Author Topic: Vellum: the official thread  (Read 132520 times)  

Online Anarchist

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #175 on: September 30, 2015, 04:16:24 PM »
I don't think that's a silly question at all. I'm super new to both, so this might not be a complete answer. But Scrivener is a writing program that can format,
and Vellum is a strictly formatting program with preset settings. That's my understanding anyway.

Wow. That totally clarified it for me. Thank you!

Now I understand why a few folks mention writing in Scrivener, compiling to .doc (or .docx) and importing into Vellum. The fog is clearing.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Offline ellenoc

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #176 on: September 30, 2015, 04:36:30 PM »
I have links done like this in the mobi files I upload:

<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/g7g/fws/anchor/detailPageEbook.xml?asin=B004W3FYAC"> Rachel&rsquo;s Eyes, a short story</a>

They work on my Voyage. I think they worked on my PW, but I donated it when I got the Voyage so I can't be sure.

Offline J.A. Sutherland

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #177 on: October 01, 2015, 06:11:30 AM »
I purchased Vellum this week and I'm a convert.

I have to admit, my first thought when I started looking at it was "meh, what's the point?" -- uploading a Word doc gets a perfectly functional ebook, so why take the time and effort for something the reader likely won't consciously notice?

But ... Vellum's pretty inexpensive in the grand scheme of things and remarkably easy to use, so I'm now convinced there's an ROI there. I'm still uncertain whether most readers will notice a difference, but I think it's worth it for those who will.

Add me to the list of those who'd like a print output option. That would absolutely be worth it. In fact, I'd pay a premium for that as an add-on -- even if it was only one print size to start.

I'm a PC user, but macincloud.com worked great for me. I got the $1/hour plan and it took only about four hours time on the Mac to learn Vellum and format three books, so I have plenty of time left over.

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Online Anarchist

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #178 on: October 01, 2015, 08:52:20 AM »
I'm in.

I just bought the unlimited version based entirely on the comments in this thread. I feel like the following...





... but I'm excited to let Vellum do the formatting. :)
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Online Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #179 on: October 01, 2015, 09:35:21 AM »
I'm in.

I just bought the unlimited version based entirely on the comments in this thread. I feel like the following...

... but I'm excited to let Vellum do the formatting. :)

Thanks for your purchase! If you haven't already done so, running through our tutorial might help: http://help.180g.co/vellum/tutorial/
Brad West. Co-founder of 180g, Creators of Vellum

Offline WDR

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #180 on: October 01, 2015, 10:24:58 AM »
I'm in.

I just bought the unlimited version based entirely on the comments in this thread. I feel like the following...

... but I'm excited to let Vellum do the formatting. :)

It helps to think of the structure of just what an ebook is: it is a self-contained website. All the files that make up this website are archived into a ZIP file. Then the ".zip" suffix of the file is replaced with ".epub" and that's what makes it an ebook. (Yes, there is more to it than that, but I'm trying to keep it simple.)

Each chapter is a separate web page within this self-contained website. Like every web page, the text is flowable. This means you can resize the window and the text will simply shift aroundflowso it fits and fills what space is available in that window.

If you loaded one of the chapter-web pages into a browser, it would display as block text. In order to pretty it up, you need a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) file to tell the browser how to render that text. To make indented paragraphs instead of the standard, technical block paragraphs. To use a serif font instead of sans serif. To use Garamond instead of Times New Roman. Even to space the top of each chapter so it starts halfway down the window that is showing text, just the same way a chapter starts half-way down the page in a printed book. The CSS file controls the all-important typography of an ebook.

What Vellum does is help you created this CSS file so your ebook presents itself properly on an ebook reading device. It also lets you fine tune the settings so your ebook renders consistently on the variety of different ebook reading devices, each of which has its own rendering quirks due to using different web browser technologies to present the text of a narrative document.

When you understand the structure, then it is easy to picture what Vellum is doing for you. I encourage anyone who has bought my book to rip it open and take a look at what is inside.  Copy the epub file to nobody.epub, then open the Mac's Terminal program and type: unzip nobody.epub. (And if you haven't bought my book, you should! *wink!* *wink!* *nudge!* *nudge!* ;D)

Vellum allows me to do in minutes what used to take me days. No longer do my neighbors fear publishing time, when every so often I would burst out of the house and run down the street, foaming at the mouth and screaming in tongues.
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Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #181 on: October 01, 2015, 10:28:59 AM »
Just tried Vellum on Kobo for the first time.  I received the message that Kobo "couldn't convert this file".  Not really sure what to do now.

