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Thread: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML


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agardenpath

Posts: 4
Registered: 03/10/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 11:38 AM   in response to: agardenpath in response to: agardenpath
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All day, and I still can't get it to go. Here's a screen capture, if you have any other ideas, I'll give them a try.

Thx.
man2010

Posts: 1,897
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 3:14 PM   in response to: agardenpath in response to: agardenpath
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You could change the extension of your manuscript file to .html

it has the extension .htm while the code in the NCX file refers to it as .html

Your code from the manuscript file did not display in your previous post, but another possibility is that the name of the anchor is misspelled (it is case-sensitive).
ramiserhan

Posts: 6
Registered: 03/18/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 8:02 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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thanks everyone for trying to help. Here where I stand, I reinstalled mpc and now when I try to create table of contents I get no errors BUT:
i am entering tag name h1
attribute a name=
value _Toc288314707 this is the value listed after h1 in my htm document for some reason I get htm not html when I save as webpage filtered
anyway, in kindle previewer I get a page titled table of contents but it is otherwise empty, no actual chapter titles.

any help would be appreciated. I been wrecking my brain for 48 hrs now non stop.
man2010

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Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 9:30 PM   in response to: ramiserhan in response to: ramiserhan
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you don't have to convert your Word file to HTML, you can import your .doc file directly into MPC. If you wish to convert to HTML using Word, then you can change the extension to html while saving the file or afterwards, before importing into MPC.

MPC should be able to create a table of contents with tag names only, without any attributes. If it can't, this means your installation is defective and MPC is incompatible with your 64-bit Windows.
I am attaching a very simple file that should work for the table of contents wizard in MPC if you enter h1, h2, and h3 in tag name fields. If it works in your MPC, this means that the problem is in your HTML code. If it doesn't, this means that your MPC installation is defective and you may have to try installing MPC on a PC with 32-bit Win2000, XP or Vista (your work computer?).
ramiserhan

Posts: 6
Registered: 03/18/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 9:50 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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well,
It did not work, it gave an error like in the beginning.
I have a windows 7 64bit at work. I bet this is not going to work either.
I tried editing the mbp_toc file as follows and I can see it with active links in a browser but it does not change anything in kindle previewer: i am also attaching it
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?><html xmlns:mbp="http://www.mobipocket.com/mbp" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xmlns:idx="http://www.mobipocket.com/idx"><head><meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-16" /></head><body>

Table of Contents


</body></html>

the problem I face is that the #one, #two etc does not point to any link. when i click on any chapter link in a browser it gives page not found.
I dont know if I am fooling myself here but I am trying to avoid buying a new pc with outdated os just to publish the book
rami
man2010

Posts: 1,897
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 10:11 PM   in response to: ramiserhan in response to: ramiserhan
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if I am not mistaken the mbp_toc.html file should have full file paths for each link something like this:

c:\my documents\book_file.html#mbp_toc_1




also MPC inserts the mbp_toc_X IDs into your heading tags in the manuscript file like this:

<h1 ID="mbp_toc_0">Introduction</h1>



you could try to manually format the opf, manuscript, and the mpb_toc files properly using the sample files posted in this thread, but it would be just too much work, given the number of items in your TOC. IMO, it would be much easier to find a PC wih a 32-bit Windows.

Message was edited by: man2010
booknookbiz

Posts: 2,045
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 10:54 PM   in response to: ramiserhan in response to: ramiserhan
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Hello:

This is being grossly overthought, frankly.

1. STOP trying to make a MBP file with an htm file. Save it in an html EDITOR as an html file, or import it as a Word file, Do one or the other.
2. Your tag names for the MBPC TOC generator are wrong. Just put in h1, h2 and h3, not all that other crap. Just wrap h1, 2, or 3 styles (tags) around your chapter heads, and in MBPC TOC page, ONLY put "h1" (or whatever your top level is) "h2" and "h3" in the "Tag Name" field, and IGNORE the "attribute" and "value" fields.
3. I use MBPC on Win7, 64-bit all the time without any problems. There isn't anything wrong with the install, you're mixing apples and oranges here, trying to build an htm file instead of an html file, and adding attributes and values where you don't need to.

OK? I don't know why you're trying to run KindleGen either--if you can't get MBPCreator to work, which is simpler, you certainly won't get KG to run.

