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eBook Complier Review

There are many great eBook compilers. We at eBook freeway deal with many different compilers for our submissions and for our own eBooks. With that in mind we decided to write an opinionated review about the software that we have come to know, love, like, and just think is a bad idea. Our recommendations are based on: Price, security, features, ease of use, and the ability to market the finished product. At one time we were just like you when we were looking into ebook compiler software so we looked at reviews. We use or have used most of the programs below and we know a little bit about ebook software. We would like to say our reviews are unbiased, but since we use the software it cannot be unbiased. Do you want to hear an unbiased review? That would mean the reviewer does not know or use the software to formulate an opinion. We have tried, own, and/or have used most of our recommendations! (We will tell you which ones even we won't buy). Here are our strong opinions and personal reviews below:

The Best:

eBook Starter $97.00



eBook starter is our favorite ebook software due to the features, flexibility, ease of use, and security making it our top pick. This software is loaded with features and includes templates that look like a real book with your Chapters on side tabs. This compiler also offers very strong security and another nice option for security is a username and password option. eBook Starter offers a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor making it easy to load content. You don't need to use an outside editor or know HTML with this eBook and that is the true beauty of this compiler. Features include: Pop up balloon captions, extremely easy to use (no HTML knowledge required), free software updates, custom icons, custom book sizing, step by step wizard, multi-media support, start up splash screen, disable right click and printing, shareware feature, search function, and brander. The finished product is a exe file that is downloaded onto your computer.  This looks much better than a PDF in our opinion and is very easy to read. You can try before you buy to see how easy it is to create ebooks with this software.

Cons:
  • Activ E-Book (next review) is almost half the price of eBook Starter. Given the ability of eBook Starter to run without knowledge of HTML, the extra security options, templates, and ease of use, we believe this price difference should not be a factor when you consider the extra features this compiler offers.
  • The software needs Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer to run. Therefore, there will be a small percentage of computers that will not be able to download and read your ebook. There is a work around that we use for Mac users and that is using a PC emulator that comes with Mac computers (Bootcamp). We feel since there are so many programs that won't run on Macs it is necessary for Mac users to run a PC emulator in the first place. We have found this to be a small percentage of people who might not be able to read your ebook.
  • Although this book has many features, it doesn't quite have as much as Activ E-Book Compiler which has almost every feature you could want.
Alright, when we found out that the eBook Starter compiler wouldn't run a Mac without a PC emulator we were not happy because this might take away a small percentage of customers. That's why most ebooks are in the PDF format. However, the look of this ebook in finished format, the features, and the strength of the security seemed to override the small percentage of uses that may not want to run Bootcamp on their Mac to view your book.

eBook starter has the security, features, and bells and whistles for a one time fee of $97. You can use this software over and over for many products and ebooks. The features are outstanding, the security is outstanding, and the look of the finish product is outstanding. This is a stand out product with very little downside.

Activ E-Book Compiler $49.95



Activ E-Book Compiler is our second favorite ebook software due to the price and comes in very close behind eBook Starter. It is easy to use and full of features. In fact Activ E-Book has more features than almost any other compiler on this list except perhaps: Ebook Pro and Adobe Acrobat. Features include: Unlimited e-books, royalty free (no ongoing fees), easy to use, complete documentation, strong password protection, testing features, rebranding, splash start up screen, add in options, and many more advanced features. The finished product is a self contained exe file that is installed onto a computer to be able to read. We know their website is not as nice as some other ebook compilers but their product speaks for itself. There is one thing that this compiler has that no other has and that is activ scripting. Meaning the ebook can interact with your computer with a little script language. With this feature your readers can interact with the ebook right from their own computer. This is extremely powerful! You can test the software before you buy so you can see what the program has to offer.