Online Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #182 on: October 01, 2015, 10:50:07 AM »
Just tried Vellum on Kobo for the first time.  I received the message that Kobo "couldn't convert this file".  Not really sure what to do now.

Hi Gene,

That's certainly curious. We can help figure out what's going on, but it may require some back and forth. Can you email us (vellum@180g.co)?

Thanks!
Brad West. Co-founder of 180g, Creators of Vellum

Online Anarchist

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #183 on: October 01, 2015, 02:42:45 PM »
Thanks for your purchase! If you haven't already done so, running through our tutorial might help: http://help.180g.co/vellum/tutorial/

Thanks Brad. I gave the tutorial a cursory glance. It seems to have everything I need. :)


@WDR - thanks for that explanation. It's really helpful!
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Offline AriadneW

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #184 on: October 01, 2015, 03:43:47 PM »
But ... Vellum's pretty inexpensive in the grand scheme of things and remarkably easy to use, so I'm now convinced there's an ROI there. I'm still uncertain whether most readers will notice a difference, but I think it's worth it for those who will.

For me, the value has definitely been in the time spent/hair pulled that I used to have. My process was pretty basic to start with.  Write in Scrivener, compile to word doc for editor, import final word doc back into Scrivener, compile to epub and tweak in Sigil. I'd make unique backmatter for different vendors so that was a bit fiddly.

No I take the final word doc, import to Vellum, copy the backmatter from the previous book as the product IDs carry over, select the options for formatting and generate the files. As far as I'm concerned it's already paid for itself by saving my sanity. ;)


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Offline DarkarNights

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #185 on: October 01, 2015, 05:02:45 PM »
Oh god a PC version! Pleeease...

There's quite a few authors here who work on Windows and have no desire to go out and purchase a new $1000 Mac. Desire for a Windows version has been expressed numerous times on this thread. Expressing my desire to use this wonderful program on my platform of choice is helpful to the developer. Your snarkyness is not helpful to the conversation.
 

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Offline AkBee

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #186 on: October 01, 2015, 05:36:01 PM »
Got the unlimited version today. So happy!

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Offline J.A. Sutherland

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #187 on: October 01, 2015, 06:17:17 PM »
There's quite a few authors here who work on Windows and have no desire to go out and purchase a new $1000 Mac. Desire for a Windows version has been expressed numerous times on this thread. Expressing my desire to use this wonderful program on my platform of choice is helpful to the developer. Your snarkyness is not helpful to the conversation.

Macincloud.com -- very easy, very cheap. Don't even have to learn much of Mac, just Vellum and Dropbox.

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Offline Diane Patterson

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #188 on: October 03, 2015, 09:17:22 AM »
For users out there who use Scrivener and Vellum...do you find the workflow works pretty well? I'm afraid i'm going to be doing formatting in Vellum and see a typo or something and say, "Oh, I'll just fix this one..." I don't want the versions in Scrivener and Vellum to get too far apart!

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Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #189 on: October 03, 2015, 10:19:56 AM »
I write in Scrivener then I export to Word so I can send it to editors and beta readers. Once that happens, Word is my "live" version and I just put the Scrivener version away. I make the editor changes to the Word document and then import to Vellum and publish and typeset it for Createspace. If someone points out something after that, I make changes in all three places.

Online Alan Petersen

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #190 on: October 05, 2015, 05:55:19 PM »
Can we increase the size of the publisher logo in the "book info" section? I used a 450x485 png file but you can hardly see it on the page. You can't read the text. I believe Vellum shrinks it down to 148x160. Anyway that I can increase that a bit?

Offline ellenoc

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #191 on: October 05, 2015, 06:56:45 PM »
Now that I have a Mac, I downloaded the trial and am sure I got $25 of entertainment from going through every permutation of every style. Then I discovered I could add my own image to the chapter headings, and that kept me entertained for another half hour. Anyway I now have the unlimited version and hope to live long enough to use it for more than 10 books.  :)

Online Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #192 on: October 05, 2015, 08:58:22 PM »
Can we increase the size of the publisher logo in the "book info" section? I used a 450x485 png file but you can hardly see it on the page. You can't read the text. I believe Vellum shrinks it down to 148x160. Anyway that I can increase that a bit?

