Oncor Blog Presentation

May 17, 2013 by

Oncor Blog Presentation

An Oncor Presentation: Blogging 101

An Oncor Presentation: Blogging 101. This photo is linked to the book for iPad version of the presentation.

Recently I was invited to speak during a panel discussion at Oncor in Dallas.  I began a blog in 2004 using the name of TheDadsCenter.org. Somewhere in 2007 I began using my fabled name, @DaddyClaxton on Twitter and then bought the domain. The original “Daddy Claxton” was mentioned in a song by the late, Roy Claxton Acuff, who apparently changed the name from Carter or something else. As we created our business to build websites and now design and produce books for iPad and books for Kindle and Nook, came the development of this site.

This is the presentation I prepared for my 15 minutes. It includes helpful tips about blogging, including must-have plugins for WordPress and a  little bit about the history of blogging in general.

To download the book for iPad, simply go to this Dropbox address and download. (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2269153/Oncor/ClaxtonCreative%20Blogger.ibooks)

To download the PDF version, here’s the link. (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2269153/Oncor/ClaxtonCreative%20Blogger.pdf)

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What Book Did You Read Last? How’d you choose it?

May 8, 2013 by

What Book Did You Read Last? How did you choose it?

How did you pick the last book you read?

How did you pick the last book you read?

The last book I read was John Ed Mathison’s When God Redefines the Possible, soon to be released for Kindle, Nook and iPad.  Today I was given a stack of books to read by a potential client. Yeah, that makes me a little different than most people. So how do you go about picking what to read next?

This past weekend I was going through some of the Lynda.com courses on e-Books etc. and stumbled on a reminder to do some connecting of other sites to GoodReads.com.  On their site I noticed a number of surveys they’ve been conducting.  Now these numbers aren’t scientific in nature–there is a huge non respondent biased, not to mention the vast universe of people out there who don’t go to the GoodReads.com website. But of the thousands who have answered the questions, the responses are quite interesting.

So how do most people who use GoodReads.com say they picked the last book they read? Well, actually, just like I did today. A friend said “Here, take a look at these.”  Most often there’s a different dialogue associated with such, I realize. “Hey, have you read…?”

Nearly 14,000 votes fell off to the next answer–they got the tips from GoodReads.com itself.

Seven-thousand more down in responses fell off to the third most popular answer–people found things in their bookstore.  Even fewer found them in a library. Just a few less relied on Amazon.  And then there’s the searing slap on the work of publicists–only 6 percent said they read a book because they saw something about it in the news media. Blogs didn’t do much better. Best seller recommendations were way down on the list, too.

So how do you pick a book to read?


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The Print To eBook Conversion–A New Way To Look At ‘Books’

May 7, 2013 by

The Print To eBook Conversion–A New Way To Look At ‘Books’

At Claxton Creative here in Dallas, we’ve done a number of print to e-Book and iBooks Author-generated conversions and one thing becomes immediately clear throughout this process–the print to e-Book conversion process shouldn’t be a matter of just replacing the print copy into digitized form.  No, it should be much, much more.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

eBook v. iBooks Author

On top of that, we take things a step further than most competitors we’ve seen online.  Yes, the EPUB formatted book can be read on many more devices than those built with iBooks Author, which only work on iPad and iPad mini.  However, the functionality of a book made with iBooks Author versus one in an EPUB 2.0.1 or even the “new” EPUB 3 format leave a world of difference in between.

We’d like to bang someone in the marketing department at Apple over the head for their lack in marketing the difference between the two. In the video below even, we’ve shown you the contrast between 3D imagery in an EPUB 3 book and that of Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.  As we like to say, a book for iPad made with iBooks Author is like being in a museum where you’re supposed to touch everything.  Using 3D in an EPUB is like trying to play ping pong on a 1970s Atari on a black and white TV.  (Sorry Atari, but that’s pretty accurate. For clarification purposes, Atari was ahead of the time then.  EPUB 3 isn’t.)

Working With Print Authors

We often are approached by print authors who are ready to make a digital book and our first question to them is how much video do you want to add to your book?  We ask that knowing that our recommendation to them truly is going to be to make a book for iPad because the functionality, the file size, just the look is so much more alive and vivid than anything we have yet to see on a Kindle or Nook.  We have a potential client we’re trying to help understand this concept as she wants to do a series of YouTube videos and put them on a website for free. It’s our recommendation that instead they be added to a book for iPad because it will help make the book even more spectacular than what we already are talking about.

Besides, why give something away for free when there’s going to be high production costs and, more importantly, you can include it in your book for iPad and make some money back from it?!?!

Are You Wanting To Convert From Print to Digital?

If you’re ready to convert your book there are a series of questions you should be asking yourself.

  • What visuals can I add to my book to make it come alive?  This means video and still, hi-res pics.
  • Your book (for iPad) should include video. What videos could we shoot for your book to add a dimension that is presently missing?
  • What interactive charts or graphs would you like to include in your book that your printer said would cost too much to print and they didn’t want to expend the extra pages to include? We can do that on one page now, at a high resolution and they can be very cool.
  • What website pages would you like to have embedded in your book and let your readers visit without ever leaving your book?
  • If you could add digital magic to your book, what would you like to add?