Cons:
  • The software is not updated that often. This is not really a problem because we cannot think of anything else they really need to add to this software.
  • A few other compilers offers the ability to update pages in real time because they load online. This software does not have the ability to update pages in real time. So once you create an ebook and launch the product you cannot update the versions that have already been released. Since there may be many reasons why you don't want an ebook to load online this may not a problem for you. It is worth mentioning.
  • The software needs Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer to run. Therefore, there will be a small percentage of computers that will not be able to download and read your ebook. There is a work around that we use for Mac users and that is using a PC emulator that comes with Mac computers (Bootcamp). We feel since there are so many programs that won't run on Macs it is necessary for Mac users to run a PC emulator in the first place. We have found this to be a small percentage of people who might not be able to read your ebook.
  • Unlike eBook Starter all files reside in a base folder. So you cannot organize your pictures in a images folder and so on. This makes the base folder cluttered.
  • You have to compile all of your pages in an outside editor like: Microsoft Word, Notepad, Dreamweaver, or other editors and then paste the pages inside of this book. This does lack the WYSWIG editor that makes eBook starter a breeze. But this also give you maximum control if you know how to design pages in other editors real well.
  • This software is a little difficult to use at first due to the amount of features. Once you get the hang of it then it's a breeze.
The reason why Activ E-Book Compiler is our second pick is because it is has the most features at a price point that is hard to beat. The security features offered are very strong which is also a major reason that we use this software daily ourselves. If this compiler had a WYSIWYG editor and templates for beginners then Activ E-Book would be our first pick bar none! With such a powerful piece of software it takes a little getting used to because it is so feature packed. Activ E-Book compiler gets our respect, our daily use, and our best value award.

Adobe Acrobat 9.0 $265.49 (Adobe Sells this direct for $299. You can get it legitimately through our link for a discount.)



Adobe Acrobat is the most successful PDF document maker and the most popular ebook compiler on the market. Yeah, we know that $265 is a lot to spend up front but there is no other PDF ebook maker that is better than Adobe Acrobat. Because Adobe Acrobat has such a high usage rate, there are many satellite software programs available to complement this software. The reason why PDF is the most popular ebook format is because any computer, any browser can read your ebook, making is available for all who want to see your ebook. Features include: Convert any document into PDF format, 256 bit encryption to secure your content, ability to add flash content, save and import PDF to and from Microsoft Word, restrict copying and printing, the ability to layout a page exactly as you want, digitally sign and certify, and on and on.

Cons:
  • One problem we have with PDF documents is that the layout does not look like and ebook. The page scrolls down instead of right to left like a chapter in a regular book. Personally we don't like this format even though there are bookmarks and many other features that make getting around easy.
  • You can secure a PDF and there are many third party applications to secure your ebook. But I like the security of an exe downloadable file much better than the security of a PDF. (Others may tell you differently).
  • Difficult to use: This program is very big. With large programs there is always a learning curve. With so many features it will take a little time to master the art of making an eBook. Some features are easy to understand others will just take a little time.
We prefer a downloadable exe file download to a PDF for our ebooks. The problem with exe files instead of PDF are that they are not compatible with all browsers and operating systems. If you want your ebook to be read by everyone then a PDF if your best option. Even thought most of our books are written in different programs it is hard not to use Adobe Acrobat not only for ebooks but for many other documents as well. With the rise of PDF for regular documents it is imperative to get this program if you want to edit PDF documents. We own this software and use it daily and it was well worth the money (It is not the first choice for our ebook compiler. Instead it's a complement to our other software and a must have). If you buy this direct from Adobe you will pay more, so you might want to use our link to get the official product.

eBook Generator $97



This ebook compiler offers many of the same features above but, what make it different is the ability to disable a password if you give a refund, locking the user out of the book. This prevents people from getting your book for free if they abuse your guarantee. This ebook software is also loaded full of features giving a very nice presentation to your created materials. Since this program checks with the website for authority to open your book you have maximum control over your ebook. This ability to lock a book with a website has it benefits and it's weaknesses.
Cons:
  • The ability to look users out of the book has a major downside and that is, that the user has to enter their password to access your book. Each time they open the book it connects to the internet to a server to make sure they are a valid user. If their internet is down or the website is down or they cannot connect they cannot get inside of this book.
  • Their sales letter page is annoying. You have to enter your e-mail address to even look at the sales page. We really don't like this and think it's a bad idea.
  • This software uses their website to register your visitors and it has their sales literature all over the place. This really ticks us off since we feel like they are trying to sponge off of our work!  One could argue that it's their bandwidth that is being used for the registrations, therefore they need to capitalize on the service, but we think it was set up this way on purpose.
The ability to lock out users who ask for a refund is very powerful and for that reason many people own this software. You can also do this with the ebooks above but you need to purchase a separate file and implement the program where as it is built into this software. These software add-ins for the products above are inexpensive and they are what we use. If it really irks you that someone may get your book for free and you don't want to pay the small price for these add-ins or you want complete control over your materials then this is definitely your compiler. Remember the thing we hate about this is that you may lose customers or get mad readers who are locked out of their ebook because their internet or the website may be down. For us this is way to big of an obstacle to overcome. As for a stand alone ebook solution we think there are better options.

