HomeeBooksIntroducing PubML – a New Web-Based EBook Format


Introducing PubML – a New Web-Based EBook Format — 15 Comments

  1. Pubml looks quite good from the outside but I have a few questions about distribution. Is the final ebook product compatible with the ereaders such as Kindle or Nook? I noticed that The Blue Monk is only available at Amazon as a hard cover traditional book. You do have several other books that can be purchased for the Kindle, I wonder why The Blue Monk isn’t offered for the Kindle?

    • Good questions. Yes, you can export an ePub file that validates perfectly with IDPF’s ePub check. Upload to your favorite eBookstore. The PubML™ version is designed to offer many features that eReaders don’t offer consistently. You get one format for the open web and another for traditional eReaders.

      This leads to my second answer. The Blue Monk is not available for popular eReaders because these devices are not capable of delivering either the aesthetics or the functionality I want associated with my book. All the finesse put into the design and typesetting of the printed version would get flushed away during conversion to ePub or mobi. Yes, I could use the PubML™ tools to make a “good enough” ePub version, but it would still be subject to shredding by wildly inconsistent eReader devices. As for the 350 video clips, 200 photos, 80 maps, and 100 photo footnotes, none of them are deliverable via eReader. So, The Blue Monk is available as a piece of printed literature sans media, but given that it was my own higher goals and standards that led me to develop the PubML™ platform, I’ve elected not to compromise by selling inferior eBooks. When eReader devices catch up and fully support the ePub3 standard, I’ll reconsider and I’ll make sure the PubML™ tools are able to take advantage of ePub3 features that were promised but not delivered.

  2. OK Dave – you provided me some good comments on Linked IN. So, I bought the Blue Monk today and have been reading it online. I will get a WordPress.org account and host.
    Q1. We have written the book in Word for MAC, so if I get the PubML plugin, do I just cut and paste the word in and then format? with the PubML tools.
    Q2. I downloaded the Blue Monk and have a folder on the desktop – excuse the ignorance but how do I view the book?. Obviously I’m new to this. we are http://www.rilkasrealfood.com and the book is there for sale as a hardcover.
    Cheers Barry Rees.

    • Barry,

      First, thanks. I hope you enjoy my book!
      You don’t actually get an account with wordpress.org; you download the software from there and install it on a standard web-hosting account. Usually, you don’t even need to download it as most hosting companies have a WordPress installer utility built in. WordPress makes an excellent backbone for an author site and blog. You’re reading a WordPress site right now. See

      Q1. I also write with Word for Mac. Inside the PubML™ tools, you create a “section” for each chapter. Copy/paste your word chapters into sections and then format using the tools provided. I have videos of that process at http://www.pubml.com/video

      Q2. If you intend to view the eBook locally, you’ll find Firefox to be the most cooperative browser. Unzip the file and inside you’ll find instructions.txt. This document basically directs you to load index.html into your browser. Of course, the most convenient way to read the book is simply to go to http://www.thebluemonkbook.com Unless you want to read offline, there’s really no reason to bother with a downloaded copy. Read online. You can even bookmark a page using your web browser’s standard bookmark feature.

      (Looks like you’re into my kind of food, too.)

    • You can embed your scores as images, either in the text itself, or as links that reveal the scores in the media window. They’re basically graphics. Book chapters are basically HTML pages so you could also embed audio files or skip conversion to the various required audio formats and embed YouTube videos that contain audio files along with a title slide.

  3. PubML is a promising step in the redefinition of the “book.” I look forward to seeing it in action soon.

  4. Fantastic for anyone involved with work that has plenty of footnotes (and/or other addenda like photos, drawings, etc.): doesn’t disturb the reading eye when you don’t want to dig further into these hidden sources. Way to go, Dave!

  5. Dave, I’ve been holding my breath awaiting this announcement. The Blue Monk is a marvelous book and PubML is a superb method of presentation for it.

  6. Very impressive, if not messianic, Dave 🙂

    Is the pubml site live yet? The links don’t appear to be working except for the Blue Monk one? I’m using Chrome atm