If you know the answers to some or all of those questions, then we’d like to talk to you about making a book for iPad, and of course, doing an EPUB version.  Yes, more people will be able to get your book from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but the one they get off Apple’s iBookstore will be the one that will make most people’s mouth’s drop and want to know what you can do next.

Let’s talk.

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Do You Highlight In EPUB Books? Books for iPad?

May 6, 2013 by

Do You Highlight In EPUB Books? Books for iPad?

Admittedly, when I have an option of buying a tech book for computer or even a self-help, inspirational book, I’m probably going to buy the printed version because I like to read actively–meaning I read with a pen and I mark up the book with notes, underlining, etc.

But what about a book on Kindle, Nook or another e-Reader?  What about a book for iPad?

If you’re like most readers, at least according to an active survey available on the GoodReads.com site, most people do NOT even use this function in books they read on their EPUB devices.

Do you highlight in your e-Reader?

Do you highlight in your e-Reader?

As of Sunday evening and 140,444 votes, 43 percent of e-Reader respondents on their site say they “never highlight.”

Only 28 percent said “Yes, I like to highlight.” Some 22 percent said they don’t have an e-Reader and 2 percent said their e-Reader doesn’t support the functionality.

Books for iPad

To their credit, Apple has built amazing functionality into books for iPad when it comes to the ability to highlight.  And with iBooks 3 they’ve even made it so users can text, email, post to Twitter or Facebook the information that’s been highlighted.

But as we tend to note here, the book that can be designed with Apple’s iBooks Author and made available only on the iPad or iPad mini far and away exceeds the capabilities of those offered in the EPUB 2.01 or even the highly acclaimed EPUB 3 format.  It almost harkens back to the differences in capabilities between PC and Mac, really.

If you highlight text in your e-Books or books for iPad, what do you tend to highlight?

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Balance Ragged Lines InDesign Layout Stopping Full Margin Layout

Apr 25, 2013 by

Balance Ragged Lines InDesign Layout Stopping Full Margin Layout

We’re working on the layout of John Ed Mathison’s EPUB version of When God Redefines The Possible, now completed as a book for iPad and nearly ready for submission to Apple.

But our wonderful client also wants versions for Kindle & Nook and so we’re working on an EPUB version as well using InDesign.

But there was a problem in layout that happened from importing the text.

Adobe PDF

The manuscript we received from the client was in the form of a PDF.  It had to be copied and then loaded into TextEditor on the Mac and from there, loaded into iBooks Author and then over into Adobe’s InDesign for EPUB formatting as you can’t go from an iBooks Author format to EPUB.  It just doens’t work.

So when we imported the document from TextEditor into InDesign, it soon became apparent that there was something amiss.

And after some time in Lynda.com videos, I finally sent it to one of my InDesign gurus and asked what was up.

The answer came back quickly.

Turn Off Balance Ragged Lines

With Preview on, this became immediately apparent and quite honestly, this is something I never would have found without asking.  There simply are thousands of options within InDesign and sometimes, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’d never find it.

So for future InDesign layout work. If you have paragraphs that are not going the width of the page from margin to margin, try turning off the Balance Ragged Lines option in Paragraph Styles.

Here are two photos of how this fixed the problem.  Before and then after….

Balance Rugged Lines On

Balance Rugged Lines On

And After

Balance Rugged Lines Off

Balance Rugged Lines Off


As you can see, the lines of the first two paragraphs now go all the way across without wrapping.  Even with Show Hidden Characters On, there was no indication of what was causing this issue.



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iPhone Portrait Lock – I’ve Been Missing This

Apr 10, 2013 by

iPhone Portrait Lock – I’ve Been Missing This

There have been many a days and nights while lying on my bed or the sofa, etc. when I’ve begun texting someone or looking at my iPhone and because of it’s orientation, it spun around. I’d move the phone and it’d move again. And I’d move the phone and it’d move again. Finally, I just had to sit up and type out whatever I’d wanted to do out of frustration.

When iPad came along, I was glad to see they just added the switch on the side near the volume.  That was a lot of help.  But alas, no such button on the iPhone.

Now most of you reading this know I’m pretty up-to-date on the latest offerings from Apple. But this one apparently slipped past me.  So how do you lock the screen on an iPhone so it won’t turn while you’re lying down or whatever?


By pressing the button on the left, you can now lock the portrait orientation on an iPhone.

By pressing the button on the left, you can now lock the portrait orientation on an iPhone.

My 16-year-old daughter about jumped out of her chair in jubilation that she knew some Apple thing that I did not. But here’s what you do.

Push the HOME button, the button on your screen in the middle at the bottom, TWICE while the phone is open.  A menu of options will appear–it’s actually all the apps that you currently have open on the phone. (If you hold down an app it will start jiggling and a red circle with a – sign will appear if you want to close the app.  This can be helpful if your phone starts running slowly and you have three dozen apps open….)

But if you slide the app icons to the right, you will come to a screen much like the one pictured here in the post.  See the icon with the circle and the arrow in the circle?  Tap that and it will lock your orientation on the iPhone.  You can then press the Home Button once again to return to the screen/app you are active in.

It’s that simple.

And yes, I felt a little silly cos I didn’t know that.  But it’s a great feature and I’m glad Apple finally has added it to the mix.

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