eBook Gold 3.0 $97



eBook Gold 3.0 offers a royalty free price and then you are free to create as many ebooks as you would like. We like the features in this software like: Extremely secure, advanced authentication, supports multimedia content, error checking before compiling, no separate reader required for your users, ebook labeling, and advanced tutorial. Working inside their control panel is a breeze. However, eBook Generator just has more advanced features than eBook Gold 3.0. Once again we are showcasing another ebook compiler which checks with your website to verify before it's opened on the persons computer.

Cons:
  • We are dealing with software that has to check with your website before authorizing, so if your website goes down or your customer does not have access to a website your ebook will not be shown.
  • The features are not as great compared to eBook Generator.
  • Again, we don't like the delivery method of an ebook that has to check online before it's opened.
This book will also give you full control over your content and enable you to lock out customers who have asked for a refund or somehow find their way into your locked pages. We do really like the control panel and ease of use but if we wanted an ebook for control and security, we would go with eBook Generator. If you want to lock content onto your website and require a password for entrance then this software could be very useful. I do have to say that at least with eBook Gold the checking process occurs on your website versus theirs who may try and harvest your visitors (eBook Generator). This may convince you to go with eBook Gold versus eBook Generator if you want an online solution for locking out fraud. But again we don't like it as a stand alone solution for an ebook compiler.

eBook Pro 6.0 $197



Yes we know the cost of this ebook compiler is almost double the average. However, there are many very useful features this complier utilizes that the others just do not have. The complier is a exe file that also means it will not work on a Mac.  Once again you may lose a small amount of business. Features include: Free templates, choose your splash screen, add company logo, custom desktop icons, superior password encryption, disable printing, JavaScript, multimedia compatible, choose yes or no sharing, can configure with mailloop software, produces stunning ebooks, and many more features. What makes this ebook complier so unique is it's built in viral features. You can make visitors sign up for your mailing list if they want a free copy of the book for example. There are many uses for this feature. E-mail a friend from inside the book with point and click wizard makes setting up an opt in list a breeze. Normally you have to add these features yourself and spend time configuring them, but with eBook Pro it's a point and click system and you can produce viral ebooks quickly. If you have multimedia like flash in your ebook this compiler will prompt the user to download the program to view your materials.

Cons:
  • The price of $197 is a little steep but the features in the ebook compiler make the one time fee worthwhile.
  • Mailloop software that plugs into this compiler is a separate fee at a hefty $297 price tag!
  • You are given 1,000 unique codes so that your customers can open their books. After your first 1,000 free codes each additional registration code cost .10¢ and is and ongoing fee. If you are selling or giving away a lot of ebooks these fees will add up very quickly!
When all is said and done, this compiler has many automated viral features and benefits that the other compilers just don't offer. If you do add the Mailloop software at $297 you can use this autoresponder for all your other services as well. But there are cheaper autoresponders out there. This is an outstanding ebook compiler, but we think the extras that are needed to make this run smooth just cost too much money!

The Rest:

Desktop Author $99



Desktop Author might be your choice if you want online interactive media such as: Brochures, smaller ebooks, photo albums, surveys, and multimedia presentations. However as a stand alone ebook compiler this software is just not that robust. Lets start with the features: Multimedia support such as Flash, WMP, and Quicktime, Ebook security that uses DRM and payment gateway combination and activation key system, multi page and multi text flow throughout the presentation, internal calculation engine to create tests, exams, and surveys, sticky notes, page numbering system, distribute ebooks in multiple languages easily, create odd shaped ebooks, set prices in multiple currencies, auto create front and back cover, page transitions can fly, swipe, 3D page turn, or fly, and you can sell through a shopping cart. The beauty of this ebook is that you can use the compiler online and all changes made to the ebook are in real time making your information up to date forever. You can do this with stunning multimedia presentations.

