Author Topic: Vellum: the official thread  (Read 117050 times)  

Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2015, 09:13:37 PM »
Thanks. However, it looks like Vellum's store links feature works with only three stores: Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble.

I get that for direct uploads to all other stores, Vellum's Nook-Epub2 compile would work best. But I don't see "web links" written anywhere in the page you referenced with that Aggregators link. The advice just says if you're uploading to an aggregator, "your book should not contain any Store Links." I guess you can override the store link with some other kind of web link?

(Just so no one's confused, there are two Brads at 180g. We save money on card keys that way.)

You're right. Authors who are selling at Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble can create a specialized ebook for each using just one Vellum file, but our Store Link functionality is currently limited to those stores. However, we have been hearing from authors who are finding success in additional stores (more than they were just a few months ago), so we are investigating expanding that list.

In the meantime, you can replace the store link with just a straight up web link, either using a separate file or changing the links before ebook generation. You can drag and drop an element of your book (e.g. your "Also by" page) from one Vellum file to another, so some authors just keep a master file with their back matter, similar to what you originally described.

What about print versions? Any plans to add the ability to export something that can be uploaded to Createspace?

(I'm sure you get asked this all the time, but vague hints at a future feature like that would really help me decide how many books to buy. Hint hint.)

As you've probably experienced, preparing a book for print is a very different process than creating an eBook, so it'd be a major endeavor. We don't have any plans to announce, but we're very much encouraged by the interest, and will keep it in mind for the future. Thanks for asking (and to others for seconding and thirding :) ).


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Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2015, 06:12:05 AM »
What might be a compromise is giving us the ability to download the graphics used in the program so we can use the same scene breaks and chapter heads in our print books, even if we're formatting them ourselves. And/or a Word template.

Offline bethrevis

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2015, 06:52:48 AM »
And/or a Word template.

Yes--just being able to download it as a document file could be a benefit--I could make my own .pdf from that.
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Offline Tasha Black

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2015, 08:27:10 AM »
Yes--just being able to download it as a document file could be a benefit--I could make my own .pdf from that.

Agreed!

The ability to generate a word doc of the finished product would be awesome!
(Which sounds odd, since you have to have the manuscript in a docx to import in the first place)

But I would LOVE the ability to be able to spit the whole thing out, with all the end matter and chapter breaks, as a doc or docx.  ;D

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Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2015, 09:56:11 AM »
But I would LOVE the ability to be able to spit the whole thing out, with all the end matter and chapter breaks, as a doc or docx.  ;D

Brad Andalman alluded to a coming minor update that introduces a few small features. One of them will be a new Export to RTF command that you can use to export the text of your entire book. (An RTF file can be opened in Word, Pages, or even used in InDesign.)

We're adding this because we've been hearing more from authors who are making edits or even writing their whole book in Vellum, and they've asked for a way to either use that as a starting point for print, send a file to an editor, or to just have an archival copy in a different format. The exported file will include the entire text of the book along with some basic indicators of chapter headings, etc. I should note, though, that the exported file will not include the styling as seen in Vellum, which is very specific to eBooks. But it should at least serve as a starting point.

As Brad A. mentioned, this update is coming within the next few weeks.

What might be a compromise is giving us the ability to download the graphics used in the program so we can use the same scene breaks and chapter heads in our print books, even if we're formatting them ourselves. And/or a Word template.

If you'd like, email us at our support address and let us know what style you're using and what software you plan on using for the print version. We can send you back graphics that you can use and let you know which fonts to use as well.


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Offline JKata

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2015, 10:01:46 AM »
I noticed that Vellum does not allow readers to widen or narrow the space between sentences. Some readers (like me) like a little more space in between sentences because it's easier to read. Does Vellum plan to fix this? The books are really pretty, though, and I love pretty books.

Offline MyraScott

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2015, 10:16:05 AM »
RTF would lose all the graphic touches though, wouldn't it?  It only preserves bolds and italics and such.

Offline Indiecognito

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2015, 10:21:00 AM »
Quote
We're adding this because we've been hearing more from authors who are making edits or even writing their whole book in Vellum, and they've asked for a way to either use that as a starting point for print, send a file to an editor, or to just have an archival copy in a different format. The exported file will include the entire text of the book along with some basic indicators of chapter headings, etc. I should note, though, that the exported file will not include the styling as seen in Vellum, which is very specific to eBooks. But it should at least serve as a starting point.

I'm one who likes to write entire works in Vellum these days. I started out creating Word files, but I like being able to see the format unfold before my eyes.

It's a great product. And I'm now hooked on my Mac after many years of resistance.

Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2015, 10:55:50 AM »
I noticed that Vellum does not allow readers to widen or narrow the space between sentences. Some readers (like me) like a little more space in between sentences because it's easier to read. Does Vellum plan to fix this? The books are really pretty, though, and I love pretty books.

