Browse Category: Digital Publishing

How to Read 7 Books in 7 Days

There is too much to read, too little time. With the rise of ebooks, you have a library in the palm of your hand. As a result, many unfinished books are the product of time management and the lack thereof. There is nothing more frustrating than an unfinished book. And chances are if you do not finish a book within the first couple of days (or weeks at most), you will never finish it.

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Basically, there will never be a set of rules which you follow to magically finish a book in a day. After all, the choice is yours. In a single week you can either read seven books or lose seven days trying. Like me, I’m sure you’re not a great fan of wasting time. That’s why there are certain techniques worth knowing to help you manage your reading time more coherently. This is what this article is about. These techniques can be divided into two subsequent parts: pre-reading and reading. Continue Reading

EPUB Navigation Peculiarities

In ebook technology, ease of navigation and reach for any piece of information is extremely important. The EPUB standard defines multiple ways to structure navigation of an ebook: sequentially, in a single path, or selectively, picking whatever to read from the Table of Contents.

But along with this structure, may come peculiarities that are rather confusing. Especially for an ebook authoring software company like us spending days inside the belly of the beast, it is important to give users friendly tools to set their chapter navigation preferences, with a clear bright picture of what they’re doing and expecting. Not knowing that behind the curtains, things are not very glamorous. Don’t get me started on what we’ve been through.

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In this article I’d like to share the navigation possibilities in the EPUB standard, along with peculiar cases, both from an  end-user’s perspective and from a technical perspective.  Continue Reading

21+ Awesome Tips for Successful Ebook Marketing [Infographic]

Since more and more businesses today are making use of ebooks to market their products and services, the competition in this niche has become stiff. Everyone is creating ebooks. But not everyone is knowing about them. To make your ebook visible and standing out from the rest, you need to effectively promote it to your target market. And to do that, you need to make sure that you have a strong marketing strategy. This strategy can come as early as prior to creating the ebook itself.  And that is the real challenge.

This infographic (courtesy of Bigrock Coupon) comprises of 21+ actionable tips that can help you market your ebook early on. Continue Reading

Top 5 Science Fiction Books You Must Read This Year

Popularized by the likes of Jules Verne, Douglas Adams and Arthur Clark, the sci-fi genre is one of the most sold and most read nowadays. Whether it’s benevolent aliens from outer space or a futuristic dystopia where androids have conquered humanity, we simply love to read about days yet to pass where technology is on a whole different level and the human race has evolved far beyond what it is today.

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There are thousands of fantastic sci-fi novels out there and they’re getting released every day, and sometimes you simply don’t know which one to pick first. To help you out, we’ve chosen five of the best novels (in our opinion) recently released, that you should check out as soon as possible. Continue Reading

Thinking About Self-Publishing? Check Out These 5 Tips

The self-publishing revolution is a wonderful new movement that is putting the power back into the hands of writers and away from big businesses and big-name publishing houses. With ebooks, you don’t need an insane amount of financial backing to get your work out to the people; you just need a good strategy to move forward and a bit of inside knowledge.

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These five tips are essential to consider before you jump in and start work on your own project. Knowing them will ensure a smoother process moving forward and help toward the ultimate success of your book release. Continue Reading

Publishing Corporate Ebooks With Payfort [Case Study]

Payfort is the leading online payment provider in the Middle East. With giant customers throughout diverse industries, you can say they have a pretty good overview of how things are trending with payments across the region. Luckily, they share this information publicly through their annual State of Payments report. With how things are advancing with interactive ebooks, this year Payfort decided to extend their reach by publishing interactive ebooks, in collaboration with Kotobee as their Digital Publishing Partner. We’ve had the opportunity to conduct this interview with Nardeen Abdalla, Marketing Director of Payfort, to learn more.

Tell us first a bit about your annual State of Payments reportCjxnfaWUoAAnv8z

State of Payments is our annual report. We usually publish it around the end of Q2 every year. This is our 3rd year. It started with a simple idea: give data, trends and useful information to companies to be able to grow their business. In the report we try to serve all company sizes starting from startups to enterprises. We target 7 countries (UAE, KSA, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and Qatar) in both Arabic and English languages. The report is divided into four sections: Continue Reading

4 Simple Animation Techniques for Ebooks

While many may argue about the relevance of rich media in ebooks, it is without question that animations of any sort are more appealing to readers than static imagery. The idea of creating animations can be intimidating for authors. It’s not about the results – it’s about what’s required to make it happen. It can get ugly. Or worse: expensive.

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In our journey of developing interactive ebooks for others, we have realised the power of animations and leveraged it in multiple ebooks. Such a very minor addition to an image can really give a huge impact to your ebook, and make it stand out from the rest without question.

The real challenge is finding an efficient and easy way to produce animations. In this article we will have some background on animation technologies in ebooks, and then look at a number of relatively easy to produce animation techniques with clear examples. Continue Reading

EPUB and SCORM: A Healthy Affair?

They are both the most popular ingredients of elearning. For some reason, they were just not made for each other. In education, ebooks are an essential component for delivering knowledge to students, remotely and interactively. SCORM on the other hand, is the popular standard for web-based elearning, with sharable content objects (SCO) at its heart. SCORM allows for communication between the LMS and the e-learning content, which leads to the primary advantage of tracking user activity and reporting progress.

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I am surprised how most LMS’s do not have built-in support for EPUB. Take Moodle for example. You can add a Book Resource, which allows you to manually enter book content chapter by chapter. Despite the existence of an external EPUB import add-on, I find it disappointing not to have EPUB as a supported resource at the core of the LMS. Some academic organizations prefer to have their ebooks delivered through a separate portal. Nevertheless, EPUB support in an LMS is crucial.

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How to Edit EPUB Books Manually

At one time or another, you may find yourself cornered into modifying EPUB files manually. This may be the result of certain validation errors that can’t be fixed using your favourite authoring software. In those cases, it’s best to work at the low-level and get your hands dirty, but nothing to fear. You can wash your hands afterwards.main

Our experience with Kotobee showed us many forms of validations errors that are nearly impossible to correct using a software. No matter how much effort we put into Kotobee Author development, there are types of errors that are inevitable. Those errors originate from the user. For example, those who create their ebook by copying and pasting from their external PDF sources, can send along with their content a number of hidden meaningless characters, invisible to the eye, but visible (and prohibited) to the EPUB validator. That is a problem. Continue Reading

Why your EPUB is being rejected from Apple iBooks Store

mainIt has become quite unlikely to submit anything to Apple without getting rejected at the first few attempts. Even ebooks.

Apple. Rejections. A very unfortunate combination. While the most common reaction to those long-awaited rejections would be to flip your keyboard into the air and punch the screen into the back wall, we would not advise that. There is a massive audience behind those over-protected Apple stores, very willing to pay for good products they find. Also, back wall maintenance may be expensive. So take a deep breath. Once you’re calm, let’s resolve the submission issues. Continue Reading