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Ebook Formatting > Some suggestions

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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim Galford (jgalford) | 27 comments Just thought I'd throw out the things I learned on this topic recently.

- Kindle site says it accepts .doc files. Don't do it! Cover link, ToC, and a variety of other things will most likely be broken. There's a very extensive fixing process, but it's not worth the amount of effort and fighting with MS Word.
- Sigil is a lifesaver. Write your book in Word (or whatever), then move it into a Sigil document. This creates it as an ePub file that works perfectly on Nook.
- Don't forget to hit the check for errors button in Sigil!
- Once you have a Sigil doc, convert it to .mobi using Calibre. Doing this will give you a proper Kindle file without the aforementioned bugs.

Hope those are helpful to someone! They all caused minor hitches in getting my book onto Nook/Kindle until I realized how to fix the issues.


message 2: by Clare K. R. (new)

Clare K. R. (Clare-Dragonfly) I say just use Scrivener instead. It's for Mac and the Windows version is in beta, but when you export documents (how to get them out of Scrivener and readable by other people), you can do it in almost any format, including .mobi, ePub, and HTML. It's perfect for ebooks, and it's a really awesome writing program. I won't rave about it unless someone specifically asks but I highly recommend going to the website to check it out!

Not that Sigil isn't good, I've never heard of it but if it works for you I'm sure it's a great program ;) and it is a good point not to use Word docs, I still have a few short stories that are in that format!


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim Galford (jgalford) | 27 comments Well, I'm a windows person and Sigil is free. If Scrivener comes out with a final product, I'll definitely check it out. :)


message 4: by D.L. (new)

D.L. Morrese (DL_Morrese) | 63 comments I saved my .doc file as HTML and ran that though Mobipocket Creator (free SW from Amazon). That converted it to a PRC file that you can load directly to Amazon. Worked great for my first two books. For NOOK and the rest, I just went to Smashwords and their system converted the .doc files and distributed them to Barnes & Nobel, Diesel, and Kobo. I never heard of Sigil though. Thanks for the tip.


message 5: by Jim (last edited Sep 20, 2011 07:10AM) (new)

Jim Galford (jgalford) | 27 comments I have used Mobipocket...but I've found about half the time the ToC or the Cover links don't work right, even with all the anchors in place. Contacted their tech people and got the answer that "it just happens with some documents." Wasn't quite the answer I was hoping for. Good software overall though.


message 6: by D.L. (new)

D.L. Morrese (DL_Morrese) | 63 comments BookieWormie - I have a copy I downloaded a few months ago. Not sure how to get it to you though. 1686 KB.


message 7: by D.L. (new)

D.L. Morrese (DL_Morrese) | 63 comments Got it, Bookie. Trying to send you a message but I can't attach a file.


message 8: by D.L. (new)

D.L. Morrese (DL_Morrese) | 63 comments Thanks, Deb. We got it. Bookie gave me an email address and I attached the file.


message 9: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Cantwell (LynneCantwell) | 16 comments Late to the party, it looks like, but...I did what D.L. did. And I had the same problem with the bookmarks for the ToC, etc., not working. Wasted several hours trying to reconvert the doc to see if I could fix it. Finally saw (either on Kindleboards or the KDP boards, can't remember which now) a series of posts saying that those features *never* work before the doc has been uploaded to Amazon. I wish KDP would make that clear in their documentation (sigh).

Bookie, for Smashwords, I went with the "nuclear option" from the start. Re-adding the formatting didn't take all that long -- it's easy if you know anything about Styles. :)


message 10: by D.L. (new)

D.L. Morrese (DL_Morrese) | 63 comments Reformatting a manuscript for Smashwords and Kindle can be tedious but not difficult. Manipulating images for your cover however can be quite frustrating. I'm fighting with Gimp right now and it's winning. In fact, it has won. I surrender.


message 11: by Tim (new)

Tim Taylor (TimCTaylor) | 35 comments Jim wrote: "I have used Mobipocket...but I've found about half the time the ToC or the Cover links don't work right, even with all the anchors in place. Contacted their tech people and got the answer that "it ..."

