amalthia: Stephanie Brown Batgirl (Stephanie Brown Batgirl)
I've seen more requests on how to use Calibre plugins to download fic from archives into Calibre and how to merge series into a single file. This tutorial will first cover how to install plugins. As well as how to use the plugin Fanfiction Downloader to download fic from archives into Calibre and then the use of the plugin Epubmerge to merge series into a single file.

Install plugins )
How to setup Fanfiction Downloader )
How to use Fanfiction Downloader )
Epubmerge )
amalthia: (Supernatural Sam Evil)
This weekend I spent far too much time trying to figure out how to automate some tasks in Calibre. Normally I have to use Bulk edit metadata to remove all my tags, then select stories one by one to add a cover, especially if I have a group of stories from various fandoms.

What I learned this weekend fixed all of that and I posted my findings at [ profile] fanfic_ebooks

Calibre FFDL Plugin - Replace Metadata and Generate Cover automatically
amalthia: (Last Unicorn Butterfly)
Five years after Fagin was hanged in Newgate, Oliver Twist finds employment in a well-respected haberdashery. Oliver then meets up with Jack Dawkins (The Artful Dodger). Oliver's own inability to let go of his past, as well as his renewed and intimate acquaintance with Jack, take him back to the life he thought he'd left behind. This is a sequel to Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens


I hadn't read Oliver Twist since I read the cliff notes back in middle school and watched the movie, so I can't say if the characters were in character or not, but they felt like real people. The setting felt like a real place and time. The prose was rich in detail. The characters were multifaceted. I liked the character Jack and am curious to see where the story goes next. Parts of the story were hard for me to read because there isn't much happiness and people/orphan kids are treated horribly and talked down to all the time. The happy parts of the story are when Jack and Oliver have moments to be together without Oliver worrying so much about what other people think of him. However, in the world they live in I can't blame the guy for being paranoid. He is the product of his times and his times were harsh to anyone not in the upper middle class.

This review does a great job of describing what I liked about the story. The review also gives more details of the plot.

Ebook locations:
Barnes and Nobles
amalthia: (Nightwing Flies)
My friend wrote a novel, Fagin's Boy, and is self publishing it. She commissioned me to make the ebook versions. It was an eye opening experience and a time consuming one. I had never made an ebook with the intent of sharing it in the market place. I learned far more about how .epub and .mobipocket work, validation requirements, and font embedding.

For anyone interested, this is the summary from Smashwords.

Five years after Fagin was hanged in Newgate, Oliver Twist finds employment in a well-respected haberdashery. Oliver then meets up with Jack Dawkins (The Artful Dodger). Oliver's own inability to let go of his past, as well as his renewed and intimate acquaintance with Jack, take him back to the life he thought he'd left behind. This is a sequel to Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Barnes and Nobles
amalthia: (CareBears2)
Covers for Fanfiction Lovers I'm sort of hoping someone who is into Avengers and Teen Wolf participate in the thread and share their covers.
amalthia: (Merlin Morgana)
Changing Mindsets: Digital Publishing is Not Simply a PDF I hope more Supernatural fan fiction authors (okay and any other author who thinks PDF is a good format) would read this before they only share a PDF single file version of their fic. I think at this stage in fandom I know many fans who are reading fics on a variety of devices where the PDF format ruins the flow of an author's story. (in the sense that weird stuff happens to fics in PDF format when read on small screens)
amalthia: (Angel Illyria)
I think it's safe to say one of my favorite new TV shows that came out this year was No Ordinary Family. I loved the dialogue, the powers each character has, and it had some very funny moments. I also loved all the other side characters and am looking forward to next season. I'm not sure this show is going to be a fandom hit because there are no real slash pairings.

And in other news, SPN Big Bang summaries are up for artists to claim. I was quite surprised that there are 244 stories for this year's big bang. I think I forget that while I may have moved on a bit not everyone else did!

This year I'm still offering to create ebook versions for any SPN Big Bang author who would like an ebook version of their story to share.

With my busy summer school workload I'm not sure I'll have time to read much of any of this year's SPN Big Bang stories. I think I'm going to limit myself to authors that post their fic to the A03 or share their stories in a single file HTML/Word Document. Basically, a single file document that is not PDF.

