Tag Archives: EPUB

30,000 English eBooks from Project Gutenberg

Today, just six weeks after Project Gutenberg posted its 40,000th internally created book, the 30,000th English ebook has now been placed online: The Religions of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia, by Archibald Henry Sayce.

Thanks go out to Delphine Lettau, David King and the Online Distributed Proofreaders Team; who by the way, recently created their 20,000th free ebook for PG, and to Al Haines for doing the final preparations and publication.

A quick look at our numbers indicates that about one quarter of the internally produced Project Gutenberg books are non-English and it should be noted that more than half the PDF ebooks mentioned below are in languages other than English.

Continue reading 30,000 English eBooks from Project Gutenberg

ibis Reader

Ibis Reader is probably the best online eReader around at the moment, allowing you to read all your DRM-free EPUB’s in any modern web browser on many different mobile devices, including Google Android and the Apple iPad/iPhone.

Developed by Threepress Consulting, their EPUB reader is the next generation of the Bookworm project (now hosted at O’Reilly), boasting a vastly improved user interface and new features.

Ibis Reader is the perfect companion for any eBook fan especially as Project Gutenberg now provides all their titles in the EPUB format. As an online eReader you’re able to use it straight from your web browser, whether that’s on your laptop or mobile device, and best of all, it’s completely free!

Accessing Ibis

Signing up is super easy; just click on the login button and enter your email and a password. If you don’t already have an account, the system will create one automatically for you.

Once you’re logged in you’ll be taken to your library page, which Ibis calls My Books. It’s from here that you add new books.

Continue reading ibis Reader

Have an iPad – now what?

Although the iPad has been out in the U.S. for several weeks, today finally sees the day when it’s released in Europe and Australia. Taking a looking over the news sites it seems there’s been a lot of people queuing up to get hold of their own iPad which I guess now makes it big hit everywhere.

So then, you’ve dug deep and forked over hundreds of pounds/dollars/euros for your brand new toy, but you’ve now nothing left in your pocket to go buying books with. Well, no fear, why not go download some free books.

Although iBooks comes with an option to download PG books directly, I wanted to tell you about the free ebook project called epubBooks.com, that I’ve been working on.

I’ve taken titles from Project Gutenberg and created some very fine quality EPUB books, many of which include images (when available) and I’ve made all footnotes (endnotes) clickable, so you don’t have to go searching through the text for the appropriate entry. Another click sends you back to the last page you were at.

I spent a lot of time working on the conversion tools so the book coding is very clean and tidy, which means they render very nicely under the iPad iBooks application as well as any other E-Ink reader (Sony Reader, Cybook OPUS, BeBook, etc.) and Apple apps such as Stanza.

As well as free EPUB books, I have a number of eReader reviews and also a resource for finding places to buy EPUB ebooks from (none work directly in iBooks but may do via 3rd party apps).

Transfer EPUB eBooks from epubBooks to the iBooks App

At the moment it doesn’t seem possible to just click a link on my site and have the book load directly into the iBooks App. Therefore, you’ll first need to download the book to your computer. Once you’ve done this just drag the file onto iTunes and then hit the “sync” button. The book will be available in iBooks on your iPad.

I’m constantly adding new titles to the site so hopefully everyone will find something they enjoy.

EPUB books now available at Project Gutenberg

It was only a few months ago that Project Gutenberg announced an effort to make mobile all editions of their titles available. This was big news, however, in my eyes the latest eBook format to be released by PG is even bigger news.

Project Gutenberg has now made almost all their titles available in the industry ebook standard EPUB and all are DRM free (Digital Rights Management)!

Although EPUB has only embraced as an eBook standard within the last 12 months it has been embraced by many big names including; Sony, Google, Penguin, Harper Collins and Adobe, to name but a few. There are also many EPUB readers available, both software and hardware, that can read books in this format.

For all you gadget lovers, you can read EPUB formatted books on;

  • iPhone and iPod Touch using the very popular Stanza Reader.
  • Google Android and other Linux-based mobile devices using FBReader
  • Sony Reader PRS-505 and PRS-700
  • Apple iPad with many apps; iBooks, Bluefire, Kobo, etc.

Although the Amazon Kindle does not read EPUB files natively, there are several popular programs (Calibre) that will convert our EPUB files so that they can be read on your Kindle device.