Cons:

  • The DRM program needs to be downloaded onto your computer before it will read this ebook. Some people who want an online presentation will not want to download this software!
  • The DRM DLM shopping cart solution to sell your ebook costs: 15% per transaction, and .50¢ per transaction and also the DNL DRM activation keys cost: $2.00 per key for 5-19 keys and there is a sliding scale. Bottom line: This compiler makes you pay for every singe transaction at steep fees. Rip-Off! With just about any other compiler you can use your own shopping cart and or merchant account for a fraction of this cost.
  • Upgrades to this software cost $49 as new versions come out.
  • This program does not offer text or import document functions. Almost all media has to be created inside of their software so it's not compatible with many other outside editors.
  • This compiler was not designed for large ebooks or presentations. If you try to create a large ebook you will run into many problems.
  • No support for Mac or Linux.
  • For a book that is all about multimedia there are many formats that are not permitted including many specific picture files that are common.

This compiler does create great brochures, photo albums, and interactive media presentations but for a robust ebook compiler no way! We admit that this compiler is different in many aspects and can be great under certain circumstances. Given the fees to use this software we wouldn't even use it if we wanted to create a stunning presentation. Because this same feat can be done with other compilers that accept multimedia capabilities including many compilers above and below this review. We admire the uniqueness of this compiler but give it a big thumbs down in the ebook compiler category!

eBook Pack Express (Caislabs Software) Pro Version $79



eBook Pack Express is simplistic compiler software that is easy to use. We have found that you can create ebooks quickly and very easily with this software. If you want to churn out ebooks very quickly and know how to create graphics then this might be your ebook compiler. There are no templates or WYSIWYG editors so you have to create your pages in an outside editor and put them in the source folder and hit the compile button. There is a standard version for $29 but it offers very minimal features so you will want the pro version. Features for pro version: PDF, Flash, Activ X, Javascript, Dynamic HTML, VB Script, Audio, and Video file compatible, Set Window position for ebook start, start up splash screen, logo rebrander, disable right click, copy, and paste, multiple expiration settings, compression engine, ebooks can set to expire, and many password security options. You can download this compiler and try before you buy.

Cons:
  • There are no preloaded images for this compiler. Want a splash screen, template, page logo, background image, or ebook icon? You have to create one yourself and then upload it to the program. For authors who are graphically challenged this will be an issue.
  • This software needs Windows and Internet Explorer to run just like many of the other stand alone exe compilers. (Will not run on Mac or Unix)
  • You cannot use pop ups in the ebook at this time. Caislabs claims they will fix this in future issues but as of now this is not possible.
  • The password protection is pretty cool but it takes a little getting used to as there are many options. We feel that even with these extra options that are more secure ebooks with more security options.
  • The support for this ebook is primitive. There are no forums, the online help database is very small, and there are no help files inside of the ebook. Want help? Submit and e-mail and wait for a response.

There is something about the simplicity software that just makes us smile. Simplistic it is but you can create very nice ebooks is very little time. Our problem with this software is the price point. If we were going to spend $79 for this software we would purchase Activ E-Book compiler for $30 less and get more features and output options. If we were to purchase this compiler for the simplistic approach we would pay the extra $20 for eBook Starter and get the WYSWIG editor, templates, and pre-loaded images like the book icon and splash screen. Perhaps they sell their compiler because they offer a try before you buy approach. If this compiler had a better price point we might consider using their software but most of the best ebooks above just have more features.

Ebook Paper $17



Ebook Paper offers a price point that is very hard to beat. At $17 you may overlook some of the advanced features that this ebook does not offer. Features include: Unlimited ebook creation, ebook expiry based on number of days or times opened, disable right click, copying, and pasting, ability to use subdirectories for organization, customized ebook icons, start up splash screen, ebook compression engine, ability to use javascript, flash, and other multimedia presentations, password protection options, and disable or enable ebook buttons. You can resell this software and recover your $17 investment and keep 100% of the profits.

