Digital Comics: Formatting Your Comic for the Nook (ePub), UPDATED

ePub logo designed by Ralph Burkhardt

Back in January, I ran a blog post entitled Digital Comics: Formatting Your Comic for the Nook (ePub). Click back to that entry to learn more about ePubs, if you’re not familiar with them.

Well, it’s time for an update. Why? Well, for our digital comic IN MAPS & LEGENDS, we learned that part of the image got cut off on the new Nook Touch reader as well as on the original black and white nook.

Our new ePub template is resizable. Once again, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to VALENTINE creator Alex de Campi for sharing her ePub template with us. She did all the heavy lifting. We just did the customizing so the template worked for IN MAPS & LEGENDS.

And now we’re sharing it with you, fellow comics creators!

Using the New ePub Template

  1. Download the new template as a ZIP file: http://bit.ly/NookEpubTemplate
  2. Extract or “unzip” the files. Remember, an ePub file is just a glorified ZIP file.
  3. Copy the newly created folder NookTemplate_v2 for each issue of your comic, renaming the folder as needed.
  4. Replace the images in the OEBPS\Images folder with with your comic’s image files. (We only included the cover and pages 2-4 of our issue 1 in the template. Replace those with YOUR images).
    TIP
    : Images are set at 768×1024 for our template. Also, our comic is landscape/horizontal, so our pages are sideways in the template.
  5. In the OEBPS folder, update the tempate’s Section00**.xhtml files for each image of your comic. These files can be opened and edited with Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac).
  6. In each .xhtml file, change the text after the <title> tag to reflect your comic, and be sure your image dimensions are correct for the “viewBox” and “image width” parameters.
  7. Edit the content.opffile in the OEBPS folder. The key lines of code to customize for your comic are the following:<dc:title>(make this your comic’s title)
    <dc:description>  (make this your comic’s summary or solicit text)
    <dc:language>  (make this “en” for English, or “de” for German, etc.)
    <dc:identifier …> (make this your comic’s ISBN)TIP: Make sure that every image and .xhtml file is listed under the <manifest> tag and the <spine tox=”ncx”> tag, as well as with the <item id= …> tags in the .opf file.
  8. Edit the toc.ncxfile in the OEBPS folder. The key lines of code to customize for your comic are the following:<meta name=”dtb:uid” …> (make this your comic’s ISBN)
    <docTitle><text> (make this your comic’s title)
  9. Do not use special characters such as the ampersand (&) or umlauts (ö) in the .ncx, .obg, or .xhtml files. The ePub won’t display anything if you use these characters. We learned this the hard way…
  10. Close and save the .ncx file and the .opf file.
  11. Navigate to the folder where the META-INF and OEBPS folders are located.
  12. ZIP just the mimetype file first (right-click and select Send to > Archive on Windows computers).
  13. Add the META-INF and OEBPS folders to the newly created .zip file:
    • Windows computers: Drag and drop the files into the ZIP file
    • Mac computers: Download the “Epub Zip” application and run it according to instructions. This insures that the mimetype file is added to the zip first.
  14. Change the filename extension of the new ZIP file from .zip to .epub.
  15. Optional: Test your new ePub with the ePub Validator.
  16. Upload the new ePub to Barnes & Nobles’ PubIT site.

Important!

We’ve also updated our ebook that covers this and many more topics: Formatting Comics for the Kindle and Nook. If you’ve already bought the ebook, just go back and download the latest version! (If you have trouble at any of the sites, shoot me an email with your purchase history or receipt, and I’ll make sure you get the updated ebook.)

And if you haven’t bought the book, you may want to grab a copy — there’s a lot more in it than what you see in this blog entry.

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4 thoughts on “Digital Comics: Formatting Your Comic for the Nook (ePub), UPDATED

  1. Yeah I saw that this got updated somewhere, can’t remember where… Anyway, went and grabbed it from my Smashwords acct. Thanks! Do you think you’re going to continue to do this in the future? I ended up releasing my first book the other day. Just an art book for now though.

    Like

    1. Hey Adam — we’ll do updates only as needed. This one was a big one, because the black and white Nooks cut off part of our pages with our old template. Good luck with the art book, and other books to follow!

      Like

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