Ok, e-books

Let’s start with some bullshit talk to tell you how this topic started. Feel free to skip it if you’re not curious.
Personally, I’m not the kind of person who reads books not related to IT; think I can count all books I read throughout my lifetime and there are no more than 10, but this is not something to be proud of. Anyway, since all my books are IT related and I mainly read them in front of a computer, after having some sleep issues last year, I decided I need to read something else before going to bed. Well, before falling asleep… So, I bought a Kindle e-book reader, yey!

Next issue, what a hell to read?! My wife only reads crime novels, so she couldn’t help in this matter. Although I thought about reading what she reads, mainly to see if she’ll prepare me something to eat from a crime book we’re good though, just had our 9th wedding anniversary!
I remember that when I was a kid I read something from Jules Verne, in Russian, and I liked it… Searching the web for some e-books I found a very nice webstore (www.bestseller.md) from Moldova that offers lots of free e-books. I downloaded a few and started reading in bed. That’s what I started with, Jules verne. It was so boring, I started falling asleep within minutes; mission accomplished!
After few chapters things started to get interesting in the book so I was reading more and more each day. I finished the book and I was proud of my fantastic achievement, lol.

I started the second book, also from Jules Verne, downloaded from same website (thanks, guys!). Here things started moving from reading side to IT side… mainly because first book I read had a nice handy feature that let me know how many minutes I have from current chapter or book. The second one, didn’t. It only said how much I have till end of the book. Well, well, well… why, what’s wrong?! I started digging… and this means I was no longer reading before going to bed, instead I was web-ing over this issue. Apparently, this second .mobi file was not formatted properly, specifically its chapters. Hmm…

Reading more and more about e-books, and how they’re created and published, seemed interestingly so I started testing how this works. I found no real step by step guide on how to do it. Lot’s of general articles covering this on a high level with steps to follow, blah, blah and in the end asking you to buy their e-books where they explain everything step by step. Well, gracias, what can I say.

Then I stumbled upon one publisher’s website with some info online (posted way back in 2013) and the rest of it in the e-book sold on Amazon (updated in January 2018). It was cheap, so I bought it. Of course, my eagle eyes immediately found many typos and errors in the book, that I emailed author about but… anyway, let’s get back to the point. Overall, that book is enough to get you started. Since I’m an IT guy, it was easy for me to understand everything, especially HTML and CSS things. Reading that book, I understood that this is what an e-book is all about – HTML, CSS and some XML. In fact, did you know that if you take an .epub file and change the extension to .zip, you will have an archive with everything in it (css file, html file, table of contents etc.)!? When I found out about it, I felt just like I did last decade – holy cow! This was when Microsoft first introduced their new XML based files (docx, xlsx etc.), and someone showed in a training that if you rename .docx to .zip, you get a nice structured zip file. technology, I love it!
Enough talking, let’s get started. Head of over to my next post, Creating an e-book. Part 1.

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