So i figured, i’m just gonna do 1 update per day, just like i’ve been doing ever since i started this. And the rest of my time will be spent on improving my existing ePubs.
I pretty much nailed the format that i will be using from now on, and now it’s time to update the rest of the existing ones. You will most definitely see the changes in some of the more recent updates, but i’ll just spell it out to you anyways. It’s mostly cosmetic changes here and there, and a couple of formatting changes too, but doing these things will greatly improve the quality of the ePubs here in the site.
1. Chapter titles are now resized. They are now smaller compared to before. I got particularly annoyed when i was reading AST, and the 1st page took up the title.
2. A horizontal rule is now introduced below the chapter title. Again, to further differentiate the chapter title and the start of the story.
3. “Front matters” are now included in the ePubs (just google ‘parts of a book’).
4. There is now a dedicated page showing the title (and its equivalent name counterpart) and the author.
5. Another separate page will also contain the synopsis of the series.
6. A “somewhat” Copyright page detailing the English translators of the series and where they can be found. Also includes editors (if any), and the standard disclaimers. Mind you, it’s really, really hard to trace the translators and editors for the older series, so take it with a grain of salt if some are missing.
7. All text contained in the ePub will be in plain, unformatted text (as much as possible). I have pet peeves on some ePubs when they have their own text formatting on the body of their ePubs. Again, this is just a personal preference. It is perfectly fine to have text formatting in your ePubs. I just don’t like it.
8. On a similar note on number 7, ALL formatting done on my ePubs, will be through the use of stylesheets. I know how to use them, and it makes editing easier.
9. Speaking of body, most of the time, i will add a “break” after each sentence or paragraph, when applicable. You can see this prominently on titles such as Against the Gods, Ancient Strengthening Technique, I Shall Seal The Heavens and on most ePubs here. There are exceptions to that such as God of Cooking and the like. These are not really deal breakers for me, but for the sake of fast update, i’ll tend to ignore it most of the time.
10. There are exceptions though! Titles such as Everyone Else Is A Returnee, Seoul Station Necromancer, To Aru Ossan No VRMMO Katsudouki, and a few are rare cases. I tend to format these series with more time and effort. (I think you don’t need to know that, but if these titles have new releases, then expect the Spanish Inquisition! Wahahaha!)
Having mentioned all that, i really need to add more details on the recommendations. I am still open for suggestions, but this time, i can make do with series which have a small number of chapter releases. Some recommendations are already at 300+ chapters, even one exceeds 1000+ chapters, so that will definitely take time.
Things to do (according to my priority anyways)
1. Maintain 1 update post per day.
2. Update all existing ePubs to desired formatting. (ongoing)
3. Update all book covers. (ongoing)
4. Release new titles. (mmm… depends on the mood)
Well, that’s that.
(If you’ve read all that, then you deserve a reward! Perhaps a new ePub release? Hahaha….)
What the heck?! I forgot the main purpose of this post.
Both titles have been updated to the desired format. Also updated their book covers, especially for ATG. Also did proofreading and edits for spelling errors and such.
Seeing that updates will happen much, much later, why don’t I talk about why i started doing this, with no strings attached (yes, the cake is not a lie!). And also what you might get from it.
I started creating ePubs way back when Douluo Dalu got popular. I forgot the time, but i think that was around 2 years ago. It was also the 1st series that i created an ePub with. Comparing it back then, it was just a mindless attempt to have an offline copy of the series. Just straight up copypasta, and just the basics included like title and author. (No, i’m not gonna share it. It was atrocious, and i like it!)
After that, a couple more titles was created like Douluo Dalu 2, Martial God Asura, Xian Ni… and you might be wondering why those titles are currently not present in my blog? Well, I’m planning to revise them first, before re-releasing them back. And by revise, i mean starting from scratch. I think that’s the perfectionist being in me. Either that or i have a mild OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviour).