Although Vellum doesn't include this in the preview, readers should still be able to adjust line spacing on devices that allow it, which includes Nooks and almost all Kindles (we've observed the line spacing controls not working on some Kindle Fires).

RTF would lose all the graphic touches though, wouldn't it?  It only preserves bolds and italics and such.

Yes, character formatting (bold, italic, etc.) as well as basic indication of features such as block quotes will be present in the exported file, but it will not include the styling for headings, etc (all of which is very specific to eBooks).

I'm one who likes to write entire works in Vellum these days. I started out creating Word files, but I like being able to see the format unfold before my eyes.

Great! Stay tuned for the update!
Brad West. Co-founder of 180g, Creators of Vellum

Offline D-C

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2015, 11:45:06 AM »


We're adding this because we've been hearing more from authors who are making edits or even writing their whole book in Vellum, and they've asked for a way to either use that as a starting point for print, send a file to an editor, or to just have an archival copy in a different format. The exported file will include the entire text of the book along with some basic indicators of chapter headings, etc. I should note, though, that the exported file will not include the styling as seen in Vellum, which is very specific to eBooks. But it should at least serve as a starting point.



Yay! *does happy dance* I was one of those wanting an 'export to Word' feature, as I make so many minor changes once I've formatted a book in Vellum, that my original word.doc becomes outdated pretty quickly (and updating both as I go along is just silly). For example. I needed to send a word doc to a bundle and it was rather spectacularly out of date compared to the version in Vellum.

Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2015, 11:50:48 AM »
Right now, you can just load a mobi or epub into Calibre and convert to RTF that way.

Offline ShayneRutherford

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2015, 01:42:05 PM »
Do you have a graphic/widget/doohickey sort of thing that I could put in my sidebar? Like, 'Made With Vellum' or something. I'd like to help spread the love.
     

Offline SimonPotts

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2015, 03:21:28 PM »
Wow this app looks awesome! Should save me some time during February.

Offline SevenDays

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2015, 03:54:39 PM »
What about print versions? Any plans to add the ability to export something that can be uploaded to Createspace?

(I'm sure you get asked this all the time, but vague hints at a future feature like that would really help me decide how many books to buy. Hint hint.)

This is at the top of my wishlist!

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Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2015, 03:58:03 PM »
Do you have a graphic/widget/doohickey sort of thing that I could put in my sidebar? Like, 'Made With Vellum' or something. I'd like to help spread the love.

Thank you for the offer! We don't have anything right now, but will let you know when we do!
Brad West. Co-founder of 180g, Creators of Vellum

Offline Alan Petersen

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2015, 11:01:57 AM »
I need to update the matter for my book. I had the original manuscript formatting outsourced so I would make the changes on the word doc, right? I can't import the already formatted Epub file.


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Offline bethrevis

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2015, 11:08:31 AM »
I'd like to link to a specific section of my book. I'm writing a non-fiction, and would like to have a note such as "for more information on this, see Chapter 10" with a direct link. Can Vellum do this?

I'd also like to have main sections with individual sections linked in the table of contents. Is that possible?
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Offline Brad Andalman

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2015, 11:23:30 AM »
I need to update the matter for my book. I had the original manuscript formatting outsourced so I would make the changes on the word doc, right? I can't import the already formatted Epub file.

Vellum doesn't import ePub files, but it will import your Word doc. So you can make changes in Word and import into Vellum when you are done, or import into Vellum and make the necessary changes there.

I'd like to link to a specific section of my book. I'm writing a non-fiction, and would like to have a note such as "for more information on this, see Chapter 10" with a direct link. Can Vellum do this?

I'd also like to have main sections with individual sections linked in the table of contents. Is that possible?

We're concentrating on fiction right now and Vellum cannot currently do either of these things. However, both are features that we'd love to get to when we turn our attention to non-fiction books!
Brad Andalman. Co-founder of 180g, creators of Vellum.

Offline Christine Kersey

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2015, 03:46:05 PM »
I'm posting this question here rather than contacting support in case others have the same question.

One of my books has Part One and Part Two. I'd like each Part to start at Chapter One. How can I do that? Do I have to manually enter "Chapter One" "Chapter Two" etc within each Part? (I used the uncategorized Element to add a page that says "Part One" and "Part Two".) If there are chapters with the same name, will that cause a problem when I create my epub, or is there an easier way to deal with Parts?

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Offline Brad Andalman

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2015, 06:05:41 PM »
I'm posting this question here rather than contacting support in case others have the same question.

One of my books has Part One and Part Two. I'd like each Part to start at Chapter One. How can I do that? Do I have to manually enter "Chapter One" "Chapter Two" etc within each Part? (I used the uncategorized Element to add a page that says "Part One" and "Part Two".) If there are chapters with the same name, will that cause a problem when I create my epub, or is there an easier way to deal with Parts?

