This free e-book creator lets you compose masterworks of up to
20 pages in length, for a maximum file size of 1MB. Your e-book is
saved as a self-extracting file that installs the reader software,
then opens the e-book. It’s not as straightforward as opening a PDF
file in Acrobat Reader or an equivalent program, but it works.
EBooksWriter Lite is challenging to figure out, and it’s
necessary to follow the Help system’s Tutorial to accomplish tasks.
When you follow the directions, however, you can create a table of
contents and link to your book’s pages. You can type directly into
the pages and insert images, or import multimedia files and text
from programs such as Microsoft Word. The Help system offers a
complete manual in PDF format; I suggest that you download that and
read it carefully if you plan to use this program.
That said, I did not study the manual and was still able to put
together a three-page book with pictures. I did run into a problem
when attempting to use background images on the pages, however–the
program kept telling me that a 32KB image file was “too big for the
Lite version,” which made no sense. I gave up on backgrounds and
imported the files as smaller images, which worked fine. However, I
ran into more problems when I was finalizing my e-book: I kept
getting the “too big” error message, even though I embedded only
tiny pictures on the pages. I finally discovered that the program
was still reading the larger background images, and I had to use
the “Images and files album” function in the cryptically named
Hypertext menu to remove the unused images. Perhaps I could have
avoided this hassle if I’d read the manual.
EBooksWriter Lite is free, but you’re required to accept e-mail
newsletters from the vendor–and your e-book contains a text ad for
the paid versions at the bottom of every page. The Lite edition
contains most of the functions available in paid versions of the
software. Missing features include Boolean search, shopping cart
and order form functions, CD-creation feature, password protection,
and advanced features like Flash support, FTP publishing, and so
on. In addition, paid versions allow you to create much longer
Ease-of-use issues aside, EBooksWriter Lite does what it says it
does: It creates e-books for free. If you’re interested in creating
your own e-books for friends and family, and willing to embark upon
a steep learning curve, you should give this program a try.