If authors are sharing PDFs thinking that's what people with Kindles and Nooks want then I think it's because they aren't reading PDFS on these devices so they don't see what a 8x11 sized PDF looks like on a 4x6 screen. Trust me, we don't want PDFS. We want HTML or mobi/epub. Word docs work too. They at least convert to epub and mobi more cleanly than PDF and with less formatting errors.

Don't get me wrong there is an audience for PDFs, it's just not the same audience that's reading on portable devices. (or at least not people who've been reading on portable devices long enough to see that PDFS suck ass)

For the love of god and for the love of those who are swamped with school work/working full time, please provide easier to access to your fics.

Just the thought of another year of over 200 stories longer than 20k words being posted only on LJ makes me want to cry. Some people are good at it. They can get 20k words posted in 2 parts, some need 20 LJ posts to share 20k words.

For the sake of my sanity and stress levels I think I'm going to have to stick authors that post at A03/other archive or offer an alternate single file download. Because I don't think this email will have an effect on how people decide to post their fics.
amalthia: (Angel)
I know it's been forever since I posted but I've been busy with school and reading lots of DCU fan fiction. (recs will be coming up soon)

What brings me to write today is the sad demise of my beloved PRS-650. It's not technically dead it's just all the buttons when pressed cause my device to enter standby mode and the battery is draining much faster than it should.

I'm not sure what caused this change in the button behavior of the device but after calling Sony Support and talking with a friendly guy from India I'm exchanging my device for a refurbished unit. I hope this one lasts longer than my current model. The only thing bothers me is that it still costs me 30 dollars. I don't know why devices can't break during the 90 day warranty period instead of waiting half a year in. Having said that 30 dollars is much less than buying a whole new reader so I hope the new device works out well.
amalthia: (Beauty)
Amazon Fails, Again!

I rarely buy books but I had bought a book with the expectation that I could go back and re-download it later, only to find out that it's gone for good, I'd be rather pissed off. I also don't think it's a good idea for bookstores to start removing books they find questionable. It wouldn't be so bad if they stated why they were removing the books, refunded their customers their purchase, and fairly removed ALL books that had the questionable content.

Other people more articulate than myself have spoken about this in other locations but I find it offensive when people make judgment calls on what I like to read for fun and as pure fantasy. Having said that I guess it's human nature, I make judgment calls on anyone who'd buy a Sarah Palin book. Not sure I can throw stones on that one, but when a business gets into our private business it makes me uncomfortable.
amalthia: (Children of Dune Leto and Ghanima)
A few revisions/updates ago Calibre added the ability to tweak epubs. So this means I can explode the epub, edit the css stylesheet/html code and then rebuild the epub. In the past when I had tried to edit epub files I'd have to use Sigil (which I never quite got used to) or I'd unzip the epub and muck about with the contents and then I never could get it to rezip into an epub.

Now I can edit within calibre (using Notepad ++) which is awesome! :)
amalthia: (Supernatural Sam)
Since I got my new Sony ebook reader I've been adding images and stuff to the screensaver folder so when my device goes to sleep I have something I'd prefer to look at vs the default landscapes that came with my device.

Another community brought up screensavers for Kindles and Nooks and asked to share what people have come up with so I added my screensavers to photobucket. On the Sony you don't have to resize to 600x400 or greyscale the picture, the device does it for you. So most of these are untouched and I got a few from those sharing at the community.

For anyone interested here are the screensavers that I currently have on my device.
amalthia: (Supernatural Sam Evil)

Fortress by glasslogic (Sam/Dean) INSTANT REC!!! This story caught me from page one and kept me reading way past my regular bedtime. I loved the characters, the premise, and the writing style. You should skip my ramblings at the end of the post and go straight to the story.

Sing Your Hymns Like Angels In Defeat by leonidaslion (Sam/Dean) INSTANT REC!!! I got tears in my eyes more than once reading this story. I loved Sam and Dean's character voices, the premise, and how the story ended.

