Linked: Zhook, the ebook format that isn’t

Zhook is an ebook format that isn’t. To make one:

You create a HTML document, call it index.html.

You mark up the text of the book in this file.

You put all your resources, like images and stylesheets, in the same folder or a subfolder.

You make sure you have a cover.png.

You zip it all up, and change the file extension to .zhook.

The best thing about it is that it’s easily convertible to both ePub and webpage.

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  • http://improbableisland.com CavemanJoe

    “You create a HTML document, call it index.html.”
    A good start!

    “You mark up the text of the book in this file.”
    Yup – very sensible, very straightforward.

    “You put all your resources, like images and stylesheets, in the same folder or a subfolder.”
    A good tip! That way you don’t have to muck about with file paths, which can be confusing for newbies.

    “You make sure you have a cover.png.”
    A good idea, although .jpg is probably going to result in a just-as-good-looking cover with a far smaller file size for most covers that aren’t text-on-a-plainish-background.

    “You zip it all up,”
    Makes sense, yes, with you so far…

    “…and change the file extension to .zhook.”
    Okay, that all sounded so good, and then – for no good reason – we change the file extension, giving the reader one more task to accomplish before being able to read the book.

    Why. Oh god why.

    (the really sad part is that this format has been done many, many times before already – just with a slightly altered (although no less redundant) final step: change the file extension to .[nameofmysillysoundingextension].)

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    I think you’re missing the point. The writer does the conversion, the reader merely downloads the ebook and opens it in an ebook reader. Failing which, the writer has the option of one-click conversion to ePub/webpage, both incredibly accessible formats for the potential reader. Point being: Zhook is a good, simple, easy to understand format for distribution and conversion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Piledriver-Peterson/100000798451318 Piledriver Peterson

    I am guessing that there is at least one reader that recognizes this “format?” And perhaps even a software reader for the PC/Mac/Linux?

    Such would explain the file extension — being able to associate the files with the reader without mucking up associations for all zip files. Too bad there isn’t a *.rhook version using rar archives (with the added benefits thereof).

    Also, to Caveman’s advocacy of the JPEG format I wanna throw back that “Why?” at him. In this age of such horrendously wasteful file formats/containers (like flash video), why use a lossy compression on single images? That couple of MB you may shave off your total file size isn’t going to make even a dialup consumer blink. PNG has always been the best format around, and it’s only getting better.