There’s also a number of desktop readers such as the wonderful Calibre eBook Management program, and the Stanza Desktop reader.

Onlines readers such as the excellent ibisReader/Bookworm (an online reading application hosted by O’Reilly) allow you to upload your own EPUB books and read them from any computer or mobile device which has a web browser and internet connection – this also includes the Amazon Kindle!

Project Gutenberg Experimental EPUB

It must be stated that at this time, the PG EPUB books should be considered experimental. It’s a huge task to convert  the entire PG collection, so many may be either buggy or not actually work at all.

The EPUB files are generated automatically from the HTML version, if there is one, otherwise the Plain Text file is used. In this case the conversion program must guess at the structure of the text, so it is more than likely that the EPUB book will contain some formatting errors. These can include verse lines running together or paragraphs being marked as headers. Still, they are very readable.

EPUB eBook Reading Software

There are a number of other readers out there so you might want to search around to find your preferred software.

Apple iPhone, Stanza and Project Gutenberg

With the introduction of the Stanza eBook reading application the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch have become major platforms on which to read eBooks. Since Stanza was released there have been several other eBook readers released for the iPod Touch allowing eBooks in many different file formats (including the ePub eBook standard) to be downloaded from any one of the many sources that have both free (public domain) and commercial eBook titles.

The goal of my own personal project is to provide Project Gutenberg eBooks formatted in the ePub eBook standard and make freely available from epubBooks.com. Because of this I knew I would need to test how my conversions look on an iPhone or iPod Touch, therefore I decided to purchase an iPod Touch.

I’m not a fanatic of Apple so as you can imagine, I wasn’t really expecting much from the iPod Touch other to test my ePub formatted books and listening to music.

I won’t go into too many details in this review about the different Apple apps available on the iPhone/Touch (there are already plenty of other reviews like that) as I want to keep this focused on the eBook aspects, specifically targeting Project Gutenberg fans.

During the review I will only be focussing on the iPod Touch but it must be noted that the Touch is exactly the same as the iPhone, just without the cellular phone abilities or persistent internet access. So anything that can be done with the iPod Touch should also be available on the iPhone.
Continue reading Apple iPhone, Stanza and Project Gutenberg

BeBook eBook Reader

I had been reading some very interesting things about the BeBook eBook Reader, so when it arrived in the mail, I was not disappointed. On the surface this reader from Endless Ideas BV is pretty much the same as any other. However, once you start to get a little more involved you soon realise that this is a pretty cool device with some great features that make it stand out from the rest.

As with most E-Ink readers the BeBook also uses the newer Vizplex screen technology, which gives a much brighter and faster screen. To help in displaying your books it comes bundled with its own font which gives a very solid text.

There are the normal three sizes of fonts available, although this device implements them in a slightly different way to others. At the maximum zoom setting the display switches to landscape view – this actually makes sense. If you really need the maximum font size then viewing in landscape mode will actually give a more satisfying reading experience, very clever – and particularly useful for those technical PDF documents.

One of the most common issues people have when buying a dedicated reader is regarding eBook formats and whether they will still be able to read their purchases if they change devices in the future. Well, to help relieve these concerns Endless Ideas BV have not only enabled the BeBook to view MobiPocket [DRM protected] eBooks, but also EPUB, PDF, Microsoft LIT, CHM, HTML and a plethora of other formats. Giving you more choice in where you buy your books from.

Continue reading BeBook eBook Reader

UK Release of the Sony Reader PRS-505

So here we are, just over a week until Waterstones start shipping out those lovely new Sony Reader PRS-505’s to all us UK residents!

This is going to be the first E-Ink reader from one of the big boys to enter the UK market . The Sony Reader has been getting substantial coverage in mainstream media of late, so it will be interesting to see what the take up will be. If forums such as MobileRead are anything to go by then there will be quite a demand.

Don’t know what the Sony Reader Digital Book (PRS-505) is?

The Sony Reader is an electronic book reader that uses an E-Ink screen to give a paper like reading experience. The Reader can hold around 160 books in its 250MB internal memory, but by using the two memory slots (10GB) you could potentially hold 10,000 books. If you don’t think you could fill this then remember that the Gutenberg.org archives have over 20,000 English language books to download for free!! Continue reading UK Release of the Sony Reader PRS-505

Waterstones: first to sell Sony Reader in the UK

Waterstones UK Book ShopGreat news for all us UK based eBook lovers. Sony are finally releasing their Reader Digital Book (PRS-505) to the UK market!

