Proofing Your eBook
Note: If you haven’t already done so, you may want to read the Introducing Vellum tutorial to learn how to create eBooks with Vellum.
Once your book is published in stores, readers will be able to purchase and seamlessly download it to their device of choice. Before you publish, however, you may want to proof your eBook.
- Desktop Reading Apps
- iPhones and iPads
- eInk Devices
- Android Tablets
Desktop Reading Apps
The easiest way to view an eBook generated by Vellum is with a desktop reading app.
- iBooks for OS X
The iBooks app for OS X is installed on any Mac that can run Vellum. Use it to open the iBooks.epub file generated by Vellum.
- Kindle for Mac
Kindle for Mac is a free download available from Amazon. Use it to open the Kindle.mobi file generated by Vellum.
Note: The Kindle app doesn’t allow you to add the same mobi file twice, so we recommend that you remove it from the Kindle app’s library when you are done proofing. More details can be found in Troubleshooting.
- Adobe Digital Editions
While Nook does offer a reading app for Mac OS X, it will not run on Mac OS X 10.8 or newer.
You can, however use Adobe Digital Editions, which uses the same technology as Nook devices and can open the Nook.epub file generated by Vellum.
Because both iBooks and Nook both use the epub suffix, you may need to use the File > Open With menu item to open with Adobe Digital Editions instead of iBooks:
Note 1: The link above points to the 2.0 version of Adobe Digital Editions. This is not the most recent version, but it best approximates the capabilities of a Nook device.
Note 2: We only recommend using Adobe Digital Editions with the Nook version of your eBook. Other versions will not open successfully.
The Kobo Desktop App is available for free from their website. Use it to open the Kobo.kepub.epub file generated by Vellum.
To open your Kobo book in the app, however, you’ll first have to copy it to the Digital Editions folder located inside your Documents folder. If you don’t already have a Digital Editionsfolder, you can create one using the Finder’s File > New Folder menu item.
Once your eBook is in the proper location, go to the Library tab in the Kobo application. If you already have eBooks in your Kobo Library, click the List View icon in the upper-right corner so that your new one will be easier to find:
Now, press ⌘-Shift-S to refresh your Kobo library and you'll see your eBook appear.
To proof your eBook, simply double-click the book icon.
- Google Play
While Google doesn’t offer a dedicated application to proof your books for Google Play, you can use the free Google Chrome web browser.
First, sign into Google Play using Chrome. Then press the Upload files button in the upper-right and select your Play.epub file. After your book is successfully uploaded, you’ll be able to view it from within Chrome.
In fact, once your eBook is uploaded, it will be available from the Google Play app on other devices as well.
iPhones and iPads
To view your eBook on your iPhone or iPad, you will first need to install the appropriate reading app. You can then transfer your eBook to your iOS device.
- iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play
- To view your eBook in these iOS applications, you can either email the eBook file to yourself (and then open it using the corresponding application), or you can transfer it using Dropbox.
- In order to maintain the formatting in your eBook file, you must follow a specialized procedure to transfer your Kindle eBook to iOS.
- Unfortunately, the Nook app for iOS does not support directly loaded eBooks.
Transferring an eBook to iOS using Dropbox
To complete this procedure, you will need Dropbox installed on both your Mac and on your iPhone or iPad. And while this example is uses the file that Vellum creates for iBooks, the process for transferring to the Kobo or Google Play iOS applications is extremely similar.
- In Vellum’s Generate sheet, select a folder within your Dropbox as the destination Folder.
- Generate your eBooks.
- Now switch to your iOS device and open the Dropbox app.
- Find the folder you designated for eBook generation and open it.
- Select an eBook file that was generated by Vellum. For this example, we’ll use the iBooks.epub file.
- Dropbox will download the eBook, but won’t be able to preview it. Touch the button with the ellipsis in the upper-right corner:
- Select Export.
- Touch Open In...
- Touch Copy to iBooks.
- Once the iBooks app opens, it should display your eBook.
