Author Topic: Vellum: the official thread  (Read 117052 times)  

Offline Evan of the R.

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2015, 01:20:22 AM »
Hi Brad (and hi Brad),

I was glad to get the email today about the new Vellum 1.2.2 update -- it looks great.

The ability to center text (e.g., "The End"), right align and left align text is a big plus -- thank you. Also, the "Export to RTF" function is much appreciated. (It should help keep final corrections and changes from creeping back into the text with later editions, like if we generate PDF copies for reviewers.)

I do have one question: is there a recommended file format (PNG? JPG?) or size (?) we should use when we add illustrations and photos to Chapter Headings through the "Add Heading Image" function?

Evan
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 01:48:49 AM by Evan of the R. »

Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2015, 10:09:17 AM »
I was glad to get the email today about the new Vellum 1.2.2 update -- it looks great.
...
I do have one question: is there a recommended file format (PNG? JPG?) or size (?) we should use when we add illustrations and photos to Chapter Headings through the "Add Heading Image" function?

Hi Evan,

The easy answer is to just add the image you have: PNG, GIF, TIFF, JPEG, and even most Photoshop files can be dropped into your book. If necessary, Vellum will convert the image to a format supported by the platform at generation time.

Pretty much the same goes for size. If your image is too large for the platform (e.g. iBooks specifies a max of 4 million pixels), Vellum will resize it down to fit. If it's too small, you'll see a warning, similar to what's shown for Inline Images in this doc:
http://help.180g.co/vellum/inline-images/#warnings

(There are some situations where one format works better than another. For example, simple black and white graphics can sometimes be smaller if you use a GIF. In most cases, though, you can just Vellum take care of it.)

Glad to hear the update will be useful!


P.S. For those who are not on our mailing list, here are more details about the update — available now — that Evan is referring to (and that we mentioned earlier in the thread as coming soon): http://blog.180g.co/2015/02/vellum-1-2-2/
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 12:51:50 PM by Brad West »
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Offline WDR

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2015, 07:24:46 PM »
I think you already answered this question earlier, but I just want to clarify.

If I use a book credit on a particular title, but the only words I have in the narrative are, "It was a dark and stormy night", when I add 140,000 words to it the next week, I can still output it as an ebook?

Essentially, the title and ISBN are ready for the book and it is about to go into editing. As changes are made, I can simply re-output the ebook as many times as I want. My point being, I like to test the ebook before actually sending it up for sale. And while editing is going on, I tend to get itchy just sitting there and waiting between corrections. So, I use that time to test how the various iterations of the book look in an ebook reader.

Also, I tend to find mistakes more quickly when reading the narrative on an ebook reader as a book than I do when reading it via the word processor I used to write it.
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Offline WDR

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #53 on: February 03, 2015, 07:30:35 PM »
Feature request: when the focus is on the "Preview" pane, simulating various ebook readers, allow the user to flip through the pages using the arrow keys on the keyboard.

It's a bit more ergonomic than having to click with the mouse. :)
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Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #54 on: February 03, 2015, 10:19:49 PM »
If I use a book credit on a particular title, but the only words I have in the narrative are, "It was a dark and stormy night...", when I add 140,000 words to it the next week, I can still output it as an ebook?

Yup. If you make use of a 1-book or 10-book package, youll be asked to lock in your books title, subtitle, and author before you can generate eBooks. After you do so, you can change anything else about your book: fix typos, update backmatter, change the cover, or add another 140,000 words. You can find learn more about that process and other questions related to purchasing here:
http://help.180g.co/vellum/purchasing/#book-packages-changes

(and note that this only applies to 1-book and 10-book packages. No locking is performed with Unlimited.)


Feature request: when the focus is on the "Preview" pane, simulating various ebook readers, allow the user to flip through the pages using the arrow keys on the keyboard.

Sounds like you're really making use of the Preview, so we can see how the arrow keys would be useful. Thanks for the suggestion!

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Offline Silly Writer

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #55 on: February 03, 2015, 10:33:52 PM »
I know I've said this before, Brad... But you're leaving a CRAPLOAD of money on the table by not offering Vellum to PC Users. I can count 11 people right now that I personally know who are hoping for it. Especially since the new Surface Pro 3 came out  :'(

Offline lthanlon

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #56 on: February 05, 2015, 05:28:55 PM »
I downloaded Vellum and am very impressed with its ease of use, the quick learning curve -- and the overall beauty of the application. I've hit one snag, however. When I preview my book, a table of contents is only generated in the Kindle Paperwhite simulation. By comparison, when I compile and output a mobi file of the same book in Scrivener and open that file on my iPad and iPhone, the table of contents is just fine. Is there something I'm doing wrong in Vellum?

Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #57 on: February 05, 2015, 09:01:23 PM »
When I preview my book, a table of contents is only generated in the Kindle Paperwhite simulation. By comparison, when I compile and output a mobi file of the same book in Scrivener and open that file on my iPad and iPhone, the table of contents is just fine. Is there something I'm doing wrong in Vellum?