Sony have partnered with the UK book store Waterstones, who will start selling the Reader from 3rd September 2008 for £199 – available for Pre-Order (see below). This costs a little more than the U.S. version, which sells for $299 (approx. £150). Now we are seeing eBook readers entering the high street let’s hope the prices will start tumbling.

The Reader uses an E-Ink Screen, which gives the user a paper like reading experience. You can store around 160 books in the memory and the battery will last for around 6,800 page turns. I myself have the older PRS-500 model and probably only have to charge it once every couple of weeks.

If you are concerned about buying Sony’s propriety eBook format then not to worry, you can also read ePub formatted books as well as PDF files. The .epub format is fast becoming an industry standard and many publishers are releasing their titles in this format, Penguin and HarperColins are just two publishers.

You will be able to buy books from Waterstones.com – all the titles sold at Waterstones will be in the ePub format. There are now a number of software and hardware readers which support the ePub format, so all your purchases will be readable in the years to come, no matter which hardware you then have.

If you wish to read public domain books there are plenty of free ebook sites like epubBooks, which has all titles available in the ePub and Kindle MOBI format.

All the Project Gutenberg eBooks can be read on the Sony Reader. Just download any .txt file and drag onto you reader using the provided software – it really is that easy.

In the future we are hopeful that Sony will release their Reader in other European countries; perhaps Germany will be next.

Sony Reader Digital Book is available to buy from Waterstones.com and Sony.

IDPF Names New Executive Director: Michael Smith

Michael Smith to Promote eBook Standards for Publishing and Digital Reading

IDPF LogoNew York, NY 11/20/07 – The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the international trade and standards association for the eBook and digital publishing industry has named Michael Smith its new executive director. As executive director Michael Smith is responsible for leading the operational and strategic efforts of the IDPF and reports to its nine member Board of Directors. The IDPF (www.IDPF.org) is comprised of approximately 100 leading publishing, technology, and non-profit companies and organizations.

“Michael Smith brings to the IDPF over 20 years of book publishing and print production expertise,” stated Steve Potash, IDPF President and CEO of OverDrive, Inc. “Mr. Smith is well prepared to advance the interests of publishers, technologists, and readers by evangelizing the adoption of IDPF standards for electronic reading applications and products,” Potash added. Prior to joining the IDPF Mr. Smith was employed by Toronto based romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. where he managed eBook and book production servicing North America, UK and Australian markets.

“It’s an exciting time in the evolution of electronic publishing to be devoting my energies to the mission of the IDPF,” said Michael Smith, Executive Director of the IDPF. “I look forward to working with the stakeholders in the IDPF community for the development of new standards, business and use models, and enhanced electronic reading experiences for consumers of all ages,” stated Mr. Smith.

Earlier this year the IDPF published its “.epub” file format standard, alleviating many of the previous file interoperability and production issues affecting the eBook industry and its customers. Several leading publishing and reading technology companies and organizations have already implemented .epub into their products and workflows. For more information about the new IDPF standards please see: http://www.idpf.org/specs.htm.

OPS 2.0 is now an official IDPF standard

IDPF LogoNick Bogaty, Executive Director of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) has announced on the IDPF Forums that OPS 2.0 has been Elevated to Official IDPF Standard.

The specifications can be found here and supporting documentation, implementation and tools on the entire .epub standard can be found on the IDPF Forums.

Voting to elevate the specification closed on 2400 EST on Monday, September 10th. All votes by IDPF members in good standing were counted. On August 27th, the start of the voting period, there were 89 IDPF members eligible to vote. The ballot was conducted via a remote material vote requiring a super-majority (or two-thirds) of the number of votes cast to approve the Proposed Document. The established quorum was 45 members and the established super-majority was 45 FOR votes.

The vote count is as follows:

Votes FOR 59
Votes AGAINST 0
Votes ABSTAIN 9

The required quorum and super-majority of votes was met and OPS 2.0 was elevated to a Recommended Specification.

.epub is an open eBook standard that has the potential to revolutionise the eBook Industry. There have been many discussions on the TeleRead site, including some .epub tips and a discussion on the pros and cons of the standard which should give you a nice flavour of what it’s about.