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Converting a book to online

     
1:41 am on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What are your options when converting a book (Word doc) to an online format?
2:54 am on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Not sure I understand your question. Are you asking about converting the .doc file to .html (how to do that?) or is this about whether you need to own the rights to publish the Word.doc to html, or did I completely miss it?
3:09 am on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Simple answer is Word has a "save as" "web page" or "simple html" function(s) built in. That's generic for creating the text. You will have to go through it for any titles, pagination, etc you wish to style.

I do a lot of these. Others at WW do the same ... but in all cases the copyright either allows for that purpose or is public domain. Like not2easy suggests, do establish you have the right to present the content!
10:03 am on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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not2easy wrote:
"Not sure I understand your question. Are you asking about converting the .doc file to .html (how to do that?) or is this about whether you need to own the rights to publish the Word.doc to html, or did I completely miss it?"

Sorry f my OP was vague...

I was trying to ask "What formats are available to me?"

My plan was to convert my book (OO Writer) into a web page. I'm not sure how that compares to an "eBook"? And again, how else could I make it available online?
10:10 am on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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tangor wrote:
"Simple answer is Word has a "save as" "web page" or "simple html" function(s) built in. That's generic for creating the text. You will have to go through it for any titles, pagination, etc you wish to style.

I do a lot of these. Others at WW do the same ... but in all cases the copyright either allows for that purpose or is public domain. Like not2easy suggests, do establish you have the right to present the content!"


Copyright isn't an issue because I wrote the book!

But here is my concern...

The How-To book that I wrote is 1,000 pages. And I want to sell access to the book.

If I simply convert my book - written in OpenOffice Writer - to one HUGE html page, that would be unmanageable for readers for many reasons.

So how do I make it digestable?

(*NOTE: I am leery of creating a PDF or other formats like eBook - whatever that is - because it seems like it would be too easy for people to do priracy on.)

Even if I split the book up into chapters, I am afraid that making someone load a 40-50 page chapter would be too much. (That assumes someone at home with a high-speed Internet connection and desktop. Talking about things like mobile only makes matters worse.)

Lastly, even if I do split it up into say 25 chapters that are 40 pages each, that seems sort of messy if I am trying to make it so that only the person who paid has access to all of those pages?

Does that make more sense now?
2:00 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Look to secured pdf, each file uniquely passworded. Do it as one download. Even so, expect the pirates to have it all over the place as PDQ and you can say PDF. :(
2:18 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The conversion process is relatively easy, but, as indicated, theft is very likely in amateur self-publishing.

What's the reason for self-publishing?

What about going down the route of professional publishing?

Creating the documents is relatively easy, as indicated, but control is the issue for the creator.
7:24 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am afraid that making someone load a 40-50 page chapter would be too much
40-50 pages of text is nothing. The question is how many images go along with those pages. If you start with an ordinary dead-tree book, each page equates to 1-3k of HTML depending, obviously, on page size. But if it's heavily illustrated, the associated images can easily be 10 times the size of the text. (Cursory riffle through my ebooks directory suggests that my record is 7.3MB images accompanying 63k of html--plus a couple of stylesheets--for an “extra-illustrated”* book. That's a factor of not 10 but 100 to 1.)

Personally I start breaking things into multiple files when I pass 800k of html, less if there are a lot of images to load. It isn't only concern for the human user; every human request will cause your server to send out all those supporting files, even if the human turns out to be an idiot in {insert country name ad lib} who doesn't know how to use a search engine.


* Technical term for a process that is much easier and less destructive when done digitally.
4:30 am on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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tangor wrote:
"Look to secured pdf, each file uniquely passworded. Do it as one download. Even so, expect the pirates to have it all over the place as PDQ and you can say PDF."

If a secure PDF just has a password on it, then someone could share the password with 100 close friends.

But if I convert things to HTML and offer it as a paid subscription, a thief would have more work trying to re-distribute it, although it not impossible.
4:37 am on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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engine wrote:
"The conversion process is relatively easy, but, as indicated, theft is very likely in amateur self-publishing.

What's the reason for self-publishing?

What about going down the route of professional publishing?

Creating the documents is relatively easy, as indicated, but control is the issue for the creator."

I have written a couple of How-To guides, and I want to sell them on my website.

I could create an eBook like for Kindle and sell it on Amazon, but why give Amazon half of the profits?

Also, similar to a PDF, an ePub or whatever format is simply a standalone file, so even if someone buys the eBook what is to stop them from emailing it it to 100 close friends?

My thinking was this...

Convert my book from word do to an HTML page and then place it behind a paywall. A person can buy a license to the book, and after registering and logging into my site, then they have unlimited access to read the book.