Hi Allan. We'll admit that the sizing of a publisher logo works better for wide logos than for square or tall ones. We don't currently have a way to adjust this, but we'll look into improving this in a future update. (In the meantime, and if it works for your logo, you might want to try a more horizontal composition.)

Now that I have a Mac, I downloaded the trial and am sure I got $25 of entertainment from going through every permutation of every style. Then I discovered I could add my own image to the chapter headings, and that kept me entertained for another half hour. Anyway I now have the unlimited version and hope to live long enough to use it for more than 10 books.  :)

Glad to provide the entertainment (see? formatting doesn't have to be boring) and thanks for the purchase!


Brad West. Co-founder of 180g, Creators of Vellum

Offline Mzink

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #193 on: October 13, 2015, 09:27:40 AM »
Hello -

I tried using Vellum this past weekend to upload my newest book, but when I got to the "purchase ebook generation" window and clicked "unlimited", I got a processing wheel and was then taken right back to the same window. My payment method in iTunes is fine and I tried restarting iTunes, but I kept getting the same message and ended up having to upload directly tot he Kindle formatter to meet my preorder deadline. i'd still like to buy Vellum, but it won't let me.
 ;D

Anybody have an idea why this might be happening? I am running Maverick (I know! I need to upgrade to El Capitan). Could that be the problem?

Thank you!

Michelle Zink (St. James)

Offline Word Fan

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #194 on: October 13, 2015, 09:33:57 AM »
Anybody have an idea why this might be happening? I am running Maverick (I know! I need to upgrade to El Capitan). Could that be the problem?

No. Mavericks is not your problem. I use it and had it back when I purchased my unlimited Vellum.

Send a note to Vellum Support and see what they say.

Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #195 on: October 13, 2015, 09:59:00 AM »
Just a note that your best option with Vellum is to NOT buy it through the Mac store as there's a short delay between when a new version is released and when the Mac store accepts it.

Offline Mzink

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #196 on: October 13, 2015, 10:33:30 AM »
Thank you! Will try Vellum support.
 :-*

MSJ

Offline Brad Andalman

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #197 on: October 13, 2015, 11:23:32 AM »
I tried using Vellum this past weekend to upload my newest book, but when I got to the "purchase ebook generation" window and clicked "unlimited", I got a processing wheel and was then taken right back to the same window.

Hi, Michelle, if you go to your Purchase History in iTunes you should be able to see whether the Vellum purchase actually went through. If it did, you should try hitting Vellum's Restore button in its Purchases dialog. And we'll keep an eye out for your email so we can help you more directly!

Just a note that your best option with Vellum is to NOT buy it through the Mac store as there's a short delay between when a new version is released and when the Mac store accepts it.

What Speaker-To-Animals said. Sometimes, there can be a delay before Vellum updates are available on the MAS. For this reason (and a few others), we recommend downloading Vellum directly from our website (https://vellum.pub). And, don't worry, replacing the copy of Vellum you've downloaded through the MAS will not affect any of your Vellum documents!
Brad Andalman. Co-founder of 180g, creators of Vellum.

Offline Mzink

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #198 on: October 13, 2015, 02:18:38 PM »
Thanks, Brad and Speakers! It worked! I was able to purchase with the link you provided.

One more question; now that I have the "real" version, the in-app Preview function doesn't seem to be working. Before I bought it, I was able to see my book on a mock Paperwhite on the right of the screen. Now the mock PW is there, but it's black, and none of the buttons on the Preview toolbar are clickable for some reason. Any idea why this might be happening?

Thanks again!

Michelle

Offline Brad Andalman

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #199 on: October 13, 2015, 02:29:05 PM »
Thanks, Brad and Speakers! It worked! I was able to purchase with the link you provided.

One more question; now that I have the "real" version, the in-app Preview function doesn't seem to be working. Before I bought it, I was able to see my book on a mock Paperwhite on the right of the screen. Now the mock PW is there, but it's black, and none of the buttons on the Preview toolbar are clickable for some reason. Any idea why this might be happening?

Thanks again!

Michelle

Glad that you were able to purchase - and thank you! If you'd email us at vellum@180g.co, we'd be happy to help you with your support questions directly.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 05:46:24 PM by Brad Andalman »
Brad Andalman. Co-founder of 180g, creators of Vellum.