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Author Topic: Make your own eletronic book software. Recomendations?  (Read 4936 times)


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Make your own eletronic book software. Recomendations?
« on: November 02, 2007, 09:38:46 PM »
I edited my first ebook last year but  I'm currently looking for alternatives to GEMX's Textnotes pro http://www.gemx.com/texnotespro.php, as the software hasn't been updated in more than 2 years and the (troubled) company has announced that it doesn't really know what's going to happen with this product, they might actually merge it with Do-organizer. (crazy, if you ask me, but it's their choice).
I've checked and tested many, but they all seem to have one problem or another, for example:
  • They were designed mainly as text book makers. Boring!!  :down:
  • They do allow graphics and multimedia, but can't handle html.  :down:
  • They can handle html, but not javascript. This is a very nasty limitation, because if you're planning to publish a learning book, javascript can really make a big difference. Just think of imagemaps for example.  :down:
  • They can't copy protect the final product. If you have plans to sell your books one day, tough luck. :down:
  • They have a lot of features, but apart from the book the user will need to download a reader.  :down: (I'd rather just get a .exe file)
  • No pdf conversion. (I don't really care much about this as at present pdf docs can't handle animated gifs, etc.) but it is a convenient feature. :down:

Any suggestions?

By the way, my first book, made with textnotes pro, was called "Learn Chess Or Call Me An Idiot!!". It's a book for beginners who want to learn how to play chess. It can be downloaded here: http://www.gemx.com/ebooks_download.php
« Last Edit: November 02, 2007, 09:41:35 PM by Chessnia »


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Re: Make your own eletronic book software. Recomendations?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 02:22:33 AM »
The best I know of would be Browser Bob. They have 4 different versions, ranging from a freeware to a very expensive pro version. But the developer's site seems to be offline at this moment.

If you can create a website (either hand coded or with a web design app), you can package it in a custom designed browser. Browser Bob is what I used to package the Confusion's Cookie game. It supports anything that IE supports. You can use any kind of client side scripting you want....Javascript, VBScript, HTML, CSS, Java applets, Flash, etc. You can also load content from your own website in it. Anything that opens in a new window, opens in a custom skinned window that you designed. It's quite a powerful tool and packed with features that make it practical for more professional type of work, like ebooks, desktop web applications, etc. Once you have all your art for the custom skin created, it's very fast & easy to use.

A less expensive alternative would be HTML2EXE Baler. It's not as fancy and the GUI you get is rather basic and bland. There are also some antivirus products that don't like the exe files it makes. (They drive AVG bonkers!) This is a big enough of a consideration to make it impractical, even though it does what it does quite well. The issues with AVG is what lead me to repackage my game with Browser Bob.

Both of these will allow you to put everything into a single .exe file (your html, css, js, images, sound files, etc). If you add some js code to prevent right clicking, your users might not even know it's actually a browser they are using.