Cons:
  • What you see in the features list above is what you get. Nothing more.
  • There is no try before you buy or screenshots to show you what you are getting before you purchase.
  • You must have Internet Explorer and Windows to run the exe complied ebooks
  • The password protection does not offer that many options. You are definitely limited with your password protection.
  • What kind of support do you think will be provided if they owner sells all right to their product after you purchase?
This ebook is a good deal especially if you want to create viral ebooks. But it is just basic software with some advanced features. Since they resell the rights to their program you can find their compiler all over the net at different prices. If you are going to purchase compiler software and use it over and over to produce many ebooks this compiler is just to basic!

e Writer Pro $10



eWriter pro coverts your documents into an PDF ebook which is formatted for any type of computer and/or operating system. This software has many useful features, but does lack the security needed to protect your works. We love the ease of use and the control panel is modern as well. You can resell this software and recover your $10 investment and keep 100% of the profits.

Cons:
  • The password protection is a major problem with this ebook, but if you use HYPrLock (Gold Panner Software $49.95) with this compiler you can secure your works.
  • Since each purchase includes master resell rights you can find this book priced from $8 - $28 so look around before you buy!
  • Although this program has many features, Adobe has the most features of any PDF maker bar none.
  • You have to create your files in an outside editor and then convert them with this compiler software.
This software can be used in conjunction with HYPrLock to secure your works and $10 is a great value. But the software sometimes hangs when creating files and just lacks some of the qualities of Adobe. If you are interested in the best value PDF maker for unsecure webpages this should be your software. Just don't expect too much if you want complete control over your ebook. Would we buy this software? If we already didn't own Adobe we would buy this in a minute. This is one case where the low cost of the compiler does not mean that it isn't useful or full of features. Once again if you want to secure your ebooks the password system that comes with this program is very simple and basic. Overall this is a nice compiler that is very easy to use, for a extremely low price.

EBooks WritersPRO $119

This is very basic software that does not even offer a picture for their compiler. Although they do have a couple of advanced features like advanced password protection, there is not much to say about this compiler. Just check out the squeeze page if you want but you will quickly leave their website. In addition to the $119 purchase price they charge you for every little extra add-on you might want to make this software useable. It's not worth your time when there are so many better and lower cost options available!

NaTaTa $39

This compiler is just not as competitive as some of the other compilers. There is a free version but it's just too basic. Features include: Built in compression engine, create unlimited royalty free ebooks, offers pretty good security, start up splash screen, expiry options, has build in command functions, can create custom icons, table of contents, CD auto run function, and you can add personalized messages called event handlers. Even with these features, this compiler lacks some of the most beneficial features. Since this ebook compiler cost $39 for the gold version and it cost: $27 for each upgrade this is just not worth the money. Especially since it would take another upgrade or two to even compete heavily with some of the other compilers. The features lack, the price is higher than others, and they are behind competitively speaking. Once again this software is not bad, it's just not worth the price point without free unlimited upgrades. You might think that the upgrade cost is low and this is true but when other compilers offer free upgrades and this one does not, that makes a difference in value over time.

KeeBook Creator $336.15

You must have asked yourself, "What does this ebook compiler offer that warrants a $336 price?" The answer is that this program doesn't offer much to eBook authors. This software is much better used for eBrochures, eMagazines, and eCatalogs. It has a really nice interface giving the reader a professional look. This distribution method for this program uses e-mail addresses. KeeBoo caters to larger companies that want to add a nicer presentation to their catalogs and can afford the price. The presentation is nice but for eBook publishing this compiler is just too much money for too little benefit! If you were publishing a catalog for a larger company, then this might be the software you want.

More reviews below are coming soon!

Fast Ebook $39.97
HyperMaker $149
Jaws PDF Creator: $64
NEO Book $199.99
Web Compiler $159.99
web EXE $39.95
eBook Edit Pro $97
sBook Builder Free
EWriter PRO $7.99 - $27.99
Win eBook $39.95
Ebooks Compiler $29.95
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