Transferring a Kindle eBook to iOS
While it’s possible to use Dropbox to transfer a Kindle eBook to an iPhone or iPad, doing so will not retain all of the advanced formatting applied by Vellum (see also: Kindle Formats). Unfortunately, preserving this formatting when testing requires a complicated conversion and transfer process. To transfer to iOS you will need:
- Amazon’s free Kindle Previewer app installed on your Mac.
- Amazon’s Kindle app for iOS installed on your device.
Part 1: Create an .azk file
First, you will use Kindle Previewer app to generate a special .azk version of your eBook:
- Launch Kindle Previewer, and then open the .mobi file generated by Vellum. If successful, you will see a preview of your book as seen on a Kindle device like a Paperwhite.
- In Kindle Previewer, switch to Kindle for iOS:
- Rather than show you a preview, Kindle Previewer will convert the .mobi to an .azk file. The process will take a few minutes, and the resulting file should appear in the same folder as your .mobi file.
Part 2: Transfer the .azk file to your iPhone or iPad
The only way to transfer this file to your iOS device is via iTunes:
- Plug your iPhone or iPad into your Mac and start iTunes (if it doesn’t launch automatically).
- Click on the button to view the contents of your iPhone or iPad:
- Select Apps and then scroll down to the File Sharing section.
- Select the Kindle app:
- Find the Kindle version of your eBook generated by Vellum, then drag it into Kindle Documents pane. Sometimes — even with a successful transfer — the file will disappear from the listing in iTunes shortly after you drop it.
- Open the Kindle app on your iPhone or iPad. You should find your eBook in your Library.
Note: This azk file should only be used for testing. When you’re ready to publish, you will still upload the .mobi file generated by Vellum to Amazon.
To view on a dedicated eInk reader, you will need to transfer your eBook to the device using a micro-USB cable (this is the same cable you use to charge your device). For this example, we’ll assume you are using a Kindle, though the process is similar for other eInk devices, like the Nook Glowlight or the Kobo Touch.
- Connect the small end of the micro-USB cable to your eReader, and the large end to one of the free USB ports on your Mac.
- With your eReader successfully connected, you should see it in the sidebar of the Finder:
- Click on your device in the sidebar to display its contents.
Depending on the device, you’ll need to drag your eBook into
the appropriate destination folder.
- Kindle: drag your Kindle.mobi file into the documentsfolder.
- Nook: drag your Nook.epub file into the My Files/Books folder.
- Kobo: drag your Kobo.kepub.epub file into the top-level contents of your eReader.
- With the file transferred (it’s quick), you can now “eject” your eReader using the button in the sidebar and then unplug it from your Mac.
- You should now see your eBook on your eReader.
Transferring to an Android Tablet
Kindle, Nook, and Kobo
To transfer to an Android Tablet, like the 2nd Generation Kindle Fire (or newer) or a Samsung Galaxy, you’ll use the Android File Transfer application.
- On your Mac, download and install the free Android File Transfer app.
- Connect the small end of the micro-USB cable to your tablet, and the large end to one of the free USB ports on your Mac.
- When your tablet is successfully connected, Android File Transfer should launch.
- Depending on the platform you are proofing, you'll drag your
eBook to a different destination folder within the Android File
- Kindle: drag your Kindle.mobi file into the kindlefolder.
- Nook: drag your Nook.epub file into the Nook/Books folder.
- Kobo: drag your Kobo.kepub.epub file into the Documents folder.
- With the transfer complete, you can now unplug your device from your Mac.
If you are using Kindle or Nook, you should find you eBook when you open those applications.
For Kobo, you'll need to import your eBook using the "vertical ellipsis" button in the upper-right. Touch that icon and select Import Items, which will bring up the following shelf:
Select your eBook, and then use the Import Selected button to import it into your Kobo library.
Note: Kobo will scan your entire tablet for epub files, so if you are proofing your Nook files on the same device, you may want to remove them before importing your Kobo eBooks.
You will be able to view your eBook in any Google Play application once it has been uploaded successfully. To upload from your desktop, see the Desktop Reading Apps section above for the Google Play instructions.
You can also upload to Google Play using the application on your Android tablet. Simply email your Google Play eBook or transfer it using Dropbox, and then open it using the app.