I suppose then could copy the content or even the HTML and re-distribute it, but I don't think a casual thief (or mooch) would go to the trouble or even know how. (Whereas any idiot can forward a PDF attachment?!)

Make sense?

And I'm not sure how going to a publish would help protect me against piracy. (I mean a publisher would likely create a better looking book than what I can on my own, but that is another topic.)

Am I missing something in your suggestion?
4:45 am on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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lucy24 wrote:
40-50 pages of text is nothing. The question is how many images go along with those pages. If you start with an ordinary dead-tree book, each page equates to 1-3k of HTML depending, obviously, on page size. But if it's heavily illustrated, the associated images can easily be 10 times the size of the text. (Cursory riffle through my ebooks directory suggests that my record is 7.3MB images accompanying 63k of html--plus a couple of stylesheets--for an “extra-illustrated”* book. That's a factor of not 10 but 100 to 1.)


I have written a couple of How-To computer guides, so they have lots of screenshots.

Write them over a year ago, so I'd have to poke around to quantify things.

One book is 25 chapters and 1,000 pages. The other is similar in size.


lucy 24 wrote:
Personally I start breaking things into multiple files when I pass 800k of html, less if there are a lot of images to load. It isn't only concern for the human user; every human request will cause your server to send out all those supporting files, even if the human turns out to be an idiot in {insert country name ad lib} who doesn't know how to use a search engine.


Originally I was thinking of having a thumbnail in a gallery reprsenting the book. The once the user clicks on that, it loads the book cover and table of contents. Then have a link to each chapter.

But if a chapter is 40-50 pages, that is quite a bit to load in a browser. (And if someone was on their smatphone, look out!)

Could I do something as simple as break each chapter down into logical blosks of say 8-10 pages, and then daisy chain them all together with the wonder of hyperlinks?

And would doing so ruin the user's reading experience, or would they not really even notice?

This is where I'm unsure of how to proceed.

(Normal people don't write 1,000 pages for their first book attempt, but then my guide is way more comprehensive, and that is why people should buy it!) =)
6:19 am on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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if I convert things to HTML and offer it as a paid subscription, a thief would have more work trying to re-distribute it, although it not impossible.

If the content renders in a browser ... it is MINE MINE, ALL MINE! BWAHAHAHA ... sorry, not really funny, but it is the truth.

Even behind a paywall you get a 10% honesty factor, all the rest will scrape you clean. IT IS THAT BAD.

A secured PDF is worlds more difficult, but not impossible, to duplicate. HTML, on the other hand, is easy peasy.

Ebooks have much the same problem. Only way to make money is the HUGE initial release to grab as much income as possible, the play whack-a-mole there after for those scraping your content.
6:32 am on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Could I do something as simple as break each chapter down into logical blocks of say 8-10 pages, and then daisy chain them all together with the wonder of hyperlinks?

And would doing so ruin the user's reading experience, or would they not really even notice?
Y'know what? I think a lot of the time, your human readers don't even know if they're reading one “page” (= one .html file) or many. It's just following links and clicking buttons.

It's thoughtful to include links both at the top and at the bottom of each page, so people can jump to and from the next/previous chapter at any time. (In this respect, do as I say, not as I do.) Or, alternately, if there aren't too many chapters, you can have them all linked in the same block, like any navigation menu anywhere. I've done both. Admittedly, I do not often work on 1000-page books, though I've done a few. Most of the time, for me, it comes down to an ever-preseent “back to top” button which brings the reader within sight of the table of contents.

Look at how various long texts are presented onlline--whether it's a classic novel or the php manual. There will be a table of contents of some kind, whether it's called by that name or not, with links to chapters. Sometimes there are links to major sections, with subsidiary links to small sections within those.

Keep copies of major stages in design/coding. This will help you at that inevitable moment when you realize that you made a completely wrong decision the week before last, and need to tear it all apart and start over again. (Been there. Done that. I now keep a copy of the unstructured plain-text version so if all else fails, I only have to do 3/4 of the job over again.)

Fairly often in logs I see people re-loading the same book several times on the same visit. I have no idea why they do this; I wish I did, just so I'd know if I'm doing something seriously wrong or if some of my readers are just too dumb to live. (Is it easier to click the Reload button at the top of the window than the Back To Top button at the bottom? Do ordinary humans simply not understand that these two actions have entirely different consequences?)
1:36 am on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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tangor wrote:

If the content renders in a browser ... it is MINE MINE, ALL MINE! BWAHAHAHA ... sorry, not really funny, but it is the truth.


