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What should you know to create eBooks?

The entire process of creating eBooks can be divided into two stages:

  1. creating and preparing eBook pages
  2. compiling files into an executable application

Therefore, to create an eBook, you should know:

  1. how to create pages linked by hyperlinks using the HTML language
  2. how the EBook Maestro compiler works

We hope that you already have the knowledge and skills necessary to create HTML pages so we will move over to the compiler at once. If you have never created HTML pages and you do not know how they are created, we strongly recommend that you fill this gap. A lot of resources are devoted to HTML and you will not have any difficulties in finding learning material.

So. It is the compiler that is entrusted with the responsibility of packing all eBook files into one executable file.

This executable file includes three virtual file «containers» (eBooks created with EBook Maestro STANDARD or FREE have two «containers»). Actually, there are more of them, but you will mostly work with three of them.

The first one is used for eBook files. All pages, images, multimedia files and other files you want to offer your readers are stored here.
The second one contains auxiliary files. For instance, it can be a page with the table of contents or with bookmarks for quick navigation.
The third one contains protected files. These files can be decrypted and read only after the reader registers the eBook and enters the key. (Not available in EBook Maestro FREE / STANDARD).

In order to create an eBook, it is enough just to fill the first «container». The second and the third ones are optional.

The main window of the eBook contains the Main Panel and the optional Left Panel. The Main Panel displays pages from the first and third «containers», while the Left Panel displays pages from the second one.

That is how the window of the user's manual compiled with Ebook Maestro looks like:

EBook Example Screenshot

In this case there is a HTML page with the table of contents in the second «container» (the one that is for the Left Panel), while all the rest of pages are in the first one (for the Main Panel). Hyperlinks on the page with the table of contents refer to HTML pages from the first «container». Thus, when the user clicks any of these links, the corresponding page opens in the Main Panel.

So what do you need to create an eBook?

It's all easy! In order to compile and create an executable eBook file, you should show the compiler the directory with files for the Main Panel and, if necessary, the subdirectory for the Left Panel and the subdirectory with protected files. The compiler will pack and encrypt all files and you will get a standalone eBook application.

You should take the following requirements into account when preparing eBook files:

  1. Since ALL files from the directory will be included into the eBook, make sure there are no unnecessary files.
  2. Files for the Left Panel must be located in a separate subdirectory of the main directory. For instance, if eBook files are located in the directory 'C:\MyEBooks\FirstEBook', files for the Left Panel can be located in 'C:\MyEBooks\FirstEBook\TableOfContents'.
  3. Protected files must be also located in a separate subdirectory of the main directory. For instance, if eBook files are located in the directory 'C:\MyEBooks\FirstEBook', protected files can be located in 'C:\MyEBooks\FirstEBook\Protected'.
  4. Since after the compilation absolute links become invalid, all hyperlinks between files must be relative.

Other lessons/articles:

- EBook creation steps
- Compiling eBooks with eBook Maestro
- Protecting an eBook directory so that the user has to register to get access to its files
- How to organize receiving payments, to get money for registering your eBook?
- How to turn a flash game into a profitable product?

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