Archive for June, 2008

Now that I’ve got your undivided attention…..

I recently saw Kung Fu Panda and it was a fantastically fun movie for the whole family. Which we all thoroughly enjoyed to the max!!

So, being inspired by the movie, I designed a new free ebook template with the “Kung Fu Panda” feel.

There’s actually 2 different colors right now — red and blue

But I will add a few more colors soon — like green and pink, etc.

The templates are the last 2 to be added, so they’re numbers #13 and #14

Go and download ‘em now!

They wreak of awesomeness….

I got mine yesterday.

And it was created by one of my favorite authors…..Max of www.maxcovers.com

Max has a great talent for making some of the best cover designs I’ve seen.

But he also has a terrific knack for knowing what types of products to release to the designing community that are beau coup profitable.

While his concepts of picking a profitable product may seem strangely simple, I think that’s what makes them work so well.

They are simple.

And that’s outstanding!

Sometimes with the never ending clutter of our world, especially online, we need simple solutions to our designing headaches. And Max certainly delivers on that.

Enough a** kissing already! Tell me about this ‘simple yet incredibly time saving’ product you speak of…

Okay, okay.

It’s called ‘Easy Striped Backgrounds‘ , and as I mentioned earlier it was created by Max of www.maxcovers.com.

The package consists of 100 web 2.0 styled backgrounds that will tile seamlessly no matter what size page you’re using.

The colors are nice, and there’s a good variety of them to select from to get the perfect match for your next project.

Now, why do I believe this particular product is a ‘time saver’?

Because instead of going over to www.stripegenerator.com and creating your own stripe-y backgrounds, you can just load up one from the package and be done with it.

It only takes a couple of seconds if you’re using an HTML editor like Dreamweaver. So why not cut down on your design time?

But, that’s not the only thing you’ll find inside here.

Normally, when you create your own web 2.0 seamlessly tiling background image, in order to use it with an image editor like Photoshop, you’d first need to convert the image over to a pattern to fill in an entire background of a project you were working on.

Max has taken care of that too.

He’s included a .pat file that you can simply load up inside of Photoshop and make use of all 100 of the backgrounds with just a couple of mouse clicks.

So, there’s yet another ‘time saver’ with this well rounded ‘designers friend‘ package.

Not only those 2 things, but Max also gives you a Master Resale Rights license to the whole thing so you can resell it to other ‘needy’ designers out there.

Here’s What’s Inside:

  • 100 .png Files For Every Web 2.0 Stripe-y Background
  • 1 .pat File For Use Inside of Photoshop Helping You Create Background Areas Within Your Designs
  • A Master Resale Rights License For The Whole Package
  • 1 Saleskit For Super Easy Reselling
  • And 1 .txt File of Simple Instructions on How to Use The Backgrounds

It’s a wonderful package that Max has priced low at just $17.

And I’m sure you’re curious to see examples of the backgrounds themselves, so you can check those out:

See Max’s Easy Striped Backgrounds Package Here

(be sure you order from the main index.htm page ONLY
or you'll pay the regular price!!)

And, if you decide you want to add Max’s newest package to your designing arsenal, you can do so and save $7 off the original price from the same link above ^^^^^^^.

I highly recommend this package for those looking to shave some time off their designing projects and still stay ‘up-to-snuff’ with the latest web 2.0 styles.

Way to go Max. And keep those packages comin’!

I, for one, can’t get enough of them ;-)

Ken Reno DIDN’T Make This!

So, I received an email that mistakenly gave Ken Reno credit for my latest EZ Ebook Template Package.

I’m writing this post to be sure that everyone knows I created every EZ Ebook Template Package without any help from any outside sources, beyond all the terrific tools I use that is.

That’s why I put in a “READMEFIRST” PDF file in every package. Not only to let you, as the buyer, know what you can and cannot do with the package, but also, to let you know who to contact in case you need further help using the package.

Ken, while a great guy, didn’t create any of the packages, but is a legal reseller.

There’s a big difference there boys and girls.

And, I’m positive, Ken had nothing to do with the slip up.

I’ve put in a support ticket to the company who sent out the message so they can make everything correct. So we’ll see how that goes. — *UPDATE*: Yes! The company sent me a personal email and told me they are making the corrections giving me credit.

To further clarify….

I purposely only offer Master Resale Rights to my packages for a good reason…..

So that I can finally get some recognition, whether good or bad, from the hard work I do. Period.

Sorry Ken, but I’m taking my credit back! :-D

All right, rant over.

What Do YOU Want To Learn?

Since I’m not a very good psychic, I’d like you to tell me what you want to learn how to do with OpenOffice Writer and EZ Ebook Templates.

No matter how silly you think your request is, post it up here and I’ll place up a tutorial explaining how to get it done.

