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Biz Blog: 08/29/12

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

From Ebook to App with Ibuildapp.com

This Novice's "Work-around" the Ibuildapp Software


Dear Fellow Self-Published Authors,


Either we're very ADHD or just quite forward-looking.  Let's assume the latter.  So I'm not satisfied that  "Lucky, the Left-Pawed Puppy" is published on Kindle, Nook, and whatever other e-reader platform is out there.  I want the NARRATED version published as I published it on my website  (www.leftpawedpuppy.com). However, that narrated version is an .exe file and can't be uploaded to Kindle, etc.  So I sell it from my casually visited website.  Ugh!  All that work! 

So on my way to trying to get audio embedded in "Lucky..." my thoughts turned to app development, and I turned to ibuildapp.com.  Not being able to figure out the audio embedding here, I decided to go ahead with a simpler app which I am presently calling, "The Perfect Husband App" which is essentially a "cheat sheet" for husbands who want to say the words their wives actually want to hear.That app is up in googleplay.com,  ("Available now for only 99 cents!" tee-hee ) BUT I'm working to make it prettier.  If you happen to find it and download it for your Android, be assured that within the week, the changes that will pretty-it-up will be automatically inserted in your app. (You can see what I mean if you click on the last item in the list - "OUR Words for YOU! That's the one pretty page that I hope to duplicate for the rest of the perfect husband list.) 

If you're struggling to get your ebook into an app, you MIGHT try this software.  However, there are a few important points to keep in mind:

1. If you have a book that you wish to make into an app, you'll want to choose the Ebook template at ibuildapp.com, preferably ebook2, which has chapter capability. (You'll struggle with the other templates if you don't choose an ebook format).


2. Don't worry that the simulator doesn't show your total chapter line; it will wrap your text around to a second line in the real app.3.  If you are having trouble with some of the features in ibuildapp, try a different browser.  I was having difficulty with Google Chrome and switched to Firefox successfully last week.  Then today, I wasn't able to insert a picture when working in Firefox and switched back to the Google Chrome browser and that worked better today. 4. Keep in mind that the software for ibuildapp is continually updated because there are features that need to be added to make this software more appealing. It seems to be somewhat in a Beta stage at the moment.  If you build your app and finally are able to upload it to googleplay.com for sale, you might be a little disappointed with the generic-looking quality of your app.  In order to "pretty up" your work, assuming that you've conquered using this software, several tips may help:  a.   If you want a pretty background for your chapters (let's say you're publishing a book of quotations), you will not be able to upload an image and then type text over it with ibuildapp. Therefore, you'll need to create an image with text on it with your graphics program.  Creating that image can be a tedious process, but it is worth it.  What size of an image should you use?   I've experimented for hours and it appears to me that 300 x 410 works best for portrait.  When the mobile device is turned for landscape, the user has to scroll down.  Because the ibuildapp software doesn't allow expansion of your image for landscape, you'll probably have to decide which view you prefer if you go the add-image route. I decided to create the image that looks best in portrait.  If the user chooses to view in landscape, he or she will have to scroll down to see the total image.

     b. When inserting your image in the "content" section, be sure to CENTER your picture.  That way the 300 x 410 images will be centered on the portrait screen of your app. and on the landscape view as well.

     c. You can add a background color for your landscape view since the image of 300 x 410 will not fill that screen.  It's putsy, but you insert this into the html code
<div style="background-color: rgb(89, 135, 206); text-align: center;">
Those rgb colors are for the blue I wanted.  If you want black, for example, you'd change those numbers to: 0,0,0.  Otherwise, forget the background color for now and wait until the software of ibuildapp catches up to your creative desires.

  Best of luck, my fellow authors!  You're on a noble, albeit arduous, journey.

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