Producing an eBook – How hard can it be?

At the beginning of this year, Maureen MacGlashan, editor of The Indexer, came up with the idea of publishing collections of Indexer articles based around particular themes. We had already made every single issue, right back to 1958, available online but being told ‘there’s 54 years of articles – what you want is in there somewhere’ is understandably a bit daunting. Having the best and most relevant articles selected for you would be useful.

At first, we thought of publishing the collections as paper books through the print-on-demand company, Lulu, which I have used for a long time and through which we recently started publishing single issues/back issues of The Indexer. Looking at the costs, it became clear that we could achieve the same income for the The Indexer but with much lower prices for purchasers by producing an ebook. Essentially, we eliminated the cost of printing, packing and shipping heavy paper. I had already made a Society publication, OP5 Indexing Children’s Books, available on Kindle, with a linked index, in 2011. We would need this new book to be available on all platforms, including for those without eReaders, but how hard could it be?

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Kindle and the Index

When Amazon first introduced Kindle, way back in 2007, they said it did not support indexes. In 2011 this has not changed – the Formatting Guide at Kindle Direct Publishing says, under Creating Back Matter:

Back matter consists of the last pages in your book which provides additional information the reader should know about, such as Bibliographies, Appendices, Notes or Glossaries… Indexes are not recommended at this time.
Kindle Direct Publishing

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What is wrong with full text searches

What is wrong with full text searches and why do I need an index where full text searches are available?

Where electronic text is available, whether in websites, eBooks or PDFs, providing full text searching is often thought all that is necessary to make the information accessible, but they have distinct shortcomings. Exactly the same problems occur with a poor-quality back-of-book index which has been constructed by identifying every occurrence of specific words throughout the text.

Problems with full text searches are: Continue reading “What is wrong with full text searches”