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Letter from the editor: Say Hello to eBooks! Answered

Happy New Year to all!

It's been an exciting time at Instructables HQ, with the release of over 60 new eBooks currently available in the iBooks store on iTunes! As many of you know, we've been furiously working on putting together some fantastic guides of projects that span the content of the website in order to share our work with an even broader audience. Many of your projects have been featured in these eBooks and you have already checked them out. For those of you who haven't, you can peruse the iTunes bookstore and download free previews of all of the books we publish by searching for Instructables within the iBooks App on iPads, iPods, or iPhones.

If you don't have a device that natively reads EPUB files, you can read them on your computer using a free EPUB reader such as Calibre.

Click here to get Amazing Cakes for the iPad or iPhone

Lots of interesting questions and ideas have come up in the creation of these books. While we want to offer as much of our content for free as we can, it's also true that people tend to value objects more when there's a price tag attached. To test out this theory, we did add some nominal fees (between $0.99 and $2.99 USD) to some of the more niche titles we created – the rest of our books remain free on the iTunes market. However, all of our PRO members will soon be able to download every eBook we produce for free, and every author featured in one will receive a code to share with their friends and family as well.

Some of the titles are available to the Nook audience, though their publishing restrictions were tighter than iTunes' (the Nook doesn't allow us to offer eBooks for free!), so we were limited to what we could share through that market. Now that we know more about their process, we'll be able to share more with them in the future! And we're still brainstorming the best way to bring these books to your Kindle (as much as I love my Kindle, I just don't like the way our guides look in e-ink). Of course, you can still upload pdfs of the Instructables you love to any portable reader you have.

Click here to get Survival for the Nook

We hope you're having a great new year, and that you're as excited as we are about this new venture! 

Click here to check out all the rest of our new ebooks!

All the best,



thanks i wish i had a ebook to read my cake balls recipe and all the other popular picks

If you have an instructable that is going into the ebooks, they'll give you a copy of the ebook you made it into!

really? cool, free duct tape Ebook!!! (i got featured for my duct tape jacket)

My duct tape jacket is in the duct tape Ebook!!! Thank you Frenzy and Culturespy (guys who put my ible' into the book i think) haha check out my duct tape jacket!

Ok, well my wife has a Kindle now but I am still at a bit of a loss as to where to go (besides the Amazon bookstore online) to get eBooks?

I don't know why I feel so confused lately...I still want to finish up the projects I have started before I sink into being an old useless dolt....

The Gutenberg Press website now has oodles of books in MOBI format, which works on the Kindle.

Helpful Link.

BTW: are PDF's compatible with Kindle as far as you know?

Yes, but not 100% of them (I don't know why).

The problem is that you can't change the font sizes like you can for a dedicated format. I have made a few PDF files to use to show other people, and I used a large font-size (I think 28 point?) to make them easily-readable.

Hmmm, I wonder then if Calibre can convert a PDF....I will have to try that.

Yes, I have that site bookmarked....I thought I started to down load books from Instructables, however; it might have been from MAKE....I got one on concrete...and there were others I was going to get, but didn't have the time, but now I am at a loss as to where I was.

Here is a link to all of our new ebooks: https://www.instructables.com/tag/type-id/ebook-true/

Thank you ! Are you familiar with how the Kindle for PC works? I am having some difficulties with that, even after asking the question at their own forum.

From the ibles homepage, go to one of the categories, there will be an ebook tab on top of all the image listings.

Thank you, I finally got it to work correctly :-)

Thanks, for some reason I can't seem to get it to download anything now....

This is an awesome step forward for Instructables.

I just downloaded some! There are a few problems but itsnpretty great. Thanks!

These books are only available for the US store. When they will be available in Italy/Europe?

They should be available for sale in GB, EU, AU, as well as the US. Let me look into it!

Is it also coming available in the Netherlands?

Ok, it looks like iTunes considers EU to mean France and Germany. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing when they might add Italy to their list!

It's great to see Instructables available in ebook format!

After reading through the comments above, I thought I would mention Smashwords as a possible alternative publishing method. I recently released an ebook through them and was very happy with the process and result.

You can choose to publish in a multitude of formats from one source document and offer it for free or set a price you decide on (I decided to release mine for free). You can also opt in to have the ebooks available through Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and soon Amazon. Mine shows up in all of them and is available for free download.

It may be worth checking out as you explore new options for the future.

How very annoying. It seems that the Original iTunes (on my MacBook 10.5.8, iTunes 10.1.1(4)) does not have an iBooks section, and no way to get to them :-( Searching for "instructables" did turn up the I'bles iPhone App, but that's all.

Sigh...perhaps someday, when His Jobliness deigns to recognize EPUB readers for MacOSX....

I love Apple's hardware, but this type of thing is why (iPod Nano aside...) I just can't see myself actually buying their stuff. I think the iPad is downright pretty, but both the product and the software necessary to use it is *so locked down*. I can't install anything else on it, modify what's on it,

What's Original iTunes? This confuses me.

