Creating a PDF file which is capable of converting into an Apple iBookstore ePub file or an Amazon Kindle mobi file can be quite challenging. These step by step instructions help you through the many hurdles.
I did this processing as part of a 7 hour project to see how long it would take me to create an ebook from start to finish and get it onto Apple's iBookstore and Amazon's Kindle stores. I began the process at 5pm. It was now 8:44pm and I was tackling the main obstacle in the process - getting my PDF file to convert properly into the industry standard ePub format that both the Apple iBookstore and Amazon Kindle systems use as their input.
IMPORTANT NOTE: the Apple / Barnes & Noble feeds via Lulu with BOTH reject your novel if it does not have initial capital letters for the title and author name. So if you decided to be artsy and have all lower case letters in your name, you will be rejected. Make sure you have initial capital letters for all parts of your title and that your cover matches.
My focus right now was on the Apple iBookstore since once I handled one the other would be a quick addition. I decided to use Lulu as my system to create the iBookstore entry since it's free and fairly straightforward to use. So, in Lulu, I started a new project, and chose ebook. I called my ebook Quick, No-Cook Low Carb Recipes. I let Lulu give me an ISBN for my ebook. And I prepare to upload.
If you somehow skipped my previous steps, make sure you read Creating an ePub File to get your ePub as perfect as possible. This is what you'll upload here into Lulu and into the other systems as well!
If you get any errors on the upload stage, read the ePub instruction page on ways to validate and tweak your ePub file.
Finishing Up the iBookstore Entry
The ebook was happily in the system! OK time for a cover. They want it 612 pixels wide by 792 pixels high. I can do that. I loaded up my cover in this new size. That at least was easy. I gave it the same key words as on my physical print-on-demand Lulu book - "Quick low carb, No-Cook low carb, Low Carb, low carb Recipes". I also used the same description as before. Here it is below. Remember, a description is your one-chance billboard to explain why THEY need to buy your book. Don't write it about why you want to sell it. Imagine you're the reader. Write it so they want to buy it.
In the years that I've been writing about low carb, the top issue I've heard from my visitors is that they simply don't have time to cook healthy meals. They are too busy with work, with family, and with other activities.
The result is that we eat junk food at home, and when we go out to eat we often settle for unhealthy fast food restaurants. Every day we end up damaging our own health. We sap away our energy levels, we cause sleepless nights, and we set ourselves up for long term health damage.
This 74 page book presents easy ideas for preparing quick, healthy meals that you will love. Every recipe can be made without cooking. Even if you're at an office without a microwave, even if you're in a college dorm, you can make these healthy foods and keep your body energized and happy. From oriental cucumber salads to homemade salsa, from smoked salmon to cheese plates, this book provides a variety of options to keep your palate tantalized.
Get the perfect idea for your meal tonight and all month long!
I did NOT include DRM - the copyright protection - on the file. I set the price to 99 cents. I wanted to list it for free but that would make it ineligible for the Apple iBookstore.
Done! The book is now live and available on Lulu and apparently soon on iBookstore. Note that the iBookstore requires you to have a table of contents as part of your document.
Lulu Error Messages
If you get an error from Lulu when uploading your file, don't panic. They can pretty much all be fixed. Go to the Threepress Validation Tool and it will tell you exactly which file has an error in it. Then use Sigil to open up your ePub and you'll be able to see the inner file that is causing a problem. Most of the time you can see exactly where the line is and fix it. Sigil also has a built in validator that also helps you find and fix those errors.
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