That's worrying! I've never had a problem myself. Did you move the anchor tags so they were set outside of any

or tags? I know that causes format blow-ups if you don't do that (and, to be fair, Amazon's guidelines say you must do this).




message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim Galford (jgalford) | 27 comments I didn't...mainly because according to Amazon, mobipocket does all that on its own properly and is the only product they truly endorse. I found a ton of things like that where it doesn't quite match what Amazon's own requirements say it should be doing...thus why I went to Sigil really fast, as I was sick of playing doctor with the results of any conversions.


message 13: by Dana (new)

Dana Rongione (DanaRongione) | 13 comments I use a program called Jutoh. It takes any Open Office documents and can turn them into various formats, including Kindle and Smashwords versions. I didn't want to post anything about it until I found out whether or not the e-book I submitted to Smashwords passed the test for Premium Catalog distribution. It did! I formatted my first e-book using two different step-by-step guides (one for Kindle, one for Smashwords). With Jutoh, the process only took a third of the time, and the finished products look great!!!! There is a one-time charge for the newest version of Jutoh, but my husband found a free torrent and downloaded it for me. It's fantastic! Now I can spend more time writing and less time formatting.


message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim Galford (jgalford) | 27 comments Neat. Looks like a more polished version of Sigil. I'll check it out.

Thanks!


message 15: by Tim (last edited Nov 22, 2011 03:00PM) (new)

Tim Taylor (TimCTaylor) | 35 comments Jutoh looks very interesting. Can I ask, Dana, what did you send to Smashwords out of Jutoh? (I ask because I thought Smashwords requires .doc files Do you save as .odt and open in Word?)

I looked at Jutoh about 6 months ago and dismissed it as immature. It's certainly come on since then. It's only £20. So if I used it to sell eBooks, I'd certainly want to pay the developer for his service.
Thanks


message 16: by Dana (new)

Dana Rongione (DanaRongione) | 13 comments Tim wrote: "Jutoh looks very interesting. Can I ask, Dana, what did you send to Smashwords out of Jutoh? (I ask because I thought Smashwords requires .doc files Do you save as .odt and open in Word?)

I look..."


In Jutoh, I convert the e-book to Smashwords Open Document. From there, I open the book in Open Office and click "File> Save as". I name the document and use the drop-down menu below (reads "Save as Type") to save it as a Word document. From there, I submit it to Smashwords. It's really easy.

As far as paying for the program, I have every intention of buying the newest version. I just enjoyed the free torrent because it gave me a chance to "test drive" the software to make sure it did everything it claimed to do. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised.

I had to play with the software for about a day to find out how everything works, but after that, it was point and click.


message 17: by Tim (new)

Tim Taylor (TimCTaylor) | 35 comments Thanks Dana, I'll definitely take a look.

Sorry to get all moral :-) There's a free demo mode on Jutoh. It'll be limited in some way. I'll take a look and report back it on Jutoh and its demo limitations.

Thanks
Tim


message 18: by Dana (new)

Dana Rongione (DanaRongione) | 13 comments Tim wrote: "Thanks Dana, I'll definitely take a look.

Sorry to get all moral :-) There's a free demo mode on Jutoh. It'll be limited in some way. I'll take a look and report back it on Jutoh and its demo li..."


I wasn't offended, and I totally agree with you. The creator should be compensated for his work. Like I said, I just wanted to "test drive" before I wasted more money on another system that didn't live up to its claims.

I believe the main limitation in the demo mode is that there is a Jutoh logo stamped on every page of your book. That way, you can try out the program, but you can't really sell the books you create without purchasing and registering it. I could be wrong, but that's something I discovered on the torrent version.


message 19: by Susan (new)

Susan http://www.goodreads.com/topic/unread_gr...

This is a new GR group - and it sounds VERY reasonable!
costs are low - benefits are high.

I just discovered it and altho I'm an INDIE and want to stay with "I did it myself"... I am tempted and MIGHT have them do a cover for me. They do custom or "off the rack" BUT... the "off the rack" covers are YOURS forever... nobody else will have them.

Check it out.
Tell them I sent you!
LOL


message 20: by Karen (new)

Karen Wyle (kawyle) | 54 comments The link didn't work. What's the name of the group?

Susan *ARK* wrote: "http://www.goodreads.com/topic/unread_gr...

This is a new GR group - and it sounds VERY reasonable!
costs are low - benefits are high.

I just discovered it and altho I'm an INDIE and want ..."



message 21: by David (new)

David Bergsland (David_Bergsland) | 37 comments If you have the skills, and you're writing non-fiction, InDesign CS6 is the way to go. It's a very good writing interface. The export to Kindle plug-in from Amazon does a very good job. The export to ePUB is the best you can get without coding.


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