By "Original iTunes", I was referring to the application that is distributed with the MacOSX operating system, on MacBooks and desktop Macs. This long pre-dates the existence of iPods, iPhones, iPads, or any of the other iPiss that are masquerading as Apple Computer products :-/

Well...wouldn't Original iTunes obviously (in the absence of updates) not have an iBooks section if it predates iPods and iPads?

>scratches head<

I am running the latest update, which does have full support for iP* devices. And partyface (below) did point out that I can upload iBooks/EPUB files into my iTunes library; as soon as I do that, a "Books" category for my local files will appear.

My point is that I cannot get to Apple's "iBookstore" via the existing iTunes Store. Eric confirmed that -- apparently Apple will only distribute their iBooks through the closed App available for their iP* devices.

Ah, I just checked and I see what you mean now.

Ugh, FAIL.

I understand where the iTunes application stores local EPUB files (both through the interface and in my user directories). My question was about getting access to the Apple iBooks Store "through iTunes". As Eric explained above, that access is only through Apple's closed iP* portable devices, not through real computers.

Ohh I see now.

Thats odd, being able to browse through Audiobooks in the iTunes Store, but not 'iBooks' books. I suppose Eric could just make an audio record himself reading each book? 

That kind of misses the point of eBooks, doesn't it? :-D

Apparently Apple is only selling iBooks through their closed, portable-device only App, and not through any generally accessible channels. Pretty typical :-(

Imagine if they ran an organ donation program...

"You don't need a new kidney!"

"You don't need bodily autonomy!"

That and you could only get the immunosuppressant meds from one pharmacy in Times Square, and the pills would expire after 14 days from date of purchase...

Whatever you do don't touch one! I played with an iPad for a while and found myself trying to justify having a tablet with the most random reasons...

Apparently that's my problem as well, since I had the same results.

i used to have that troucle, but after you downoad the epub file(make sure you know where you downloaded it to)Then go into itunes and hit the file tab up in the top, then go down and select add file to libary. Next browse for the epub file, once you find it hit ok and in the left side bar in itunes there should be an books tab thingy and in it there will be the epub file.


I'm still confused. In the forum topic, Schoochmaroo wrote, "It's been an exciting time at Instructables HQ, with the release of over 60 new eBooks currently available in the iBooks store on iTunes!"

My problem is that I don't seem to have any access to "the iBooks store". I tried to use the MacOSX iTunes application interface directly (i.e., selecting iTunes Store in the left sidebar), but there is no option for "iBooks". There are just Audiobooks.

So then I tried going to the iTunes Web site, but it's the same thing. There are Audiobooks, but nothing labelled "iBooks", or EPUB or anything like it. Searches of the Apple Website don't reveal any way to get to "iBooks" or "the iBookstore" except through one of Apple's almost-but-not-quite-computer devices.

Sorry, it is confusing. The ebooks are best seen within Apple's iBooks Store, which is only accessible as an app on iPads, iPhone, and iPods (to my knowledge). However, in the Nook marketplace, you can see our books.  If that link doesn't work, go to nook.com and search for Instructables.

Thanks, Eric! That link worked perfectly. So you were able to put 38 of 60 out on Nook.

It would be kind of cool if Sarah could add just the full list of titles, perhaps, to the forum topic, so those of us without iP* can at least know what's out there. I do not mean links to the files, just the names.

Barnes and Noble has more restrictive terms than Apple. Two big issues: we cannot give ebooks away for free in the Nook marketplace, and we're limited to epub files less than 20 MB (about a third of our books are larger).

Cannot wait until Kindle makes an easier-to-read template so I can get all of these on my Android Kindle. :D

Ummmm... my "paper" book "Henry the Prickly Porcupine" is for sale at Chapters, Boarders, and Amazon :0)

This one

"I was given Henry the Prickly Porcupine as a gift for my son and we have found it to be a beautiful addition to our library. Geared for younger children, the author's message of compassion and understanding differences among friends is clear (and sweetly poignant) without being preachy and feels particularly relevant in a world where bullying seems to make headlines on a daily basis. Kudos to the author for her meaningful contribution to the universe of children's literature."

You did it! Congratulations! Did you end up using Lulu?

Thank so so much. Stuck it out with original yuck-o-lahs. Am going to investigate your idea for next time. I'm still really surprised that it got picked up at the book stores.


7 years ago

Why iTunes?

There are a lot of eBook distributors that are far more accessible and well thought out than iTunes, as well as offering the option of chargeable or free content. Some (most?) also offer a choice of formats as well, either pre-prepared, of using on the fly conversion from a single meta-document.

You seem to be seriously limiting your opportunities as well as pushing readers towards a web shop that, frankly, only does eBooks as an afterthought, and which is a direction that many of us would prefer not to go.

Perhaps it might be worth re-examining this element of your new offering? There are much better options out there, which also seem to be a far better fit with the "Be nice" ethos of Instructables.

That said, what a good idea, and the very best of luck with it.

We currently use Apple's iBooks Store and Barnes and Nobles' Nook marketplace. We are working to use Google's ebook marketplace, and will evaluate others as they become available.

What is your favorite place to get ebooks?