Thursday, January 1, 2009

Choosing an eBook Compiler

Ok we've been learning about eBooks and how to use them.
So lets begin step 3

What is an eBook compiler?

You've written and revised your ebook, hired an artist
who has produced outstanding graphics, and now you're
ready to actually put together your ebook. What you
need to make an ebook is software called an ebook
Compiler.


There are many different compilers to chose from, but
first, you need to know exactly what an ebook Compiler
does. Here is the simple explanation:

An ebook compiler is a software program that converts
either text pages or HTML text into a single
executable file or an ebook.

If you or someone you hired has created a file with
graphics in HTML, you will need an HTML ebook
Compiler. This type of compiler requires a working
knowledge of the HTML tag language. You can also use
software to do this for you, such as Microsoft
FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver.

How do you choose an eBook Compiler?

There are a large number of ebook Compilers available
on the market, all with glowing sales copy and tekkie
language. It can get very confusing and overwhelming
very fast without some simple guidelines to help you
figure out which compiler is right for you.

Choosing an ebook Compiler depends on a number of
factors:

1. How did you create your pages? Did you use HTML or
PDF format? There are many more compilers available
for HTML, but you can find some very good compilers
that will covert your PDF files into an ebook.

2. Consider how easy the program is to use and the
thoroughness of the software's instruction manual. It
is absolutely necessary that the compiler you buy have
an instructional manual, documentation, or online
"wizards." If it doesn't, your chances of figuring out
how to correctly use the program are compromised, and
the time required doing so is going to be significant.
Many manufacturers of compilers offer a free trial
version so you can play around with it and see if it
suits your needs. Download the trial version and
ascertain that it actually does what it claims to do.

3. Security features. If you plan to sell your ebook,
check out the security features of the compiler
software carefully. Security features should include:
prevention of the reader from modifying text, access
only to the pages you assign or by entering a
password, different ways of generating passwords such
as secure passwords, user-friendly, and open
passwords.

4. Supported scripting. Find out what scripts the
software supports. Scripting allows you to create
special effects, customize menus, and create and
modify other user interactivity. Choose a compiler
that permits you to include graphics, search windows,
hyperlinks, forms, surveys, etc.

5. Pricing. This is a factor that is not always easy
to gauge. The highest priced compilers are not
automatically your best choice. Choose your compiler
based on the necessary requirements for your Ebook.
That means you need to know exactly how you plan to
use your Ebook and what functions you require.

Let's look at some of these factors in more detail.
First of all, make sure you have the correct browser
to run the compiler. The majority of HTML compilers
use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape. Check out
the version that the compiler supports. Compilers that
require a browser will not run on a computer that does
not have the required browser installed. However,
there are ebook HTML compilers that don't require you
to have any browser installed on your computer. These
compilers run on any Windows system.

If you choose a compiler that requires a browser,
check to ascertain that the browser is installed
correctly and that it is properly configured to the
specifications of the compiler. Check to see if
certain functions are turned off or on, and make any
adjustments according to the compiler instructions.

Security is an essential element of any compiler,
regardless of whether you plan to sell or give away
your ebook. One of the main reasons for using a
compiler is to prevent the reader from modifying the
contents. A secure compiler allows access only to the
pages you want the user to access unless they enter a
correct password.

To find out how secure an ebook HTML compiler is, open
an ebook on it. While it is open, check the temporary
directory of your computer. This can usually be
accessed by typing in C:\Windows\temp. If you see a
bunch of files when your ebook is open or running, it
means that your computer is decompressing the secure
data from your ebook before showing the ebook to the
viewer. This method is not secure! It means that
anyone with the knowledge of how to access these
temporary files can steal the secure data and then
they can fiddle with your ebook to their evil heart's
desire. Remember, one of the main purposes of buying
and using an HTML compiler is to protect your
property. (Continued on Page Two)

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