Lessons from the Fledgling Author: Making Notes with iBook

I wrote about making and exporting Notes from a Kindle (on a Mac). In this blog, I will explain how to do that on an iBook. Interestingly, this is far more straightforward on my iPhone than on my Mac—just the opposite problem from the Kindle.

First, I will talk about the iPhone, since it is the easiest to use. Download the .ePub file. I think it automatically opens into iBooks. You’ll have to scroll back to see the title page, copyright, beta readers’ notes and, dedication. Otherwise, just start reading. When you find something to comment about, select the text. Above the selected text, a menu should appear with “Copy,” “Highlight,” “Note,” and and arrow to the right. Select “Note.” Then, type in the comment.

Click “Done,” at the top right to get back to the book. Keep reading. Add another comment. If you just drag you finger over a block of text, it automatically makes it into a Highlight to which you can add your comment. Sorry, the top-level menus don’t get captured in the screenshots on iPhone.

When you are ready to export the Notebook, click the Menu icon at the top left.

Switch from “Contents” to “Notes.”

Click the Upload icon at top right. Select “Edit Notes.”Then, “Select All” at the bottom left of the page. Then, click “Share,” which is at the bottom in the middle. This will pop up the option of where to share it. If you choose email, it puts the notes into email.

As you can see from the email I received (at the right, above), I did not get much context on where the comment occurred. Be sure to include enough of the text to make it easy for me to find it.It would also be nice to know the Chapter and Scene.

For exporting Notes on iBook on a Mac, the only method I have been able to find—so far—is covered on this YouTube video. The gist is that, when you are ready to export the comments: open the Notes panel by clicking the third icon in the top menu; expand all of the chapters to see all of the comments; select all the comments and copy; paste into email. It’s pretty ugly, but it works. Let me know if you find a better way to do this.

Copyright ©2014-17 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

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Lessons from the Fledgling Author: Making Notes with Kindle

My writer’s journey has led me to figuring out how to get feedback on my first novel, “Tishta the Crystal Orb,” prior to its publication. Over the course of the last year, whenever I talked to people about the book, I asked them if they would become Beta Readers. I ended up with a list of around two dozen friends and acquaintances, as well as a few strangers. Over the weekend, I felt ready to share “Tishta” with other people, so sent out an email explaining what I was requesting of them. To my happy surprise, seven of them have agreed and taken possession of a beta copy of the ebook and provide me their thoughts about it.

One of the complications is how to communicate the feedback. I knew that in a Word document, you could take notes, embedded in the text. This is how my editor, Anne Bean, provided feedback on the first draft of “Tishta.” Recently, I discovered you can make notes in both iBooks and Kindle. This blog tells how to do it for Kindle on a Mac. A following blog will include iBooks instructions.

First, download the .mobi file. If you double-click it, Kindle will open into the book. This can be pretty slow, so be patient.

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You’ll have to scroll back to see the title page, copyright, beta readers’ notes and, dedication. Otherwise, just start reading. When you find something to comment about, click the “notes” icon—at the bottom of the menu on the left side.

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That should open the Notebook panel.

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Next, highlight the text you want to attach a comment to, and click “Add Note.”

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This should bring up a pop-up dialog where you can type the comment.

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Click “Save.” The highlighted text and the comment should show up in the Notebook.

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Keep reading. Find another place to note.

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Click save. It will show up beneath the first comment in the Notebook.

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One note about text selection: Always select more than one word, otherwise, there is no highlight to go with the comment. It will be easier for me to match up the comment with the text if I have some context to go on.

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When you are ready to export the Notebook, click the upload icon at the top of the Notebook panel. Click OK on the warning. Then save it somewhere that you can find it.

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This generates a .html file. Here’s what it looks like.

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I haven’t figured out how to import the .html yet so I can apply it to my own copy of Tishta, but I think this will be a workable option.

There is definitely a way to make notes on Apple devices—specifically, my iPhone—that is similar to the steps above. It appears to be complicated to extract/export the notes from an Apple device. It might be possible to sync up to your Amazon account, but that might not work for a local copy of a book. I don’t see the export icon that some of the how-to blogs talk about. One talked about a new email option, but I can’t find that, either. If someone figures this out, let me know and I’ll update this blog.

Copyright ©2014-17 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

Tishta the Crystal Orb: Beta Version Ready for Readers

Since the last time I wrote, I poked around a little more, doing a few edits here, ensuring some things I was concerned about were being addressed there, and generally feeling uncertain about whether or not this is a good time to engage with Beta Readers. Even though I have some story points to cover that will ensure things are set up for following books, I decided it is the right time.

I sent the initial email to my list of about two dozen volunteers this morning. I know at least a few of them are definitely going to do it–I’ll find out soon, how many others want to dive in.  I am excited and nervous, at the same time.

This is an enormous step forward for me. It makes me feel like I am almost done. I am sure there will be many things I did not anticipate to slow me down. I have maps to draw, one more story arc to add, a cover artist to locate, audio to record, and edits, edits, edits, but I am optimistic about publishing before the end of the year.

If you know of a good cover artist, please refer them to me at TheWolfDreamBooks@gmail.com. Any other advice you have for a first time author would also be much appreciated.

Copyright ©2014-17 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.