In short, Vellum will always generate the files necessary for your Table of Contents, which will very much resemble what you see in the Navigator (sidebar on the left) of Vellum. You don't need to do anything to create them (and you aren't doing anything wrong).

The specific files that are included, however, depend on the platform.

The iBooks version of your eBook won't contain the Table of Contents as a page in the book. Instead it contains what's sometimes called a logical Table of Contents. Rather than a page in the book, the logical ToC is a special file within the eBook that iBooks (and other software) uses to display its own Table of Contents, e.g.:



Newer Kindles can use a logical ToC as well, but older ones cannot. That's why, per Kindle Publishing Guidelines, Vellum includes both a logical ToC and a traditional Table of Contents as a page in the book.

What you're seeing in Vellum's preview is that the iBooks version (displayed with an iPad or iPhone) won't contain the Table of Contents as a page in the book. The Kindle version (displayed with a Paperwhite) will.

In every case, though, a reader will have access to the Table of Contents.

Hope that helps. We have a similar explanation and a few more details in our Table of Contents Help Page.

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

Offline lthanlon

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #58 on: February 06, 2015, 01:39:13 PM »
Thanks, Brad. That clears it up.

Leigh

Offline Adam Croft

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #59 on: February 24, 2015, 03:19:55 PM »
Considering purchasing this and justifying the cost, but Vellum at $199.99 is about the equivalent of 129. Yet you charge 159.99 for us in the UK. Can I not just pay in dollars and avoid paying 30 more than people in the US?

Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2015, 03:29:58 PM »
Considering purchasing this and justifying the cost, but Vellum at $199.99 is about the equivalent of 129. Yet you charge 159.99 for us in the UK. Can I not just pay in dollars and avoid paying 30 more than people in the US?

Hi Adam,

Thanks for your interest. We recently adjusted our Direct prices for users in the EU to be VAT-inclusive. This policy (and price) matches that of the Mac App Store.

You're right: at today's rates, 199 USD is about 129 GBP, but with 20% VAT added on, you get something closer to the price that you're seeing.

Hope that helps in understanding. Let us know if we can answer any other questions.
Brad West. Co-founder of 180g, Creators of Vellum

Offline harker.roland

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #61 on: February 24, 2015, 05:04:49 PM »
Can I just say that my mind has been blown with this thread?

I have been considering converting a lot of my backlist to various formats but have not been too excited about the tedious DIY project. I am looking forward to taking a look at Vellum as soon as I get home.
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Offline WDR

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #62 on: February 24, 2015, 07:12:44 PM »
Can I just say that my mind has been blown with this thread?

I have been considering converting a lot of my backlist to various formats but have not been too excited about the tedious DIY project. I am looking forward to taking a look at Vellum as soon as I get home.

Vellum would serve you well in this regard.

I'm one of very few writers who can actually hand-code (e.g. assemble manually) an ebook file (ePub). Much easier was to use Apple Pages to generate the ePub file and then go in and refine the typography by tweaking the CSS embedded in the ePub file.

Vellum does all this for you automagically. And it even generates drop caps for you if you want themsomething I always had to do by hand if I wanted them.

And just to add the cherry on top: not only will it generate a quality, to-standard ePub file, it will also generate MOBI files for Kindle as well. That makes my life SO much easier.

Yes, Vellum is well worth the money. If you have a backlist, I strongly suggest forking over the $199 because you will easily exceed more than 10 books at the $99 tier, making it more economical in the long run as you create new stories.
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Offline Alan Petersen

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #63 on: March 06, 2015, 04:23:28 PM »
There is another thread about formatting which states that Vellum formatted ebooks "are not supported by older Kindles or older ePub devices". Is that accurate? I found this on your site regarding older Kindles:

http://help.180g.co/vellum/kindleformats/

Does that mean people with older Kindles will see a well formatted Vellum generated ebook?

Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #64 on: March 06, 2015, 04:57:49 PM »
There is another thread about formatting which states that Vellum formatted ebooks "are not supported by older Kindles or older ePub devices". Is that accurate? I found this on your site regarding older Kindles:

http://help.180g.co/vellum/kindleformats/

Does that mean people with older Kindles will see a well formatted Vellum generated ebook?

Hi Alan,

If you are referring to this comment, then I believe that quote was in specific reference to the SVG images used in some of Vellum's styles, which indeed aren't visible on the oldest Kindles. We chose to use SVG for these ornament images because they take up little space, work at any resolution, and fully support transparency, but in doing so we are admittedly favoring current and future devices over older ones.

That said, the Help Page you link to does provide a good example of the difference between formatting that's possible on current Kindles and on the older ones that do not support Amazon's current "KF8" format. As you can see, everything should still be readable, but the embedded fonts, ornaments, etc. will not be in place.

And just to be clear, the "older Kindles" in question are the first two (white) generations and the Kindle DX. Every other Kindle back to the K3 "Keyboard" supports KF8.

Hope that helps.