My point was that if I sell you a PDF, to steal it all you have to do is forward it to friends.

With a web page, you would have to copy&paste it, scrape it, or reverse-engineer it and then create a new webpage or document that is usable. Nice people who share a liitle too much wouldn't go to that extent. But even a grandma can figure out how to circulate a PDF.



Even behind a paywall you get a 10% honesty factor, all the rest will scrape you clean. IT IS THAT BAD.


So that implies people would pay $50 just to get access to my web page book and then pirate it from there?



A secured PDF is worlds more difficult, but not impossible, to duplicate. HTML, on the other hand, is easy peasy.


But can't people forward a secure PDF?



Ebooks have much the same problem. Only way to make money is the HUGE initial release to grab as much income as possible, the play whack-a-mole there after for those scraping your content.


You amke it sound like it is almost not worth it... *sigh*

I wrote these books to help people, and I want in return is a fair price so I can live.

You make it sound like trying to do that online is futile...
1:43 am on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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lucy24 wrote:

Y'know what? I think a lot of the time, your human readers don't even know if they're reading one “page” (= one .html file) or many. It's just following links and clicking buttons.


True.



It's thoughtful to include links both at the top and at the bottom of each page, so people can jump to and from the next/previous chapter at any time. (In this respect, do as I say, not as I do.) Or, alternately, if there aren't too many chapters, you can have them all linked in the same block, like any navigation menu anywhere. I've done both. Admittedly, I do not often work on 1000-page books, though I've done a few. Most of the time, for me, it comes down to an ever-preseent “back to top” button which brings the reader within sight of the table of contents.


Do you know what a "hamburger menu" is? I was thinking of having one of those in the upper left-hand corner and then people could jump to any chapter they want at a moment's notice.



Look at how various long texts are presented onlline--whether it's a classic novel or the php manual. There will be a table of contents of some kind, whether it's called by that name or not, with links to chapters. Sometimes there are links to major sections, with subsidiary links to small sections within those.


In terms of printed pages, when is a web page too big?

(For simplicity, assume everyone is viewing these books on a laptop/desktop. Mobile users is a whole other can of worms!)

5 pages? 10 pages? 20 pages? 50 pages?



Keep copies of major stages in design/coding. This will help you at that inevitable moment when you realize that you made a completely wrong decision the week before last, and need to tear it all apart and start over again. (Been there. Done that. I now keep a copy of the unstructured plain-text version so if all else fails, I only have to do 3/4 of the job over again.)


I'm a nut with versioning, so I understand!



Fairly often in logs I see people re-loading the same book several times on the same visit. I have no idea why they do this; I wish I did, just so I'd know if I'm doing something seriously wrong or if some of my readers are just too dumb to live. (Is it easier to click the Reload button at the top of the window than the Back To Top button at the bottom? Do ordinary humans simply not understand that these two actions have entirely different consequences?)


Maybe write a new book on this topic?! ;-)
1:58 am on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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So that implies people would pay $50 just to get access to my web page book and then pirate it from there?

Yes.
Then post it on their sites and bury you in the serps. Happens all the time. If you REALLY want to maintain control of the text (work) AND sell it, check out POD (print on demand) publishing and sell actual BOOKS. Much harder to scrape. :)

Been there, done that.

YMMV
2:13 am on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What you actually post on your site is sample chapters, etc. Class it up with images that don't appear in the book, more fun! Analysis, etc which is an expansion of the BOOK.

Put it in html and it will be stolen. PDF is a bit more difficult. Kindle and like are at least tied to hardware (to an extent) ... but an actual BOOK remains the best of all worlds.
3:37 am on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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tangor wrote:

Yes.
Then post it on their sites and bury you in the serps. Happens all the time. If you REALLY want to maintain control of the text (work) AND sell it, check out POD (print on demand) publishing and sell actual BOOKS. Much harder to scrape. happy!

Been there, done that.


You have published a book online?

You have sold a POD book?

If so, please share the details!
8:40 am on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The roadmap has been revealed. At WW we don't recommend companies or self-promote.
3:45 pm on Feb 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Is it possible to publish this content as a membership site?
I am thinking ofo breaking up the content in many little pieces (smaller than the chapters you mentioned above).
You could publish all at once or make more content available every other day.
Have it as a subscription, so your readers pay for access as long as they need the information
Enhance your product with a community for paying members, offer additonal services (consulting, coaching, add-on products, POD book (already mentioned) and Kindle (divide the big book into 5 logical books of eg 200 pages. Track which book sells best and create additional content based on this niche information))
There will always be someone betraying you, but by making your product more "complicated", you reduce the possibilities.


Good luck
 

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