We hope to have better support for Parts eventually, but, right now, manually entering "Chapter One", "Chapter Two", etc. within each Part is the best solution. It’s completely legal to have chapters with the same name, so you won’t have a problem with your generated ePub.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 05:53:24 PM by Brad Andalman »
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Offline Michael Alan Peck

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #45 on: January 29, 2015, 08:33:14 PM »
Another +1 for Vellum. I used it for my book and was very happy with how it came out. (And the Brads are very responsive to questions and suggestions. Or maybe I've only corresponded with one of them all this time. I'm easily confused.)

Bonus: They also included my novel in the Created with Vellum section of their site.

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Offline Christine Kersey

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2015, 07:26:48 AM »
We hope to have better support for Parts eventually, but, right now, manually entering "Chapter One", "Chapter Two", etc. within each Part is the best solution. It's completely legal to have chapters with the same name, so you won't have a problem with your generated ePub.

Thanks, Brad!

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Offline WDR

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2015, 09:36:49 AM »
Overall: I recommend Vellum for ebook generation.

I note there have been additions and updates to Vellum since I last looked at it. :)

A couple of questions:
  • It was mentioned earlier that Vellum outputs to an ePub 2 file. Apple's Pages 5 outputs to a flawless ePub 3 (flawless in that it passes epubcheck with no issues). Will Vellum be updated soon to keep pace and output an ePub 3?
  • The Kobo has an odd rendering engine and ePubs that render fine on the iPad and Nook tend to have issues on the Kobo. What I usually do is set my ePub files so they render properly on the iOS and Nook, then I manually tweak the CSS in a different ePub file for the Kobo so it renders properly. Any possibility of adding a preview for the Kobo for your device list?
  • In a couple of my titles, I have embedded fonts. Not too difficult to add by hand to the final product before release, but it would be nice if I could do this via an editor. And, yes, I am aware that the user can override the publisher settings on an ebook, but I like to do it anyway so it will match the print version of my book. Any chance of adding in the capability to embed a font and apply it to selected text?
  • How do you define the text indents for a paragraph? I prefer using the <i>em</i> so when the user increases or decreases font size to their preference, I want the paragraphs to be proportionately indented. Nothing bothers me more than to increase the font size and watch the paragraph indentations disappear because it is measured in fixed pixels.
  • You use the DOC format as the default input file. Can you add Apple's <i>Pages</i> format so lazy people such as myself don't have to export first? I'm always concerned about losing formatting when exporting to one format or another. I admit, a key flaw in my request is I use Pages 4 to write and Pages 5 to generate the initial ePub file. Apple dropped too many features from Pages in the upgrade to 5 that I relied on for novel writing. The issue there is that Pages 4 and Pages 5 use different formats for their files, making it a pain to import the format if it has to be update each time Apple makes a change. (Yes, I realize I pretty much answered my own question there…)
  • What file format does Vellum generate for the Kindle? MOBI or AZW?

I admit, I didn't use Vellum to generate the ePub files for my first book. I have a serious obsession with Q.A. and I couldn't justify throwing away $30 just to see if Vellum was generating a proper ePub file. Seeing now there are a good number of ebooks that have successfully been launched,  I feel a little better about it. So, the next book will be launched via Vellum.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 09:39:19 AM by WDR »
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Offline SevenDays

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2015, 09:47:48 AM »
WDR, it outputs a mobi for Kindle, epub2 for Nook, and epub3 for iTunes.

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Offline Brad Andalman

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #49 on: January 30, 2015, 02:51:53 PM »
[...]
A couple of questions:
[...]

Thanks for your questions, WDR! I'll do my best to answer them below.

  • As SevenDays mentioned, Vellum uses ePub3 when generating for iBooks, so we're already ahead of the game!
  • Though Vellum doesn't have a specific Kobo export right now, you can use the "Nook" version (which uses standard ePub2) when uploading for Kobo. And, yes, we're definitely looking into adding official Kobo support in a future version.
  • Vellum includes eight Book Styles, each of which can be further customized. Many of those style customizations include embedded fonts, all of which we've vetted to ensure that they can legally be included in eBook form (not as easy as you might think!). We don't have any current plans to allow users to include their own fonts, but it is something that we've discussed.
  • Rejoice! We define text indents in ems, so that your paragraphs will be properly indented when readers change their font size.
  • Apple's Pages uses a proprietary file format - whereas .docx actually uses an open standard - so we have no plans to support it. As you mentioned, we recommend converting from Pages to Word, and then importing into Vellum. We haven't encountered any real issues doing this.
  • Vellum generates .mobi files for the Kindle.

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 05:53:42 PM by Brad Andalman »
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