Back in 2006 during my term as the Project Gutenberg newsletter editor, I spent some time performing simple statistical analysis on the PG catalog – trying to get clarification on their eText release milestones, among other things – when I stumbled across information about what was possibly the very first digital book to be created. At the time I thought it an interesting fact, but nothing more.
Skip forward nine years and while preparing this book for conversion to the epubBooks library I noticed this again, but this time the importance of the discovery could not be dismissed. Continue reading The First Ever eBook?
One feature that I’ve been wanting to add to epubBooks for several years now is the ability to rate and review books — I’m pleased to announce that that is now finally possible!
To be able to added these features I’ve also had to implement User Accounts. The added bonus of this is that I can now start thinking about what additional functionality I can add to provide a better user experience.
Continue reading Book Ratings and Reviews
In commemoration of the First World War centenary (July 28, 1914), I’ve added fourteen new WWI ebooks to epubBooks. There’s a varied selection of Fiction (including some for young readers) and non-Fiction titles set in and about the Great War. These include well-known authors of the time such as Arthur Conan Doyle, John Buchan, Rudyard Kipling and H. G. Wells. Along with adding these new books, I’ve also re-assigned a number of older entries which should have been in these categories, so there are now over 20 WWI books available.
Here are few highlights from the recent additions; Continue reading Books from the First World War
Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on improving the book series section of the epubBooks catalog. This includes making sure any current series contain all the books found on the site ,along with bolstering the incomplete entries by converting and adding any missing titles.
I spent some time updating epubBooks so that individual titles can now be added to multiple series, as it’s surprising how many books crossover from one series to the next, or have a sub-series – the Conan and Waverley series are two good examples of that.
New series added in the last week are; Continue reading Book Series and Sequels enhancements
Over the last few years the focus of epubBooks has been to provide very high quality EPUB ebooks from many of the great classic authors such as Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Author Conan Doyle and Beatrix Potter, and for all for free, but up until now we’ve not supported the Amazon Kindle.
In truth, I’d always hoped that Amazon would start supporting the EPUB format and allow their Kindle users to upload all our titles directly to their eReaders. Although there have been rumours, nothing ever came of them and I’m not honestly expecting that to change in the next few years. Therefore, we’ve decided to bite the bullet and start providing ebooks in both the EPUB and Kindle MOBI formats. Continue reading Amazon Kindle Support
The Guardian are currently running a series of the 100 Best English Language Novels of All Time. As a large number of theses books (perhaps 50%) will be in the public domain, I’m going to reproduce that list here with links to the free ebooks available at epubBooks.
As each book is announced I’ll update this post, so dig in and start enjoying some great literature. Continue reading Guardian 100 Best…Free eBooks!
A couple of months back I set to work on finishing the ground up rewrite of my PG eText to EPUB app and this week I reached a stage where I’m happy enough with the results to start releasing new editions of all the titles currently on epubBooks, along with starting to upload new ebooks.
The new pipeline I’m using (TXT > DocBook > EPUB) means that I can utilise the DocBook XSL project, and thus epubBooks now delivers all ebooks as EPUB3. The DocbookXSL stylesheets lack some of the more interesting EPUB3 features to allow them to be compatible with EPUB2 eReaders, which for the moment is good for everyone. Continue reading New EPUB3 eBook Editions
Recently Amazon released their own recommendation list of “100 books you must read before you die”. I must confess it is a somewhat lack-lustre collection, containing both the obvious entries, along with plenty of oddities. Amazon do claim that they’ve tried to cover all age groups and genres to give a balanced collection, that however hasn’t stopped plenty of people complaining about it, especially as there are no books older than two hundred years in the list, and only a handful of those we’re published more than one hundred years ago. It’s amusing how many people are complaining about this selection (any search engine will easily find them if you’re so inclined) but I think most are forgetting one thing about this reading list; the recommendations have been made by Amazon, a company who’s sole purpose is to make as much money as possible. Obviously they’re not going to include too many classics, they want you to go and buy these books from them, not pop off to sites like epubBooks and download them for free. Continue reading Amazon’s 100 Books: Just the Free eBooks
Do you like writing?
Do you like writing Flash Fiction?
Would you like to win a £100 Amazon voucher?
Over on Drablr.com I’m currently running a drabble writing competition where you can win £100 (~ $160) and all you need to do is write a drabble based on the New Year’s Resolution theme.
Once you’ve submitted your drabble (this is done automatically by just using “New Year’s Resolution” – singular or plural spellings allowed – in the title) you just need to promote it heavily to you fans and friends (i.e. Facebook Twitter, etc.) and the drabble with the most drablr votes wins the prize.
The competition ends next week – January 31, 2014 – so there’s still plenty of time to write and promote your drabble. The full competition details can be found on the Drablr Blog. So, head over to drablr.com, sign-up for your Drablr account and start writing!
What is a Drabble?
A drabble is a form of Flash Fiction, but with the added challenge that it must be exactly 100 words in length. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it;
A drabble is an extremely short work of fiction of exactly one hundred words in length, not necessarily including the title. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.
Drabbles can be about any subject you like such as being action stories, erotic fantasies or romantic liaisons, but most importantly when writing a drabble, you should have fun writing them.
Developing your writing craft comes with practice, and drabbles are a fun way to practice it.
There’s a great article on how to write a drabble from author and drablr, Michael Brookes, who has a knack for always coming out with great drabbles.
When I launched the site rebuild last month I’d removed the search feature on epubBooks so that I could get the new site out the door as soon as possible. I had a few emails asking when this would be back. I’m pleased to say that I’ve now added back the search feature!
This is still a very simple implementation and certainly needs to be more user friendly (i.e. ignore pluralization so that we return more results) but I can roll out those kinds of features over the coming weeks.
Thanks to everyone for not giving up on epubBooks during this big change.