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!

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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!

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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:

Book1

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.