Create Your Own E-Book

Published Date
01 - Feb - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Feb - 2006
 
Create Your Own E-Book
You're probably aware of e-books and e-book readers. An e-book is nothing but an electronic form of a regular book. You can read e-books on your PC, notebook or handheld-you purchase them online and download them to your PC (or handheld), and read them at your leisure. There's also a large number of free e-books you can find on the Internet.

E-books are available in a variety of file formats, and you require some kind of reading software to open the e-book. The software you need depends upon the format of the e-book. A popular reader is Microsoft Reader, which can be downloaded for free from www.microsoft.com/reader/downloads/default.asp for the desktop, Tablet PC and Pocket PC platforms. (Pocket PCs are handhelds running the Microsoft Windows Mobile OS.)

E-books compatible with Microsoft Reader have the .lit extension, and can be purchased online from vendors such as Amazon.com. Microsoft's catalogue of e-books can be found at www.mslit. com, where you can also find links to loads of free e-books!

 
The Microsoft Reader e-book catalogue at www.mslit.com

Here, we describe how to create your own e-books in Microsoft Reader format to distribute them over the Web or read them on your own desktop or handheld. This is also useful if you want to view a large Word document on your Pocket PC. Though most Pocket PCs can view and edit MS Word files, they're easier to read while on the move if they've been converted to Reader format. You also get additional features such as bookmarks.

Note here that the conversion to Reader format can only be done on your desktop PC or laptop, not on your handheld. You can, of course, transfer the converted file to your handheld. Also, you cannot edit the files on your handheld.

To create your own e-book in Microsoft Reader format, you need to download and install a free add-in for Microsoft Word from www.microsoft. com/reader/developers/downloads/rmr.asp. The Read in Microsoft Reader (RMR) add-in works with Microsoft Word 2002 or Microsoft Word 2003.

STEP 1. Getting Started
Follow the instructions on the above Web page to download and install the add-in on your computer.

The Reader icon appears on the Word toolbar

When you launch Microsoft Word, you will notice a new Microsoft Reader icon on the toolbar, and a new Read command on the File menu.

STEP 2. Write
Open the Word file you want to convert to Reader format, or create one if you haven't already done so. Save the file somewhere on your computer.

Converting the Word document using RMR

STEP 3. Convert
When you have the Word file ready for conversion, click on the Reader icon on the toolbar. In the Window that comes up, you can set various options for your e-book, such as title, author name, file name, etc. You can also choose where to save the file on your computer.

STEP 4. Formatting Options
The same window also lets you choose formatting options for your e-book. If you check the "Convert to Microsoft Reader Formatting" checkbox, Word will remove formatting that conflicts with Reader defaults. If your Word file has a table of contents, you can also check "Reformat Table of Contents" to convert it and make it compatible with the Reader format.

STEP 5. Choosing Cover Options
Microsoft Reader displays cover graphics for e-books. If you wish, you can customise these cover graphics. If you don't, your e-book will be created with the default cover graphics.

Customising the graphics for the cover

To have your own graphics displayed, click on 'Customize Covers'. You can now choose an image, depending on the type of device you wish to read the e-book on. Click 'Browse' to select a different cover image, and click 'OK' when you're done.

STEP 6. Finishing Up
Click 'OK' to begin the conversion process. Your e-book will be created and saved to the specified folder. You're now ready to distribute it over the Web, share it with friends, or transfer it to your Pocket PC for reading while on the move! 



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