program to make a book. My advice: if you have Word 2007 or later, use that instead. Unless you're publishing a newsletter for the ADD-afflicted with tons of colours and pictures in wild configurations, everything you want can actually be done quite easily on Word.

Source: Here is a book made using only Word for layout and GIMP 2.0 (free) for images. Sorry for the kinda poor quality of the video, but the book looks great. Has headers, footers, captions, word wrapping, table of contents and index (one-click browsing on digital versions). And that's printed- ebooks have less pitfalls.

If you decide to take the plunge on desktop publishing software, I think I have a 50% discount for a Serif one (pageplus at $100 or pageplus essentials at $40), since I bought the website and video software. PM me and maybe I could pass that on to you.
jimgerrish
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East Orange, NJ
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Unless you are selling your e-Book through Lulu or some other outlet that allows your customers to browse through the book for a few pages, it seems to me to be a waste of time to put a "cover" on an e-Book and imagine that everyone will want to print it out just to see the fancy layout work on paper. The reason I, and most other magicians, buy magic e-books is to learn the secrets and presentations contained inside... not for the layout which I usually never get to see until after I have already bought the e-Book. If I got a nicely illustrated and fancy-schmancy e-Book that had a lousy unworkable method for a stupid and useless trick I would never perform, I would trash it just as quickly whether or not it had a nice cover and beautiful layout. You can't resell an e-Book to some other person without violating the copyright law, so it just makes no sense to me. My opinion.
Danny Kazam
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Quote:
On 2010-12-02 17:38, MrGreggy wrote:
You are so correct djrdjr, design sense is the most important element. Just because a person owns a hammer does not mean they are a carpenter. This also applies to web design. It's almost always best to hire a professional for any type of design work.


I would think creative writing skills would be the first important element. Just because someone owns a hammer does not mean they know how to use it. No one expects them to be a carpenter, but they should at least know what a hammer is to do, and be able to hit a nail on the head.

Dressing up a PDF file is secondary to the content, and of course to the writing skills. You can have the best looking ebook, but filled with grammar mistakes, poor vocabulary, etc, you have nothing worth any value.
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george1953
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Mallorca (Spain)
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I use serif page plus for all my DTP ork. It is reasonably priced and easy to use. You can also publish your work as a PDF file. It also has video tutorials which are a great help. Just google serif.com to see what else they offer.
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joesquire
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We as magicians (of all people) should know... perception is everything.

Whether rational or not, first impressions last. And if the an ebook was published without any thought to readability or presentation, it would be more likely to end up disregarded than the same book with a professional finish.

To think that once the ebook is sold, the author's obligation to the reader vanishes is unconscionable. Making something look nice and professional isn't just "window dressing" it's attention to detail and pride in one's product.

My $0.02
Sebastian Oudot
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Agadir, Morocco
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By using Word, you can find some nice page templates for your ebook. And I mean not the ones included in Word.

But if you want sophisticated template for your page or for your ebook cover, I would suggest to outsource it.

A very good place to find cheap outsourcers is Fiverr: http://fiverr.com
trey
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My lovely girlfriend is a graphic designer.
Maxy
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Since you are not professional in graphics design you can use something more simple than Adobe programs:
Microsoft Publisher
It comes with some Microsoft office versions so most likely it will be bundled already with your ms office and no need to buy new software Smile
InstantMagicBen
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Personally I find word to PDF perfect!
ljsviol
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This thread started a long time ago -)
but I thought I'd contribute this:

Tom Stone has made his ebook: "Self-Publishing by Tom Stone" freely available at Lybrary.com:
http://www.lybrary.com/free_ebooks.php
about half way down the page. There are some useful ideas in there. And thanks to both Tom Stone and Lybrary.com for making these sorts of things available.

Larry
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