eBook Add-on

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! Here’s what I’m gathering so far:

  • We’ll need to offer customization around pinned posts: include at front, include at back, exclude completely. Would anyone want to include only certain pinned posts, as opposed to the whole bunch?

  • We should include custom blog CSS with the ebook. I would like to keep this as simple as possible, so I’d prefer to avoid this upcoming suggestion, but would anyone want a separate custom stylesheet for the ebook?

To address some questions / feedback:

@DeaconPatrick, do you mean this would exclude all front matter in the ebook? Or that we might somehow tell the ereader to open to the first chapter?

Images are fetched remotely, so they will show up on internet-connected devices. But the goal is to include them in the ebook itself, so you can read it completely offline.

This is fixed now, though testing with Sigil still brings up some other errors for me. We’ll keep working at 100% correctly-formatted files.

This is fixed too – just needed to adjust the HTTP headers to work with spaces.

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That’s some fine, fast work there!

Images are fetched remotely, so they will show up on internet-connected devices. But the goal is to include them in the ebook itself, so you can read it completely offline.

That actually seems to depend on the ebook reader, too. The images show up when using Calibre’s ebook reader and in Sigil, but not in Foliate (there’s just an empty rectangle). But at least the nasty malformed HTML tag message isn’t there!

Thanks for all the work that you and the team are putting into this feature, @matt!

Set landing page to first chapter: Generally when I open an eBook for the first time, it opens to the first chapter (Kindle Paperwhite). This happens because it automatically (I think?) skips anything marked as front matter, while still retaining the front matter.

We should include custom blog CSS with the ebook. I would like to keep this as simple as possible, so I’d prefer to avoid this upcoming suggestion, but would anyone want a separate custom stylesheet for the ebook?

Although one could argue that an ebook is not a blog and needs a little bit different css, I am ok with having the option to include the customized blog css in the generated ebook. It is always possible to make some changes afterwards. Thanks again for this great feature!


First: I am very happy with the new feature, still playing around with it, but looks good already.

In addition:

  • yes, I would def like to exclude (some) pinned posts;
  • also (if possible) to have an option to only use a certain tag, even if the post itself has more tags. For example, if I tagged a post with both prose and poetry, the option the generate an eBook with only one of them;
  • and… in the output remove the tag (so it will not appear in the output)…?

Would there be some stats or an indication that people have actually downloaded the ebooks?

So I’ve tried it (on my mobile). Typed the adress, got an epub instantly (without having to rename it to add the .epub extension).

The result is nearly flawless : each post is a “chapter”, and the formatting is top notch.

Much to my surprise, with the android App Librium you can play videos inside the book.

I still haven’t tested it on desktop, but overall impression is fantastic.

On a side note, I’ve been looking for FOSS android epub apps, but there are almost always none (correct me if I’m wrong).

Also, but it is unavoidable: each reader has its preset rules and formatting is different on different readers (gotta do with it).

Finally I agree with these points mentionned by Deacon Patrick and scott:

  • (selected) pinned posts as front matter and posts as chapters
  • Set landing page to the 1st chapter

I’m not sure about custom css (complicated to implement and it won’t be used by many; plus I might be wrong but you can edit the CSS yourself “manually”).

Anyway, that’s a much welcome addition to the tools available, thanks!


Made a first try. In order to exclude to post announcing the possibility to download the epub, I used a # that I put in all posts except the epub post. However, if your blog is called X and the # is, for instance “book1”, then the cover generated will look like that:


By X

If you don’t use the tag, the cover will be your blog name in big bold letters.

There are two workarounds so far, probably more:

  • Someone else used this trick: creating another blog dedicated to the epub and without the posts you want to exclude

  • Or, if you use the tag method, I think you’d get a better cover if your tag is capitalized and contain invisible HTML characters in order to replace spaces:
    for instance: tag: FIRST YEAR IN CANADA.

There are multiple ways to createb invisible characters, just gotta find which ones work.

I love the idea of this. I know there are sites like LeanPub that use this as their main feature. ( ePub plus others like .mobi, pdf)
My asks would be:
support epub, .mobi, pdf
Allow a way to auto updated all the “exported” formats so say you edited a post it would

  1. version all the exports
  2. create new files
  3. notify all “subscribers” that there was a new version posted.

I love this feature!
It works well on my main blog.

But I just I tried this with a private blog and I got the following error:
{"code":500,"error_msg": "This is an unhelpful error message for a miscellaneous internal error."}

Does anyone know what might be the error?

Hey @ariadnemm, really glad you like it! I’ll need to take a look at this internally to see what might’ve caused it.

Could you share the name of the blog that’s giving you this error in a private message to @support? Or could you try downloading the .epub again and let me know once you’ve done that, so I can look up the error?

Yes, I sent a private message to @support. Thanks!

I appreciate it! It looks like this was a wider issue that didn’t just affect private blogs. It was limited to one of our backend servers, which means it would’ve happened occasionally, depending on where your request landed. But this is fixed for everyone now!

This looks cool!

And, as someone who quickly realised he could not format his own ebook (i.e. convert from MS Word to ePUB), if this effectively enables me to self-format in an easy way, this would be especially handy.

In general, I also love the idea of being able to convert my blog posts to a book format, as I have a feeling I might publish some kind of memoir/journal of my blog posts as some point.

Generic Server Error

I’ve been getting this generic server error when trying to download .epub files from bilge.world/.epub and bilge.writeas.com/.epub though these two still work:

  • chaff.writeas.com/.epub
  • extratone.com/.epub

Could this be a domain error or perhaps my Bilge has simply gotten Too Big?

Thanks for the heads up! I’m not sure what the root cause is, though it looks like we’re not gracefully handling the error, which caused this. I’ll get a fix in and then we can figure out what exactly is causing it.


Two notes. I am trying this feature but can’t use it at present because:

1. Every other page has some error on it. Here is an example:

“This page contains the following errors:
error on line 31 at column 11: Opening and ending tag mismatch: hr line 0 and article
Below is a rendering of the page up to the first error.”

2. The Post Signature field is included on every post.
Can that get excluded? Doesn’t seem appropriate to have that published for every post.

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I’d guess that this might have to do with some HTML in the posts – I think the epub format works best with the valid HTML we render. Taking a look at your posts, this might be from the post signature? So…

I’ll change this behavior. Agreed that it probably doesn’t make sense to include in the ebook. Hopefully that’ll also fix issue #1.

The error is a result of the images at the top of every blog post I assume. Still exists - thought snap.as images would be supported.

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This would make sense because I’ve started to use GitHub as an image host on the blog that’s not working to reduce my load on Snap.as. (A nono, I know, but it’s just so tempting lol.)