In Atlantis you can convert any document to an eBook. Atlantis saves eBooks in the EPUB format (EPUB stands for "Electronic Publication"). EPUB is an eBook standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) supported by most modern eBook reader software and devices (including Sony Reader, iPhone, and iPad).
All eBooks created in Atlantis can be viewed on your PC in any eBook reader running under Windows. Alternatively, these eBooks can be viewed online in the eBook readers available on the Web. And of course, they can be viewed on any portable device supporting eBooks in the EPUB format.
You can create eBooks in Atlantis for personal use. But you can also upload your eBooks to various Web libraries to share with the community. You can also sell your eBooks.
Composing eBook content
Before generating an eBook file itself (a file with the .epub file extension), you need to create the book content in Atlantis first.
Since Atlantis can convert virtually any document to an eBook, you might already have the book content ready in a document file on your disk. In this case, the final eBook file can be generated with only a few mouse clicks.
But you might not have the book content ready yet. In this case, we recommend that you compose any new book meant for electronic publication in a special way, i.e. by modifying the dedicated document template in Atlantis.
So here is how to create a new eBook from scratch.
First, run the "File | New | Create From Template..." menu command, and open the "eBook.rtf" template from the "Stories" folder. Atlantis will automatically create a new document with a short sample content for a book. Press Ctrl+S or use the "File | Save" menu command to save this new document. You will need to input an appropriate file name. We recommend that you use the intended book title as the file name (for example, "My biography.rtf", "Mammals of Madagascar.doc", etc).
All you need to do now is to adapt the newly created document to suit your purpose. You can add new text, new chapters, images, etc.
Now here are some further recommendations on how to compose the contents of books meant for e-publication. Note that you can also apply these recommendations to existing documents not originally meant for e-publication. This is to ensure that your eBooks will display nicely in all available eBook readers.
- Some EPUB readers display a table of contents for the current eBook in a separate window. For instance, Adobe Digital Editions – a free Adobe eBook reader – displays these tables of contents within its navigation pane:
Such standalone tables of contents are automatically generated by Atlantis and included in your eBook files. For this, Atlantis picks up all paragraphs that are formatted with the Heading styles ("Heading 1", "Heading 2", "Heading 3", etc)
So if you want a document paragraph to be included as a separate item in the standalone table of contents generated by Atlantis, you must format that paragraph with a Heading style using the "Style" toolbar box of Atlantis.
Normally, a table of contents includes links to all the chapter headings present in the book. So it is a good idea to format each chapter heading with a Heading style of the corresponding level.
Since not every eBook readers display the standalone tables of contents provided by Atlantis, you can include a table of contents yourself manually within the body of your original eBook document. Note that the "eBook.rtf" template of Atlantis already includes a table of contents:
So if you use this template to create your eBooks, you won't need to generate tables of contents for them. You only need to update the existing tables so that they reflect the actual chapter headings of your books. You will find detailed instructions on how to update these tables of contents in the template itself.
Now if you intend to save an existing document as eBook, and it does not already include a table of contents, we recommend that you generate one manually and place it before the first chapter of the book. This is done with the "Insert | Table of Contents..." menu command of Atlantis.
- You can format your book contents in any desired way. But please note that currently most eBook readers do not support all the formatting options available in Atlantis. So before publishing your eBook, we recommend that you test it first (see below for details).
- If you have inserted footnotes or endnotes in your document, they will automatically be placed at the end of the corresponding eBook. So you should not expect that a particular note will be displayed in an eBook on the same page as its reference mark.
When you have finished composing your book document, converting it to the eBook format will normally take less than a minute. Simply do the following:
- Run the "File | Save Special | Save as eBook..." menu command of Atlantis, input any suitable file name, then click "Save":
- Atlantis will display a dialog where you can specify additional information about your book:
As is often the case with printed books, you might wish to have a "cover image" in your eBook. A cover image can include book title and author name. You will find a sample cover image on the first page of the "eBook.rtf" template of Atlantis. To choose a cover image for your eBook, click the "Cover image" box.
Note that if you specify no cover image for the eBook, the eReaders will use the first page of the book as a cover image.
When the "Save page margins" box is unchecked, Atlantis saves no information about page margins to eBook. eReaders will display the eBook with their default page margins.
When the "Save page margins" box is checked, you can click the "Setup..." button to specify page margins for your eBook.
The "Fonts" drop-down list box allows to specify how Atlantis should save fonts from your source document to the eBook:
Before pressing the "Save" button to store the file on your hard disk, you might want to preview the eBook in the associated reader if available on your Windows system. If none is available yet, you can always download Adobe Digital Editions for free, and install it on your PC.
- "Save, but don't embed" is the default option. When it is selected, all the font formatting found in the source document is saved to the eBook, but none of the corresponding font files get embedded into the eBook file. Let's take an example. If a source document contains a paragraph formatted with the "Times New Roman" font, the eBook file will include an instruction to eReaders that they should use the "Times New Roman" font to display the corresponding paragraph of the eBook. If the "Times New Roman" font is available in the eReader, it will use it to display that paragraph. Otherwise, the eReader will use a substitution font.
- When the "Save and embed" option is selected, all the font formatting from the source document is reflected in the eBook code, and the font files used in the source document are also included in the eBook file. In this way, all the font files required to display the eBook as faithfully to the original document as possible are available within the eBook file. eReaders supporting font embedding can then use the embedded fonts to display the eBook. Font embedding does make eBook files much bigger, but it is an absolute must with documents containing texts in non-Western European languages. Many eReaders do not have fonts to display Cyrillic or Far-East Asian texts. By embedding the required fonts in an eBook file, it is possible to make eReaders display the eBook correctly. Note that when "Save and embed" is selected, an "Exceptions..." button becomes available. You can click this button to specify which fonts you do not want to be embedded in the eBook. For example, you might wish not to embed common fonts like "Arial" or "Times New Roman" which most likely have similar equivalents available on eReaders.
- When the "Don't save" option is selected, Atlantis saves absolutely no information about the fonts used in the source document to the eBook file. And obviously, no font file is embedded in the eBook either. As a consequence, the eReaders will automatically display such eBooks with their own default font. This option is preferable when the source document is formatted with a single font, or when you want the eReaders to display your eBooks with their own "default" settings. Some eReaders offer a choice of fonts for the display of eBooks. On such eReaders, an eBook generated with the "Don't save" (fonts) option in Atlantis will always display with the font chosen within the eReader.
Note that the Batch conversion feature of Atlantis can be used to convert multiple existing documents to the EPUB format.
When you have converted a document to the EPUB format, it is a good idea to test the resulting .epub file in as many eBook readers as possible. For this, use any available devices like the iPhone, the Sony Reader, etc. You can also install an eBook reader on your Windows system: Adobe Digital Editions, Sony Reader for PC, Nook for PC, and CoolReader are free.
When you have successfully tested your eBooks in such a way, you can upload them to the available online eBook libraries, or publish them in any other way.