What makes ePubChef truly new and different?
EPubChef uses on a new method of describing an eBook. The description is machine readable, human writeable, and tremendously flexible. This combination allows for EPUBs to be created easily by authors and those that support them, but also, crucially, EPUBs can be re-generated from source at multiple stages in the eBook lifecycle.
The description of the book consists of three parts: A RECIPE injecting text into TEMPLATES and the TEXT OF THE BOOK itself. The RECIPE and TEMPLATES are personalized for a given eBook by the author or the distributor. The recipe can be altered on the fly for book sale if desired, adding purchaser/reader specific items into the eBook.
The recipe contains meta-data (Author, ISBN, etc.) as well as chapter names, front and back matter. The templates define the look of the book, such as the layout for the start of each chapter. The book text is held in future-proof plain text files.
Four example use cases met by the ePubChef
The author has done a reading in a bookshop and is now signing and selling books. Many purchasers prefer to read on their eReaders, but want a personal message in their book from the author.
An author is selling his/her eBook through multiple distributors (Amazon, Smashwords, Bookbaby, Vook, Barnes & Nobel, …). Each distributor would want a page of their own in the book as a traditional paper publisher would have.
My ePub was produced three years ago with software that is no longer supported or obtainable. I don’t want to be in this situation again.
It is just too difficult to produce a well-formatted eBook from a word processor file.
EPubChef beats all four challenges by:
- being open source, cross-platform code
- working off a flexible, plain text based, open format
- wrapping the book text in flexible code and templates which produce ePub
Before ePubChef, creation of a fixed EPUB file for distribution currently happens too early in the lifecycle of a book. That is, the author (or someone working on his behalf) creates and EPUB edition which is then passed to multiple retailers (Amazon, Smashwords, …) and then sold from each to multiple readers. Late changes to the book can be expensive and complicated to deal with.