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

Offline Alan Petersen

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #65 on: March 06, 2015, 06:15:07 PM »
Hi Alan,

If you are referring to this comment, then I believe that quote was in specific reference to the SVG images used in some of Vellum's styles, which indeed aren't visible on the oldest Kindles. We chose to use SVG for these ornament images because they take up little space, work at any resolution, and fully support transparency, but in doing so we are admittedly favoring current and future devices over older ones.

That said, the Help Page you link to does provide a good example of the difference between formatting that's possible on current Kindles and on the older ones that do not support Amazon's current "KF8" format. As you can see, everything should still be readable, but the embedded fonts, ornaments, etc. will not be in place.

And just to be clear, the "older Kindles" in question are the first two (white) generations and the Kindle DX. Every other Kindle back to the K3 "Keyboard" supports KF8.

Hope that helps.



That was the post and your response did help, thank you.

Offline AkBee

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #66 on: March 25, 2015, 03:53:56 PM »
LOVE Vellum!
I also write inside Vellum and then export to RTF. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #67 on: March 25, 2015, 06:05:50 PM »
LOVE Vellum!
I also write inside Vellum and then export to RTF. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Hi April,

And we love hearing from authors writing within Vellum! Glad to hear that Export to RTF was a useful addition.
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Offline Hasse Mori

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #68 on: March 26, 2015, 04:23:27 AM »
Hi Brad,

I've been struggling with something in Vellum, and can't seem to figure this out, so maybe you could help.

How do you set, or make sure, that every time someone opens a Vellum formatted book for the first time, the book opens at Chapter 1? For some reason my latest book always opens at the second page of the contents, and can't figure out the reason for this. A minor thing, but annoying, when someone opens the book and it awkwardly starts at the end of the contents and they need to turn a few pages to get to chapter one.

I've tried this by sending the mobi files to my kindle, and don't know if Amazon re-formats the book so that the problem's gone, but at least I get the problem with Vellum exported mobi files.

Thanks in advance!
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Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #69 on: March 26, 2015, 02:15:51 PM »
How do you set, or make sure, that every time someone opens a Vellum formatted book for the first time, the book opens at Chapter 1?

Hi Hasse,

The answer unfortunately isn't a simple one, so I'll try to explain in two parts: how Vellum declares the start page for your book, and how that declaration may change through Amazon's publishing process.

You may have discovered this already, but for those who haven't, Vellum uses the Elements in your book to determine what to declare as the Main Text, and therefore the start of your book. (More on this can in our Element Types help page.) Typically Chapter 1 is declared as the start, but it may be earlier if your book has an Introduction or a Prologue.

The best way to test what Vellum has declared as the start of your book is to load the file generated by Vellum directly into your ereader of choice, and then use the Go To > Beginning command within the Kindle App. The Kindle App for Mac is a quick way to do this, though we have instructions for other devices on our Proofing help page.

For iBooks and Nook, this is the end of the story, as publishing and proofing these versions won't affect the start page. For Amazon, though, steps in the publishing process may alter the start page that has been declared.

The first way the start page can be altered is by using Send to Kindle feature or by downloading the Preview version of your ebook from the KDP dashboard. These converted versions will often have the start page set, inexplicably, in the middle of the Table of Contents.

This can certainly be alarming, but as far as we know, it only is the case for these versions. In most cases, the published version of your book as seen by readers will use the start page that was originally declared. We have heard of some cases where, as a result of the publishing process, the start page is altered again to instead be the Title Page (though only on some devices). We have yet to see a published book starting in the TOC.

So to summarize, we'd recommend loading your mobi file directly to see that the declaration is what you'd expect. If it is, we'd recommend ignoring how this can be altered via the Send to Kindle feature, as this is not representative of what the start page will be for published books.

Hope that helps,
Brad


Edit: After receiving a few more questions about this, we added a new page to our documentation: http://help.180g.co/vellum/start-page/
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 09:42:21 AM by Brad West »
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Offline Hasse Mori

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #70 on: March 26, 2015, 11:33:51 PM »
Brad,

Thank you for this! Certain parts of the process are much clearer now, so definitely helpful.

 
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Offline KGGiarratano

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #71 on: March 31, 2015, 03:38:06 PM »
Are there video tutorials available for Vellum?

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Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #72 on: March 31, 2015, 04:42:47 PM »
Are there video tutorials available for Vellum?

Hi Kimberly,

We don't have any video tutorials at the moment.

We do, however, have a written tutorial with plenty of screenshots here: http://help.180g.co/vellum/tutorial/

That includes a link to sample documents you can use to quickly bring a complete book into Vellum and play with Book Styles, make edits in the Text Editor, and see how a final ebook will appear in the Preview. Since Vellum is a free download, you can go through the entire tutorial without making a purchase.

Hope that helps you get an idea of how Vellum works,
Brad
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Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #73 on: March 31, 2015, 05:51:23 PM »
What's great about Vellum is you don't really need a tutorial. It just works.

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #74 on: March 31, 2015, 06:07:49 PM »
I'm checking out the sample book and playing around with it. It does seem very easy.

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