In Arcadia Ego by glasslogic (Sam/Dean) I loved the character voices in this story and I'd really love a sequel. This is the first Sam and Dean aren't brothers fic I've ever read and I didn't think I'd like them not being brothers but I gave it a shot and I'm glad I took a chance becuase I could not stop reading this story either.

Funny Thing About Denial by dragonspell (Sam/Dean) I loved the angry sex aspect of the story a lot. :)

Stargate Atlantis

How Not to Fly by Toomuchplor (Sheppard/McKay) INSTANT REC!!! I had a blast reading this story. Sheppard and McKay's character voices were spot on, I loved the kids, and I got tears in my eyes more than once. Wonderful storytelling.

In other news, I'm in love with my PRS-650. I added about 15 screen savers, mostly a combination of my favorite Battlestar Galactica and Supernatural wallpapers mixed with book cover artwork from Michael Whelan. (the guy that did the cover art for Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, and the cover art for Joan D. Vinge's Snow Queen trilogy. I'm keeping an eye out for Legend of the Seeker artwork. I realized that dark hair does not show up so well in black and white so it looks like I'll need Cara wallpapers. (not a hardship at all because she's so beautiful) I like having a good mix but I don't want to go overboard either because the images take up a good amount of space.

The Touch Screen is also easy to use and responsive. But I think what impressed me most is that I added over 1000 ebooks to the device and it came back up in 3 minutes. On my PRS-505 if I were to do that it would take 30-45 minutes before I could even use my device.

I also love how the epub looks, the horrible side number on the margin is gone, it uses regular page numbers, and the fonts are crisp. I'm currently waiting for my cover to arrive before I start reading on my new device but so far I think I'm happy with it. I also love that the internal memory is 1.4gigs. I still have about 600 MB of free space left which is nice. It means I won't have to use my 2 gig microsd card for a long time.

I made it through the week, got my assignment 3 of doom completed with 3 hours to spare, finished my 3 day midterm today, and this weekend I have no assignments or tasks due. Which means I should get a start on assignment 4 but it's nice to know I have at least 8 days before I have another deadline.
amalthia: (Legend of the Seeker Kahlan beautiful)
This post is to help anyone who'd like to modify the style or look of the epubs downloaded at the A03 Archive.

I made a new "Extra CSS" code to use in Calibre to convert the A03 epubs to epub. I also found out how to remove underlines on the Chapter links and turn the font back. The purpose of the reconverting is to remove the blank paragraph space and replace it a indent at the start of a new paragraph. During the tests I also found out how to remove the underline on the Chapters so it looks more like a heading and less like a link. That was something I found kind of neat because the links still work. :) But they don't look like links.

Here is the code:

body { margin: 0; }
a {text-decoration: none; color: black;}
a [href] {text-decoration: none; color: black;}
p {margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; padding: 0pt; text-indent: 15pt; text-align: justify;}
h1 { text-align: center;}
h2 {text-align: center; }
h3 { text-align: center;}
h4 { text-align: center; }
h5 { text-align: center; }
h6 { text-align: center; }

And here's more information on the Look and Feel section of Calibre.

I've found that converting epub2epub gave me the best results.

I wasn't sure if I was the only one that preferred indents over the space but just in case I thought I should share.

I do not know how this would work for mobipocket downloaded files. I did test mobi to epub and it did not turnout well. I did not test mobi2mobi conversion.

All in all, this is 100x quicker than my previous method of formatting stories. :)
amalthia: (Stargate Atlantis Sheppard 2)
One of my on-going projects is to convert all the RTF files hosted at the Ebook Library into Epub and Mobipocket format.

RTF did not as I had originally hoped become the default format for e-ink devices and other portable readers. However, before I'd realized this sad fact I had already added hundreds of stories to the Ebook Library that are only really compatible for a limited range of devices that do support RTF. (Sony, Pocketbook Pro, Cybook, and a few other smaller brands)

I've been jumping around the site randomly picking authors and fandoms to convert and it's slow going because I'm also trying to add new stories at the same time. But it's going...

If anyone has any requests for an epub or mobipocket version of a story that is currently only in RTF, please let me know. I'll add that fic to the top of the list. This would be a first come first serve conversion queue.

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