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eBook Authoring

Module 9: Troubleshooting eBook Glitches

When you write an eBook, everything can seem to be going well. When you preview the book to see how it displays on your iPad or other eReader device, your content looks fine and your eBook functions well. When you submit your book for publication, however, you may be surprised when errors get reported that you did not notice when authoring your book. Knowing how to solve these glitches is what enables you to succeed in self-publishing so you can avoid the need for hiring aggregators to do it for you.

When I wrote the iPad Primer, for example, everything worked fine during authoring and previewing. When I submitted the book for publication, however, I got errors reporting that my embedded movie filenames were incorrectly coded. To solve this problem, I unzipped my EPUB package following the procedure described in Module 4. Then I opened each chapter in Dreamweaver, where I could take a look at the HTML and see what had happened. Turns out that when you insert .m4v videos into Pages and then export to EPUB, the video filename extensions in the EPUB file change from .m4v to .mov. In the xhtml files, this codes the movies as .mov instead of .m4v, and the opf file types the movies as video/quicktime instead of video/mp4. The EPUB will not validate when it contains these errors. The solution was to change .mov to .m4v in the filenames as well as in the html and in the opf, and to change video/quicktime to video/mp4 in the opf, thereby making media-type="video/mp4". I made these changes with Dreamweaver and zipped the book back into an EPUB, which validated perfectly at the iBookstore.