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:-) Happy days both ways... and yes, I'll let you know if I find a trick for the splash screen.
I agree, iOS is still the best device for interactive eBooks. But from my website analytics, iOS users are a very small part (only about 10%) of my website visitors. Android devices account for over 35%. So...
I've managed more testing this morning; the bug with Pubreader on my old Android tablet seems to have resolved itself (yay!) so I could test that. Everything works fine - you can't zoom, but I don't want people to zoom anyway, so...
The Android app versions aren't working - the file sizes with the animations are huge, and the pages are loading really slowly, plus the narration isn't playing.
So I have an android solution now to offer using Pubreader - good enough for a start. I'll keep working on the Android apps.
I'm not sure about the rules on this discussion forum regarding self-promo, and don't want to contravene anything. But if you want to look at my website, google 'Reading's a Breeze! dot com' :-)
Happy to have found a fellow Aussie trying to untangle all these threads of technology!
LOL no - not cheap. I'm originally from Melbourne, and my most ready-made accessible market for these books is Melbourne/Australian schools, for their language programs. I have been working in languages education for about 30 years, as a consultant for the last 10 years, so have good contacts. I finished my PhD (Applied Linguistics) in July this year, so these books are my post-PhD project. For the Australian market, I figured an American accent narration wouldn't sell well, so yes; I'm doing an Australian English version. But I know for some in the UK, they'll want that accent, and even here in NZ (where I now live), some would prefer NZ to Aus, I think. Plus I'd really like to offer them in te reo Māori.
My consulting work has diminished this year, so I've had time over the last few months to work pretty hard on these books. I now need to go get a day job though, so it's going to mean late nights from here on. It's been a big investment - about $2.5K so far, in illustrations/animations, translations, narrations, and advertising, but as of December I'm starting to sell subscriptions and a smattering of individual books. Still a long way to go to get out of the red! I'm hoping to build in 2021 (the day job is not intended to be a permanent gig - just keep funds flowing while I build the eBook business), but that remains to be seen. Even though I love the writing and loathe the marketing, I've got a couple of people working on texts now so I can focus on business development (and the day job).
I moved aboard a 40ft catamaran 4 years ago with my amazingly supportive, retired partner who keeps me plied with tea, coffee, wine and generally takes care of everything while I try and find ways to earn money from the back of the boat, so I can enjoy the lifestyle with him in the years while it's still possible. So I've had no commuting, even pre-COVID. It's amazing how much more productive working from home is (even/especially when home is a boat). The last 4 years have been great - circumstances are a changing a little now, but hopefully the eBooks will be a part of many more great years to come.
Hi @Phil, thx for the info. I got my son to test the xPub file using Pubreader on his Oppo A series smartphone, running Android 10, and he reported it worked well. I'm still trying to get him to test the Amazon app for me, but he's gone surfing... ;-P So I probably won't have any luck there for at least a week. I'll try to get son #2 to test, and report back. On a positive note, the app has finally become available for testing on Google Play (took days, not hours) and apart from opening to a tiny thumbnail of the app icon while it loads, then to the Pubreader page, it works perfectly, even on my old Galaxy A6 tablet. So progress!
I just need to figure out how to make it open to a decent size thumbnail or other display while it loads.
I have exported an eBook project as an ad-hoc android app and have successfully launched a test release on the Amazon app store.
I can download the test app and open it on my Samsung Galaxy Tab A6 running Android 5.1.1, but it opens to a page displaying a Pubcoder logo and freezes there.
This is one of the eBook projects I am having a similar problem with opening the xpub version in pubreader (it opens to a blank screen).
I notice when downloading Pubreader from the Google Play store there is a message saying the app may not be optimised for my device.
Perhaps the issue is that my device is too old, and more recent devices would play the android app or xpub file without any problems. Which would be frustrating because I've just purchased this device specifically for the purposes of testing, based on advice that Pubreader works on Android 5.0 and above.
Still trying to find a solution to offer Android users for my books...
@John I got the same warning about Google Cloud messaging. It was described as 'minor'. I clicked on the error message and it takes you to this page:
I'm still reading through that info trying to figure out what it means - it seems they want me to change the coding in the AndroidManifest.xml file, which I'm reluctant to do without advice from @Angelo or the Pubcoder team - I would have hoped an Android app exported from Pubcoder wouldn't need manual recoding for the Amazon store?
I haven't attempted to publish the eBook app to Amazon yet as i'm still trying to test it - I've received my testing email invitation, but when I click on the links in the email it wants me to purchase the test app, whereas the Amazon guide pages say it should be a free download.
@John - Have you managed to do Live App Testing for your eBook app on Amazon?
@John I use translators and voice artists for the narrations, but yes, I embed the 5 localisations in my file myself. I do the English and French text, I have the French verified by a native speaker (I'm fluent but not native), and have translators do the Italian and Spanish. The voice artists confirm for me that the Italian and Spanish versions 'sound' right. I get an Aus and US English narration (will add UK next year), so 5 localisations for now. I'm starting to work with Mandarin, Japanese, Indonesian and German translators and authors to produce books in those languages as well, so more to come :-)
@John I ask my illustrators to produce my background images at 1024 x 768 size. For images created before I started this, or created for different size books, I size them down to that before embedding. In the past (on Windows OS) I used Irfanview for batch resizing etc, but :-( it's not available for Mac.
I searched recently for good alternatives (preferably free) and for the moment I am using this online tool:
Not ideal in the free version because the number you can include in a batch is limited. But even so it took me less than 5 mins to do 72 images in multiple batches.
I'll probably upgrade to the paid version at some point if I can't find a better free solution. Or just get better at insisting on the required dimensions from my illustrators!
I notice that in Pubreader I can't zoom in on pages anyway - I'm not sure if that's normal behaviour or not; I've only just tested. In the iOS Books app I can, and yes, the quality deteriorates to poor, but I doubt my readers would zoom. Even when loaded onto my iPad Pro 12 inch (larger screen), I think the image quality is still fine, and I make sure I always use large enough font that they won't need to zoom on that.
I'm still trying (unsuccessfully) to work through the testing process on my Samsung android tablet for the Android app versions through Google Play and Amazon stores. I don't know if you can Zoom on Android devices. I always thought iOS would be my main platform for the books. But Google analytics on my website says of the 263 unique visitors in the last 30 days, 93 have been on an Android OS, 49 on Windows, 44 on a Mac OS, 27 on iOS and 28 on 'other'. Hence the urgency to prioritise Android versions. File size? Looking at all the apps loaded on my iPad, other than tiny ones, they mostly range anywhere between 40MB and 300MB. Kobo file size limit is 100MB. My 'flat' illustration picture books are around 20MB - 40MB which I figure is absolutely fine. My animated illustration picture books were as much as 160MB before resizing, which I figured was a bit much. After resizing, they sit around 80MB, which I think is still high, but the upper limit of what I'm happy with. I'm no expert, so just sharing for info!
John, I'm not sure what you mean by 'the Epubs I generate are far bigger than the Epubs' - was one of those meant to be xpub? ;-P
You're right actually, now that I check again, my xpubs are bigger than my epubs, but considering they contain 5 localizations (not just 1) I'm happy with the file size optimisation.
Hi again Angelo. The back image appears to dictate the size and shape of the card in the game. Can you tell me what the dimensions of the default image are, so I can match those?