Why am I doing this?

To make this site a better fountain for learning. And the best way to do that is to hear from you!

So, just post up a quick, or long, comment telling me what you’re having trouble with and I’ll create a freely available tutorial just for you.

And, before you get too sheepish about adding your request, just remember, you may not be the only person struggling with an issue :-)

I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Let’s work together to make this site a better place to learn!

In the first portion of this tutorial, we assembled our tools. And, discovered some free places to amass even more cool stuff to add to our own OOo ebook template designs.

Now, in Part 2, we’ll actually begin the first steps to building our own OpenOffice Writer ebook templates. Don’t worry, it’s really easy to do. For simple designs. We’ll cover the tougher stuff in later tutorials :-) .

So, let’s get started. . .

STEP 1: Open Up OpenOffice Writer

Pretty self explanatory, just open up the OOo program and create a new Text Document. You can do that by clicking on “File> New”, but since you’ve just opened up the program there should already be a new Text Document there waiting for you to add content to ;-)

And here’s what it should look like:

STEP 2: Insert A “Default” Header & Footer Into The Document

Again, pretty simple, but here’s the actual ‘break down’ on how to do this . . . .

Go To: Insert > Header > Default

You will now see a new table looking portion at the top of your new text document:

Now, to insert the footer, do the same thing:

Go To: Insert > Footer > Default

Again, you will see a new table portion at the very bottom of your new text document:

The next thing you should do is enter some basic text inside both the Header and Footer.

Normally, I simply add “Ebook Title Here” or “Author Name” inside the Header section along with the Page Number that I either set to the far left or far right.

**Quick Tip : You can also add in a table to better separate any text and page numbering to make things flow better inside your headers and footers.

To add a Page Number count, simply go to: Insert > Fields > Page Number and it will show up wherever you place it. You can find the text alignment settings in the upper toolbar inside OpenOffice Writer shown here:

And here’s what I came up with for my Header default text:

To separate the “Ebook Title Here” text and the Page Number, I just added extra spaces with the space bar.

Now, do the same thing with the Footer. Personally, I like to add something like: “copyright(c)2008 Your Name or Site Link Here” in this area, but you may want to do something different.

Again, you can right align, left align, or center align this text just as you did with the Header text in the same manner.

Here’s what I ended up with:

To get the neato copyright symbol, just go to: Insert > Special Character and a new window will pop open, then just find the copyright symbol, click on it, hit OK and it will auto insert it.

You can also insert a table to add and separate text and special fields section such as Page Numbering( as mentioned earlier ).

Do this by following: Table > Insert > Table

You can make further adjustments to the inserted table after you have put it inside the area you want it to be in by Right Clicking inside one of the table portions, or “cells”.

A new window will pop open giving you plenty of options for adding colors, borders, background colors, table size proportions, and more. Just play around with the settings to see what you can come up with.

Also, to adjust the column widths, you can simply left click and hold the button then drag the middle column line.

STEP 3: Select A “Page” Background Image & Add It

To add an image to the entire ebook, or “Page”, background area, you will need to right click somewhere inside the new Text Document “white area” — this is exactly what it sounds like — the “white” area within the text document that isn’t inside the Header or Footer areas you just added.

This will bring up a menu. Inside this menu, find the linked word: “Page” and left click it once.

A new window will be brought up that looks like this, or similar to this depending on your computer operating system:

Remember too that you can use any .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif image you want for the background.

Personally, I would try and stay away from backgrounds that don’t provide a center “white” area for your ebook contents. This would make reading much more difficult for your audience.

However, you can always add a table right on top of the background image you select that is filled with the color white. That would solve the problem :-)

STEP 4: Add Your Ebook Content

Now that you have your background in place — if you choose to use one — and your Header + Footer added, all that’s left to do is add your ebook content.

When I use the word “content” I’m mostly always referring to text contents. But, you could be creating a graphical ebook. At any rate, all that’s left to do is add your own stuff inside your ebook template.

STEP 5: Save Your Work & Export As A PDF

Pretty easy here.

Just hit: “File > Save”

or, you can also use the little blue floppy disc icon on the toolbar — just left click it once

Either one will save the document. And of course you’ll have to give your new ebook .ODT file a name.

Then, all that’s left to do is hit the little PDF icon and presto! You have your own uniquely designed ebook.

In both editable .ODT format and non-editable .PDF format to pass out to your customers/readers.

CONCLUSION

Don’t be afraid to play around with font settings for your text, sizes, colors, adding plain colors to your ebook background, and changing your header/footer styles.

You can come up with great looking ebooks no matter what your skill level. It’s all about playing ;-)

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

I’ll be adding more in the near future.

And, while you wait, be sure to have a little fun out there!