T Nation

E-Books in PDFs


While I understand that Amazon and several other larger sites need to convert their offerings to fit into specific devices, I recently assembled several articles I've written into a very lovely compilation and am quite dissatisfied with how it looks.

I was hoping to actually maintain the lovely use of images and spacing.

Anyone familiar with alternative avenues that would allow me to maintain the original articles as they first appeared?





While it's cool to see it up, it's not the cover I originally designed, nor is the inside just a simple reprinting of my articles as I had envisioned. Certainly something to keep in mind if I continue to use Amazon for future publishing I suppose. I would just prefer a better alternative.



I bought the book. I see what you mean about the formatting.


It looks as if the formatting changes depending on the zoom level.

What file format did you submit the ebook in?


If that's the case, then it's something using responsive design, which I didn't even know portable documents used.


Maybe adobe captivate? With that I just exceeded my knowledge of adobe products...lol

The cover image does look terrible with the added graphics.


Yeah maybe.


You'll need to re-work your PDF into fixed-layout format before conversion to Kindle.


1.20$ ?

Will buy, dont care what it looks like.

Have bought, formatting could be better, is not terrible.


I had originally just done the individual pieces as Word Docs, with very controlled formating and images. Then, I read that I needed to create exact page breaks before converting to pdf. I noticed the footers got screwed up, and the water marks I had on some pages (understandably) vanished.

What really bothered me though, is the crummy cover page. I didn't go too crazy designing my own original piece, just a few images I put together with a very basic, straight forward text layout. Unfortunately I didn't do it as a Jpeg, so I couldn't upload it.

Certainly a learning experienmce for when I finish the in depth pieces I have in the works, but still. Hopefully my little attempt at some very inexpensive PR will be remembered more for "that Stu guy really shed some light on some very common questions" than "that Stu guy really messed up his formating" -lol.



I honestly did not even notice your front page, some headings were just on the ending of one page where they should have been on the beginning of the next, some pictures where not the right size and whatnot.

But, quite frankly, in your case, while I understand your wish for flawless formatting, which will come in time, I am looking for content.

Moar content, less formatting insecurities.


Stu practices IIFYM*

*If It Fits Your Margins


I am with this. E-books allow a little more leeway in organization, grammar, sentence structure, layout, and so on because they are made to target niche crowds, and these crowds want solid content, not perfection. I still think quality in the those things are important though.


I certainly agree guys. It's funny, but I have a few e-books I purchased a long while back and recently dug 'em up out of curiosity Now while some truly provided very little in the way of information (something that upset me greatly at the time - after paying $20 a piece!), I figured the ridiculous looking margins and awkward spacing was just poor quality and an attempt to stretch what could have been a 3 page write up into a 30 page paper -lol.

Some sites on converting and formating expressed the nature of the e-book reader, and varying set ups, concluding that even the best traditionally published books can suffer from some formatting issues when converted to E-platforms.

Live and learn I suppose. I'd still prefer to get the actual pdf out if I can find a better alternative. Seeing how profesional looking my original 15 page piece looked (with normal margins!) and comparing to how different it looks with the 3.5" typing area for a Kindle,.. it's just shocking.



I think you could try using a program like calibre to reformat it into whatever media you want just so you could see how your work looks. I know I've bought a couple of pdfs that I then reformatted into epub or whatever it is kindle uses just so the formatting would improve. It may help you start to clean things up a bit or at least give you an idea of how things are?

If I'm way off base in what the problem is then feel free to ignore this. My brain isn't operating correctly today.


Most ebooks formats are all based around "responsive design", scaling the content to the viewing platform. They generally have some basic constructs like "header", "paragraph", "bold", "quote", but the rest of the display is usually up to the platform.

Some of the early work into separating content from formatting was in the SGML world, before XML (and XHTML). TEI was probably the most significant project from back then: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Text_Encoding_Initiative

But these days, ebook content can be all over the place and I think it takes some work to make sure your formatting matches the expected device defaults.

As a content creator, you have to give up some layout flexibility in order to let this stuff scale dynamically.


Calibre is probably one of the better epub tools out there. Once you have an epub, you should be able to convert it to something Kindle compatible. I'm not sure how Amazon handles all of that.


THere are quite a few "converters" and "creators" out there. Hard to get really good reviews before buying though. I'm not really looking to create from scratch with interactive elements, simply keep my already created content as presentable as posible.

Any thoughts on this?

It says it can convert from PDFs, which is how I always create and distribute my pieces.




Great file converter for MANY uses.