Choosing an eBook Compiler

What is an eBook compiler?

You've written and revised your ebook, hired an artist
who has produced outstanding graphics, and now you're
ready to actually put together your ebook. What you
need to make an ebook is software called an ebook

There are many different compilers to chose from, but
first, you need to know exactly what an ebook Compiler
does. Here is the simple explanation:

An ebook compiler is a software program that converts
either text pages or HTML text into a single
executable file or an ebook.

If you or someone you hired has created a file with
graphics in HTML, you will need an HTML ebook
Compiler. This type of compiler requires a working
knowledge of the HTML tag language. You can also use
software to do this for you, such as Microsoft
FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver.

How do you choose an eBook Compiler?

There are a large number of ebook Compilers available
on the market, all with glowing sales copy and tekkie
language. It can get very confusing and overwhelming
very fast without some simple guidelines to help you
figure out which compiler is right for you.

Choosing an ebook Compiler depends on a number of

1. How did you create your pages? Did you use HTML or
PDF format? There are many more compilers available
for HTML, but you can find some very good compilers
that will covert your PDF files into an ebook.

2. Consider how easy the program is to use and the
thoroughness of the software's instruction manual. It
is absolutely necessary that the compiler you buy have
an instructional manual, documentation, or online
"wizards." If it doesn't, your chances of figuring out
how to correctly use the program are compromised, and
the time required doing so is going to be significant.
Many manufacturers of compilers offer a free trial
version so you can play around with it and see if it
suits your needs. Download the trial version and
ascertain that it actually does what it claims to do.

3. Security features. If you plan to sell your ebook,
check out the security features of the compiler
software carefully. Security features should include:
prevention of the reader from modifying text, access
only to the pages you assign or by entering a
password, different ways of generating passwords such
as secure passwords, user-friendly, and open

4. Supported scripting. Find out what scripts the
software supports. Scripting allows you to create
special effects, customize menus, and create and
modify other user interactivity. Choose a compiler
that permits you to include graphics, search windows,
hyperlinks, forms, surveys, etc.

5. Pricing. This is a factor that is not always easy
to gauge. The highest priced compilers are not
automatically your best choice. Choose your compiler
based on the necessary requirements for your Ebook.
That means you need to know exactly how you plan to
use your Ebook and what functions you require.

Let's look at some of these factors in more detail.
First of all, make sure you have the correct browser
to run the compiler. The majority of HTML compilers
use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape. Check out
the version that the compiler supports. Compilers that
require a browser will not run on a computer that does
not have the required browser installed. However,
there are ebook HTML compilers that don't require you
to have any browser installed on your computer. These
compilers run on any Windows system.

If you choose a compiler that requires a browser,
check to ascertain that the browser is installed
correctly and that it is properly configured to the
specifications of the compiler. Check to see if
certain functions are turned off or on, and make any
adjustments according to the compiler instructions.

Security is an essential element of any compiler,
regardless of whether you plan to sell or give away
your ebook. One of the main reasons for using a
compiler is to prevent the reader from modifying the
contents. A secure compiler allows access only to the
pages you want the user to access unless they enter a
correct password.

To find out how secure an ebook HTML compiler is, open
an ebook on it. While it is open, check the temporary
directory of your computer. This can usually be
accessed by typing in C:\Windows\temp. If you see a
bunch of files when your ebook is open or running, it
means that your computer is decompressing the secure
data from your ebook before showing the ebook to the
viewer. This method is not secure! It means that
anyone with the knowledge of how to access these
temporary files can steal the secure data and then
they can fiddle with your ebook to their evil heart's
desire. Remember, one of the main purposes of buying
and using an HTML compiler is to protect your

Next, let's discuss passwords. When trying to choose
an ebook Compiler, check out the type of passwords
that the compiler supports. Almost all compilers offer
some kind of password protection that insures that the
user can only access the contents they have purchased
from you. However, the best compilers offer varied
ways to generate different types of passwords. Choose
a compiler that gives you the options of secure,
user-friendly, and open password generation.

Another important factor when it comes to passwords is
how the compiler generates them. A compiler that has
internal password protection generation built into the
software is more secure than compilers that link to
live Internet password control systems.

Find out if the compiler generates passwords online.
If it has this option, it allows you to choose any
payment processing system you want or to do the
payment processing yourself.

Next, look into the size of ebook the compiler
supports. The best compilers can create ebooks up to 2
GB in size without decompressing the HTML pages or
images to your hard disk. Usually, ebooks that are 2
GB in size can easily support 6 GB of compressed data.
The catch here is that only text files will generally
be compressible.

You do not want a compiler that decompresses this
amount of data when the user attempts to open your
ebook. This would mean that anyone who purchases your
ebook will have to wait for all the data to decompress
before they can access your ebook right after
downloading it. So look for compilers that only
decompress temporarily files that are NOT HTML to the
local hardisk. Non-HTML files include Flash, Word, and
Acrobat files. This type of compiler is more secure
and certainly faster.

Make sure the compiler you choose is compatible with
your system software. Check out what version of
Windows it requires, and make sure you have that
version before buying your compiler.

Support issues are extremely important. Choose a
compiler that includes an installation program. This
program allows your user to choose a number of
different places on their computer to install the
ebook, to place a shortcut on their desktop, and to
add the ebook, if they choose, to the Start Programs

You also want excellent and accessible vendor support.
Make sure you can access quick technical support! At
three o'clock in the morning, this factor will be VERY
important. Also, check to see the terms of free
technical support offered. Unlimited technical support
is obviously the best option.

Check to see if the company that puts out the compiler
software offers a service level agreement. This
agreement is to assure you of their quality response
to your questions or problems.

A good thing to consider is how long the compiler has
been on the market. Usually, the version number will
give you an idea. The longer the program is on the
market, the higher the version number, the more bugs
have been worked out.

When choosing an ebook compiler, do not be swayed by
incredible promises and dazzling sales copy. Do your
homework first, and then consider all the above issues
and factors before choosing an ebook compiler.
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