Your own Windows 8 BookApp

Create simple and fast your own BookApp for Windows 8. Download now for free the MyBookApp template and start publishing your own books in the Windows Store!

Example books:

example book 1

example book 2

The Beautiful and Damned

Gulliver's Travels

The Three Musketeers

Oliver Twist

Siddhartha

The Phoenix and the Carpet

Creating your first BookApp

Welcome to the MyBookApp template tutorial! Create simple and fast your own BookApp for Windows 8. Download now for free the MyBookApp template and start publishing your own books in the Windows Store!

Step 1 – Software Requirements

Before we can start using the MyBookApp template we need the following software, download and install:

Microsoft Windows 8

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8 (free download)

MyBookApp template (free download)

Optional you can download and install Sigil (free download) a multi-platform EPUB ebook editor. The MyBookApp template uses the EPUB file format to display your book in the BookApp. So make your book ready for the EPUB file format.

Step 2 – Windows Store Registration

To successfully complete this tutorial, you will need an Microsoft account, previously called Windows Live ID, which you need to register your Windows Developer Account.

Log in with your Microsoft account on the Windows Dev Center and open a Windows Store developer account: http://dev.windows.com/ (Pick whether you want to create an individual or a company account)

Note: If you link to your Microsoft Developer Services account, your Windows Store developer account will be the same type.

Step 3 – Run and customize your BookApp

Start Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8 and open de MyBookApp template (extract first the MyBookAppTemplate_v1.2.zip file to a safe place to edit before opening it in Visual Studio)

Run your app: First, take a look at the app in a clean state. After you’ve opened up the solution, press the (Debug) button on the toolbar in Visual Studio or press F5 on your keyboard to launch the app. Familiarize yourself with the app’s core functionalities:

Main Page: BookApp Screen 1

Book Page: BookApp Screen 2

Add your book to the app: You need your book in the EPUB file format and a cover image (at least 310 x 470 pixels) in JPEG file format. Add your book.epub and cover.jpeg files to the solution, add it to the folder:
MyBookApp -> Assets -> Book

Your find in the same folder the example book 'The Beautiful and Damned', remove this book and his cover from the solution.

Change in Visual Studio the Build Action properties of your added book.epub file from None to Content. (right click on the file book.epub and click Properties in the menu)

Change the settings in the app for your book. Open the file MyBookApp -> App.xaml and change the following content: AppName, EPubBook and CoverImage.

For example:

<x:String x:Key="AppName">Your Book Title</x:String>
<x:String x:Key="EPubBook">ms-appx:///Assets/Book/book.epub</x:String>
<x:String x:Key="CoverImage">ms-appx:///Assets/Book/cover.jpg</x:String>

Run your BookApp and test if your book is working/showing and the cover image is visible on the first page.

Last step is to change the content for the MainPage. Open the file MyBookApp -> ViewModels -> MainViewModel.cs and change the following content: Change/Add/Remove as many Tiles and Groups you like, add images (310 x 150 pixels) to the folder MyBookApp -> Assets -> Books. Every Tile has the following properties: Name, LinkUrl (if empty your book is shown), ImageUrl and optional RowSpan if you want bigger tiles.

For example:

new Tile
{
    Name = "Book 3",
    LinkUrl = "http://microsoft.com/",
    ImageUrl = "ms-appx:///Assets/Books/BookCover.png"
},

Step 4 – Customize your BookApp metadata

The final step before you can publish your new BookApp is to change the metadata, like the display name, the logo and the splash screen images. Open the file MyBookApp -> Package.appxmanifest and change the Display Name, Default language (change this to the language of your book) and the images for the Logos and splash screen. Check if your BookApp don’t show any gray placeholder images any ware.

Tip: creating and editing of images can be best don by an artist, or if you like by yourself. You can use the tool Paint.net (free download) for image manipulation.

Step 5 – Test your BookApp

Now that the customization is done, you’re ready to test the app in the simulator. It’s also the best moment to capture a screenshot, which is required for the app submission.

First rebuild your BookApp in Release mode and start your book app in the simulator.

Release mode

In the simulator test all the functionalities of your BookApp. Take one or more relevant screenshots using the camera button on the simulator. These screenshots are stored in your Local User folder My Pictures -> Windows Simulator.

Step 6 – Submit your BookApp

Creating your BookApp Store Package: Select from the Visual Studio menu Project -> Store -> Create App Packages...

AppPackages

Note: Make sure you are building your package in Release mode, which is selectable on the toolbar in Visual Studio

Upload your BookApp Store Package to the Windows Store, open and login at http://dev.windows.com/ and click on Submit an app and follow all the steps to submit your app.

Congratulations, you have just submitted your first application to the store.

Now, you have to wait up to 5 business days to receive feedback from the Windows Store team.

Promotion is the key to success. You probably want to spread this news to rest of the world, you can create promotional videos, websites, Facebook tabs and banners.

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