Interestingly, i did approach one of the more well-known sites that has ePub downloads for the wuxia novels and the like, offering my services. Unfortunately, (or was it fortunately?) i got turned down. So i initially released my ePub creations in HongFire Forums. Formerly a torrent site, but that feature got removed, so now it’s mainly an anime forum site that is quite old by internet standards. It was popular back then, but it went down a couple of times… due to reasons. Btw, a large subsection is dedicated to the modding community, primarily geared towards eroge games. It’s a good place to look for old eroge games (and some more).
Eventually, i decided to adapt the most commonly used platform used by the translation websites, and that’s how Cafe Alpha was born.
(Hmm, this post is too damn long! I’ll continue the 2nd Part in another post)
Updates will be done later, as i am travelling to another place, which will consume most of my time today.
Sigil, for the most part, has been a most capable software for creating ePubs. (and yes, i am aware of other softwares which are more oriented for online distribution, but i’m not here to discuss that.) And has been the primary tool i use for making the ePubs on my blog.
Now, normally, when creating content for ePubs, one has to have a source material. It could be an original creation, or an online source. Mine is the latter. There are many ways to “grab”, but i haven’t found a really effective tool for that, so i go old school, the copy n’ pasta tool.
This is basically the thought process when i create an ePub.
1] Find a source that interest me enough to create an ePub version of it. I usually look for more details so that i can have enough information i can use for the metadata of the ePub.
2] Find a decent cover. I can’t stress this enough. Most ePubs i’ve seen have no book covers, and it just looks sad on my ePub reader (i recommend Moon+ Reader for your needs). There are plenty of online tools to create book covers nowadays. Yes, we are at that age already. Isn’t technology awesome?
3] Once you have those two covered, then you can start using Sigil to create the ePub.
4] Populate the metadata, as thorough as possible. The way i see it, this separates my ePub versions, compared to other ePub releases. While it’s great that there is a title, and an author metadata. And IMHO, those are the barest of requirements for a decent ePub, but yeah, more information is always better.
5] Do format it properly, 6] and make use headers. And by properly, i mean format your content using stylesheets and headers. For my releases, contents have no format on them. That means, they’re just plain text. I do, however, use stylesheets, to apply formatting on them. This has major benefits compared to just plain old copy’pasta including the format. One, it means that the formatting of your content can be easily modified by only editing the stylesheets. And while one might argue that you can do all that directly on the content, and yes, i will agree that it is EASIER since you automatically SEE the results of your format, try doing that for documents spanning multiple pages.
Ironically, this also made me realize just how WRONGLY i’ve been using MS Word for that matter. Really folks, use the headings.
Secondly, the generation of the Table of Contents is done automagically (as long as you are using headers properly).
6] After all that, then it’s time to save your ePub.
.. This is by no means, a step by step tutorial.
I’m not gonna do that.
I am, however, sharing my thought process, on how to create an ePub as complete as possible, without missing anything (too much).
Lastly, this is a tip.
When you have a series that spans multiple ePubs, it is usually tempting to just copy the 1st one, then erase its contents, then save it as the 2nd ePub.
There is a risk of the two books having the same “unique” bookID. And if you load it on your eBook Reader or catalog, the “newer” version will just OVERWRITE the old version due to the “same” bookID.
This is especially true when you’re in content distribution.
The solution is, create a new ePub instead.
In the end, well, 90% of this content won’t be useful to you anyways, so that’s that. As for the 10%, ‘grats.
(⌐ ͡■ ͜ʖ ͡■)
Why there is literally no images splattered on this blog?
Well, it is REALLY easy to add banners and custom icons and stuff, as i had in the past, on some obscure blog i made.
But for this blog, i decided to implement the “minimalist” concept.
As you know, less is more.
So that’s that.
You won’t be seeing banners and stuff. I will, however, be adding preview covers on my ePub releases. It makes the page more appealing.
Or in the forseeable future.
I’m currently in a remote place and the internet is slow.
Maybe tomorrow or the next day.