It could happen to you. You have downloaded an interesting ebook only to find out that the file is encoded in one of those small screen formats and it could not display on your laptop. On the other side of the spectrum, you could be a web publisher who would like to offer your ebook in the Internet in various formats supported by the different gadgets and tablets that users may be using.
Don't fret. Your Vista computer needs additional software that make it easy and convenient for you to work with your ebook collection. You're in luck because you can download and install these software on your Vista laptop for free.
It used to be that the portable document format (PDF) was the only available format for distributing and displaying ebooks in the Internet. But with the advent of smaller screen gadgets and tablets, new ways of encoding ebooks have been developed and are now widely used worldwide.
The kind of software that you would need depends on how sophisticated you want to be in working with your ebook collection. You may just want to read a differently formatted ebook on your Vista laptop or you may want to convert your ebook into the different formats supported by the myriad of gadgets and tablets out there.
Reading Differently Formatted Ebooks
For reading differently formatted ebooks on your Vista computer, you just need to download and install readers for the two major gadget platforms: Kindle on the one hand, and Sony and Nook on the other. For reading Kindle formatted ebooks, you can download and install the Mobipocket Reader. For ebooks formatted in the Sony Reader and the Nook formats, you can download and install the ePubReader extension for your Firefox browser.
The Mobipocket Reader allows you to read ebooks encoded in the mobi format. It creates a folder under your user name in your Vista computer where you can store your mobi formatted ebooks. It also allows you to import ebooks in other formats and read them the Mobipocket way. You can also purchase ebooks from the large ebook catalog available at Mobipocket.com. If you need help in using the Mobipocket Reader, you can access a great body of help information from the Mobipocket Forum.
You can download and install the ePubReader add on for your Firefox browser by going to Tools and clicking Add-ons on the menu bar of your browser. Search the add-ons catalog and download the extension once you found it. Then you can open and read your ebook on the Firefox browser.
If you want to have a copy of the ebook you've downloaded in your Vista laptop, you can do so by clicking on the save icon and specifying where you want your ebook to be saved. Your browser will also have an ebook catalog button where you would find all your ebooks in the epub format.
To transfer your differently formatted ebooks to your gadget or tablet, you have to download and install your gadget's software on your Vista laptop. Then, just follow the instructions provided by your gadget's software. You may need to connect your device to your Vista computer during installation.
Web Publishing for Gadgets and Tablets
For publishing your ebooks in various formats so users can read them on their device, you need a more sophisticated software. Download and install the calibre software on your laptop. Then you can manage your ebook collection and convert the ebooks you have created into the different formats that your readers may choose based on their reading device.
The calibre software offers you a versatile program that can manage your ebook collection, read your ebooks, and convert them from one format to another. It creates a central location where your ebooks in different formats are stored in your Vista computer.
To be able to do anything at all with the ebook you have written, you have to add your ebook first in the calibre library. You can add your ebook in its native form to the calibre library and from there generate the different versions in different formats that your users may require. The conversion interface is not very intuitive and you may stumble at first in using it but after getting the hang of it, you'll very soon become an expert at using it.
In the conversion window, specify first from what format into what format the conversion is going to be undertake. Failure to do this may result in the default which will convert the manuscript into the epub format. Also don't forget to change the settings in the conversion setup window. There, you can specify more precisely the device on which the document is desired to be viewed. Not doing this correctly may generate unexpected results. In addition, don't forget to complete the metadata portion of your ebook so your readers would not find it difficult to search for your ebook.
You can manage your whole ebook collection in conjuntion with a gadget or tablet that you own. You can visit the calibre website to check if your gadget or tablet is fully supported by calibre. You can also find help information in the website if you find some difficulty in connecting your device to calibre.
Multi-Platform Web Publishing with Free Software
Web publishers of today have a wonderful opportunity to publish their books in different formats using free software available in the Internet. In preparing your manuscript, you don't need the sophisticated and expensive productivity software for writing your drafts. You can download the free OpenOffice software and install it in your Vista computer. The calibre software accepts documents created in the open document format (ODT) generated by OpenOffice.
With free software available in the Internet, readers and writers alike are benefited. Laptop users are able to read books that are formatted for gadgets and tablets. Writers are enabled to offer the books that they have written in various different formats required by the devices of their readers.
Read an article on multi-platform web publishing using free software on a vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/11/multi-platform-web-publishing-using.html.