Is it mandatory to add semantics to every single file in a novel? I mean, if Amazon reads a semantic as "text" it's going to open the book there for its "look inside" faculty, I assume. What if all nine chapters are marked as "text"?
Is it mandatory to add semantics to every single file in a novel?
No it isn't really mandatory to set semantics for "cover", "toc" or "text". And you should only set these three semantic entries once only as pagelinks within the epub -- and not "in every single file". The semantics are there so that the person reading your ebook on a Kindle device can click on the Go To menu of their device and select "Cover", "Table of Contents" or "Beginning" which allows them to jump around in your ebook how they like. And if you don't put the semantics into your ebook then it might also be the case that, in their review of your ebook on Amazon, they will complain about this which will definitely affect your ebook sales. That's why, I always make sure to put all the proper semantics in my ebooks on Amazon. Because all readers will expect this Go To menu facility to work properly.
I mean, if Amazon reads a semantic as "text" it's going to open the book there for its "look inside" faculty, I assume.
The semantics have nothing to do with the Look Inside version of your ebook or opening you book for the first time. As I've already mentioned, the semantics/Go To facility is there just for the convenience of the person reading your ebook on a Kindle device.
What if all nine chapters are marked as "text"?
If you do that then only the last "text" location entry(last chapter) will be saved in the epub. The Go To guides are not inserted as bookmarks in epubs(like in html). They are inserted into the <guide></guide> section of the content.opf file in the epub -- which is an xml file -- so that if another "text" entry is input then that new entry will automatically overwrite the current one at that location.
Lastly, it also strikes me that you seem to be looking, somewhat desperately, for shortcuts in the formatting of your ebook as an epub. My sincerest advice to you is to format the epub properly -- without looking for shortcuts -- otherwise you will be well on the road to perdition and formatting hell.
Why not try my free Sigil plugins now available on MobileRead?
OpenDocHTMLImport - converts ODT HTML(Writer) docs directly to epub.
GoogleZipImport - converts Google Doc HTML directly to epub format.
NormalizeScrivEpub - reformats, finishes-off and normalizes Scrivener epubs.
Thanks William. Maybe because I'm autistic I'm finding it very, very difficult to absorb and process this system all alone. Apparently it came across as looking for shortcuts. Just needing help on a lot of points and very glad of the community
Semantics (what an awful name!) are applied only to certain files. For example, you look at the list of files over on the left of the Sigil screen, after you have broken the book into multiple files, one for each chapter or section. One section will be your Table of Contents. So you right-click on that file, and a window comes up with a menu, of which you choose Add Semantics. In that window, click on Table of Content (I know! I know! It should be plural! but people who write software are geniuses of one kind and don't necessarily pay much attention to the real world).
I usually label the Title Page, Table of Contents, and the Copyright Page (because I put it at the back of the book). I don't label Text, because I have found that without any label for the Start Reading Location, I have a pretty good chance that my Look Inside sample will open at the cover (about 75 percent of the time), and that's what I prefer.
"Text" has nothing to do with the Start Reading Location on a Kindle book, because Amazon sets the SRL in the actual publishing workflow, after you have hit the Publish button. If you do add the Text semantic, set it on page one, chapter one. Don't try to force it to open at the title page, for example, for I have found that doing that makes the book open halfway in the Table of Contents, which looks rather stupid.
You have done well to use Sigil. Keep at it. The rewards are great.
(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)
The above manual is in epub format -- so you can read it in the Sigil app or, perhaps better, you can read it in Calibre(free download). Be aware that the manual is also out of date but much of its content still applies to the current version of Sigil so it should help you.