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Ebook-Site News, Issue #007 -- Choosing an eBook Compiler
October 31, 2005
Hi,

Welcome to the October issue of ebook-site news.

A warm welcome to all new subscribers.

----------------- Table of Contents -----------------

- Introduction

- Site Update

- Article

- New Websites

- A Note for Webmasters

- Final Note

Introduction

This month is a bit of a mixed bag. I'm uncertain of the final result because I'm writing this in one sitting. It’s a scary proposition on the eve of Halloween. At least there’s not been a rerun of The War of the Worlds radio broadcast of October 30 1938. It would have been an interesting diversion with the red planet presently a mere 43 million miles from earth.

Now that I have your attention, let’s get down to the boring stuff.

Site Update

An RSS feed has now been added to all top level pages on the site. Don't be frightened to experiment or at least, not until after the witching hour. I have removed the code that disabled right button mouse clicking on all web pages.

The links page has been updated and a number of resources have been categorized and moved.
Tip - Keep the number of your external links to less than 100 on any single web page.

Google has given the homepage a PageRank of 4 with other top level pages remaining at 3. I'm pleased with this since ebook-site is not a true niche site like get-your-dalmation-puppy-a-vet.com. This is only an example (exaggeration) and there was no such domain at the time of writing. Although, it may stimulate your thoughts on choosing a domain name if not an interest in veterinary care.)

With all the hype about niche sites and niche products, I hope to prove that it is possible to have a successful website that is not aimed at a small niche market. Granted it takes more time and effort but the rewards can be far greater.

This month 9 exclusive underground interviews by Ewen Chia have been uploaded to the members' area. They all come with Master Rights to resell or give away as you choose as long as the content remains unchanged.

I realize this may be a disappointment to some of you, so I will be uploading other ebooks in the early weeks of November. As always, the password will remain the same until the next newsletter is published.

The password for this month is pumpkinhead

Note for new subscribers: Passwords are case sensitive and will be changed monthly or immediately before a newsletter mailing. This is to ensure that only valid subscribers have access to this area. 


Article

If you’re feeling tired or bored, or have an urge to look at zombo.com, I suggest you skip this article. To be honest, it is not the most interesting read. I have included it here because there are practical alternatives to creating ebooks in PDF format. The most recent product is ‘eBook Starter’. I have included a brief description of this new product in the eBook Compilers page.

Choosing an eBook Compiler

2005 Bryan Quinn

This is written for those of you that want an alternative to creating an ebook in PDF format.

It is not the purpose of this article to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of ebook compilers with products like Adobe Acrobat. However, before continuing, it is necessary to explain one important difference between them.

To do this considers these two definitions.

An ebook compiler is a software application that converts a document to an executable (.exe) file. The file (or ebook) that is created is a stand-alone file. This simply means that no other software application is required to execute (or read) it.

Adobe Acrobat is a software application that converts a document to a readable (PDF) file. The file (or ebook) that is created is not stand-alone. It requires an application like Adobe Reader to open (or read) it. Now that this is established, we can concentrate on the choice of ebook compiler.

Your choice will depend on what format you have written the content for your ebook. Examples are plain text, HTML, MS Word or MS PowerPoint.

If you have used HTML to write your content and want to compile an ebook from HTML code, you may need a working knowledge of the HTML language for some of the available compilers.

There are many ebook Compilers available today. The choice can be very confusing and it can often be difficult to choose one that is right for you. Here are a few pointers.

Ease of Use

If an easy to use compiler is your main priority, check that an instruction manual or adequate documentation is included with the compiler. If this is not included, you may find it time consuming to learn how to use the compiler correctly.

Security

If you wish to sell your ebook, good security features are important. As well as basic features like protecting your eBook content from modification or limiting a reader’s viewing or disabling printing, you may want to implement other security features. Passwords, encryption and ebook disabling are only a few of the many security features available.

Features

It is a good idea to find out what features are supported with the ebook compiler. You may want to add graphics and hyperlinks, customize menus, create forms, add audio and video or perform other functions that are important to you. Some compilers offer very sophisticated features and complete plug-in capabilities for flash, java and shockwave.

Price

Your choice of product may depend on what you are prepared to pay. Although not always the case, you can expect to pay more for compilers that have more features.

If you are not concerned about the cost, bear in mind that more features do not necessarily mean a better compiler. You may have no use for many of them or you may feel that some extra features complicate your requirements. For this reason it is better to know what your requirements are before making a final choice.

Requirements

Give some thought to your requirements. If you are considering an HTML based compiler, find out if it requires a browser to function. If it does, check to see what browser versions are supported. You may need to check your browser settings and configure your browser according to the compiler specifications.

Whether you intend to sell your ebook or distribute it freely, security is of major concern.

This is after all the main reason for using a compiler. Your choice of compiler should offer at least the level of security that matches your requirements. All compilers have basic security features but some have features that go beyond most peoples needs. How secure you make your ebook is your choice.

Ensure that the compiler you choose is compatible with your operating system. For example some older compilers do not function with Microsoft XP service pack 2 (SP2) without a software patch.

Support

Good support for your chosen ebook compiler could be critical to your success. Check the conditions of any support that is offered. Find out if there is a service level agreement for the compiler software or if there is grace period for free technical support.

Check how long the compiler has been on the market. Although not always the case, generally the older compilers are more likely to be bug free. It is also worth looking for testimonials if the compiler has been around for a while.

Finally, download a demo of the compiler if possible before you buy it. 


New Websites

If you are thinking of creating your own website it may be worth listening to the opinion of the SEO experts. One opinion common amongst SEOs is that you can expect to wait 9 to 12 months before your keyword phrases will show up in Google's index for a new domain. Their suggestion is to use an existing domain in preference to a new domain.

For my own reasons, I ignored this advice and registered a new domain in August. My intention was to use notepad to create it but I was drawn to a FrontPage theme. Not because of its pretty colors but because I have a licensed copy that I've never used. It also looked much friendlier than the naked white space of a text editor. I've only uploaded a few pages but feel free to criticize it. The URL is http://www.side-site.com

I will be keeping a close eye on the site over the next few months. It may take time to get keywords indexed but when it comes to advertising, there's no delay with Google adwords.

A Note For Webmasters

In the last issue I spoke of losing visitors that had nothing to do with Keywords, Meta tags, etc.

Quite simply, the reason for losing many visitors is that most websites do not make provisions for disabled users. If your site is amongst the many that don't, I urge you to give this careful consideration. In the UK alone, disabled people have a disposable income in excess of 100 billion per year.

Think of the global picture for a moment. Now think about your website.

I may be wrong but I would guess that it is not the amount of money that shocks you. It is the lack of awareness. Like me, you may have given little thought to what disabilities a visitor to your website may have.

Now that we are both aware, what's next?

For my part, I intend to carry out some research and take a closer look at my present and future websites. I will update you on the results next month.

Final Note

This month’s newsletter has taken longer to write than anticipated. If you have read it in its entirety, thank you. You probably deserve a medal but all I can offer you are a few ebooks and possibly an odd word or sentence of inspiration.

Remember to check the members’ area in early November. I will look for something interesting to upload for you.

If you use the RSS feed, you will be automatically notified of any changes or new additions.

Until the next issue

Take care

Bryan

PS

Take special care on November 5th