eBook Compiler Review - Free eBook Compiler

by: Ed Zivkovic

eBook Compilers - HTML Compilers

To create eBooks and software, you'll need some kind of HTML compiler, also called eBook Compiler.

Note: This page is not about creating PDF eBooks also known as Portable Document Files.

The compiler you select will depend on how many features you want and how professional you want the product to look. Please note that all ebook compilers do not compile HTML files.

Some just compile text files. This page will focus mainly on the regular commonly used HTML compiler.

If you do not know how to create HTML files (web pages), you can simply get some free web templates to get you started. This is quicker and easier than learning to build web pages from scratch.

To get HTML web pages and images into a single down loadable file, you'll need software to compile it. Once it is compiled, you have what is called an ebook. You can also create files which you can call software

Most HTML compilers can be downloaded and used for Free. You see ads like "Free eBook Compiler" or "Free HTML Compiler. With most free compilers however, you are not permitted to distribute the file it creates. The distributed file displays a "Not For Distribution" message. This message does not appear when you register the compiler. The ones that are really free seem to be very limited with what they can do.

Make Wads of Cash and be the next Bill Gates

Most companies have this great sales page that tells you about all the money you can make if you buy their compiler. Don't get caught up in this "selling the dream" type of advertising, especially when buying a compiler. It is just a piece of software. It is just a tool you use to create products and services just like a carpenter has tools to create products and services.

The compiler in and of itself will not make you money no more than a power saw will make money for the carpenter. The carpenter's power saw does not go out and sell the carpentry service. The carpenter must go out and get work before the power saw even gets plugged in.

Compilers have nothing to do with your ability to market products and services. The amount of money you make has got nothing to do with the big hyped up sales messages you see. Don't buy a compiler because you want to get rich by next Tuesday. Buy a compiler to compliment what you already do, to do what you cannot do without one or to make your life easier. Remember that none of this important if you do not have any fun.

Not Just for eBooks

So you probably are here because you want to create an ebook. Most people do not know that you can make other stuff with a compiler and call it a software program. Let me explain how I discovered this.

Once upon a time on the Internet, there was a software product called Mavica Surprise. I own a Sony Mavica digital camera and was interested in buying this software. I downloaded the evaluation version and noticed that the user interface was the same as my own eBooks. So I said to myself, hey, I know how to make this software because it is written in HTML and I already own a compiler.

So you can create your own software programs from compiled HTML. There is other programs out there that have been created with a HTML compiler. Another example of a software product which was created with an eBook compiler is Mini Site Generator. Mini Site Generator is compiled HTML pages with some JavaScript in it.
    Side Note: Before you go ahead with a HTML and JavaScript project, make sure that the compiler you intend to use does in fact support JavaScript.
Another example is a digital photo album. I first create a HTML photo album with nice thumbnail navigation system and then compile it. This photo album can be distributed via direct download or on CD. My friends think I am some kind of genius. Of course I have links to my website inside all photo albums that I create.

You can also create digital business cards for yourself or other businesses. Simply create some HTML pages that can be navigated like a simple website. Hand code your your customer's details inside the pages. The business card can be as long or as short as you like. Distribute your digital business cards on floppy disk or mini CD.

Which eBook Compiler should I use?

At time of writing, I own 4 registered eBook compilers so I qualify to write this review. I have 3 HTML compilers and a text compiler. I think I am a compiler junkie. Just when I say that I have enough compilers, some new one comes out with a feature that my other ones do not have. Then I must have that one too. I am going to review two of the compilers that I own, two that I do not own and a free, unrestricted HTML compiler.

The one you use will depend on your needs, and your personality. At the end of the day, all ebook software programs will produce an ebook. However, they all have their own unique qualities and features. The best way to find out which one is suitable for your needs is to download them and try them out. You should decide which compiler is best for you by testing it out first. Hell, you don't even know me, so why should you believe anything I say. (or anybody else for that matter) What's good for me might not be good for you so try them out first before you spend any money.

SbookBuilder - A 100% Free Unrestricted eBook Compiler

If you are on a tight budget, you might want to use this free ebook compiler for a while and move onto a you beaut model later. Check out SbookBuilder. It is pretty basic, but it is a true, unrestricted compiler. This means that you do not have to pay to register it and you are permitted to distribute the ebooks it makes.

There is no need to install the program either. It downloads as a zip file. Just unzip it and open the file called SbookBuilder. Then double click on the file SbookBuilder10.exe to use the compiler. I compiled an ebook with little baby in about 3 minutes flat. There is also a directory called demo-book so you can test it out straight away. How to use sBookBuilder10.
    Note: This compiler does not support JavaScript.
If you need a free zip utility or a free HTML editor, please read this previous article.

eBookEditPro

Another HTML compiler that I own is eBookEditPro. The reason I purchased this compiler is because I want the ability to create brandable ebook products. eBookEditPro comes with a special branding software which allows you to distribude brandable versions of your ebook.

This compiler does not let you select 16 color icons. You must use icons that are 256 colors. This sucks because I have to get another icon editor just because it does not support standard 16 color icons.

eBookEditPro will also let you surf the web from within the ebook viewer itself. It will not open an Internet Explorer window unless you use the target="_blank" command inside the hyperlink command. This command will launch a new Browser Window. This feature will keep your reader inside your ebook at all times if you so choose.

eBook Pro

Another compiler that I do not own and am not ever going to purchase is eBook Pro. This compiler has advanced security which lets you de-activate any of your ebooks. This is handy if someone asks for a refund. Supports HTML 4.0 & DHTML, Javascript, Active-X, Shockwave, Real Audio and Real Video. This eBook compiler is expensive and I do not like the output file it produces.

You see, once your customer has downloaded the ebook, they must also download a viewer program then read the instructions on how to install it. This is common with PDF eBooks but I think that compiled HTML eBooks should be self contained.

Also, when users open the ebook, their machine wants to connect them to the Internet to verify that the ebook is a legal copy. This is a good idea, but I think I'll keep it in the "Too Hard Basket".

Ebook Gold 3.0

Ebook Gold 3.0 is the compiler to use if you are concerned about security and bandwidth.

You can create eBooks less than 100kb in size with this compiler and advanced security options allow you to disable the eBooks if people ask for a refund. It also has many of the now standard features like support for Flash files, Shockwave presentations, sound files JavaScript and other plug-ins.

eBook Compiler

eBook Compiler is the one I use today if I am compiling HTML. I like it because it can generate a separate branding application which can be used to distribute brandable eBooks. The branding application can re-brand the master eBook file over and over which eliminates the need to supply complicated instructions.

eBook Compiler will also compile HTML with JavaScript which means you can create downloadable software from simple JavaScripts. Here is a minisite generator I compiled using eBook compiler, complete with branding application.

eBook Compiler is the best compiler for the price and has many other features too numerous to mention here.

Ebook Maestro - Free Version Available

Chris Yates has an affordable HTML compiler called Ebook Maestro. The free version carries advertising and cannot be used for commercial projects. I have not tried this one. I am not testing any new compilers these days.