This isn't that complicated, honestly. Import the CORRECT type of file--html OR Word. Wrap h1, h2 or h3 styles (in Word) or tags (in html) around your chapter heads. Then only put the h1, h2 or h3 text in the "Tag name" field. UPDATE. Then BUILD, and report back here with any errors in the MBPC build.

HTH
Hitch
I produce Ebooks
***********************
***********************

Edited by: KDP Community Moderator
ramiserhan

Posts: 6
Registered: 03/18/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 20, 2011 3:22 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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man you were right. it was VISTA. IT IS ALWAYS VISTA. i went in the middle of the night ot the office tried it on win 7 64 bit and it worked like a charm. man another two days wasted on vista. if any one wants a vista laptop i will be ptting it on ebay for one cent under same name I am using here. i am serious.
Note: man2010, what about the ncx file, is it important and is there a template or instructions i can use.
thanks everyone for your help
man2010

Posts: 1,897
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 20, 2011 8:09 PM   in response to: ramiserhan in response to: ramiserhan
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thanks for your feedback, ramiserhan. I updated the protocol in the main post to include a warning about 64x Vista.

Regarding the NCX table of contents, it is not very important for most books and readers, but could be useful in a technical book for a reader who knows how to use the 5-way button on a Kindle. Skipping through chapter summaries or key points before reading the whole text is convenient when you are reading a technical book. The building of ncx toc is described in the first post of this thread, point 8b.
guitartabs1

Posts: 22
Registered: 03/18/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 22, 2011 2:04 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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I found that using the NCX file allows me to get a .mobi file using kindlegen.exe versus the .prc file using mobipocket.

Only difference that I saw was, at least with the mobipocket previewer, that you can navigate by chapters or sections. The TOC links seems to work for both .prc and .mobi files.

With that said, did I do something wrong? Either it's not that difficult or I did something wrong.

By the way why doesn't Amazon just combine the Kindlegen.exe with the Mobi-pocket? And why does the Mobi-pocket generate a Unicode UTC-16 formatted mbp_toc.html? Because it's a more difficult file format to work with when using programming tools to edit and format text.
man2010

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Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 22, 2011 7:52 PM   in response to: guitartabs1 in response to: guitartabs1
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To the best of my knowledge, there is no difference between .prc and .mobi files. Both types of files have the .mobi format, it's just the MobiPocket company decided to create the extension .prc by default because some handheld devices do not recognize the .mobi extension.
You can change the .prc extension to .mobi and vice versa and the files will look the same in MobiPocket Reader, Kindle applications and KDP Preview.

By the way why doesn't Amazon just combine the Kindlegen.exe with the Mobi-pocket? And why does the Mobi-pocket generate a Unicode UTC-16 formatted mbp_toc.html?


Since I am not affiliated with Amazon and MobiPocket, I do not have the answer to these questions.
davespress

Posts: 3
Registered: 05/16/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: May 16, 2011 3:28 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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I've been following the quidelines, and int he part where you change your opf file so it can have the ncx file included, it says that it will only work for kindlegen and not for mpc. But its the other way around for me. I add the lines and with mpc works perfectly, but kindlegen gives me an error.
man2010

Posts: 1,897
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: May 16, 2011 6:55 PM   in response to: davespress in response to: davespress
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what kind of operating system are you using and could you describe the kindlegen error message (maybe a screenshot)?

anyway, if you are satisfied with the MPC book, there is no need to dig any further.
invisible-man-b...

Posts: 71
Registered: 07/18/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: May 18, 2011 11:59 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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I looked at this, and appreciate the excellent and detailed advice, but it is a bit too technical for me--would take me hours, which I don't have right now. I have presently published 7 books on both Smashwords and Kindle, and keep updating and correcting, and it would be very cumbersome to do it differently for both. Right now, basically, I use Smashwords' Style guide to format the file, and then simply substitute "Published by Richard Crasta on Smashwords" with "Published by Richard Crasta on Amazon Kindle", and add the cover image on Page 1 in the latter instance.

So what I do with the TOC is to have each chapter title as a book mark, then create a typed table of contents and then hyperlink each item in the TOC to its specific chapter.

I save as MS Word (keep forgetting to save as Html or Web Page filtered), and upload to Amazon Kindle (with cover image inserted on Page 1 with a simple Insert command from MS Word)

The result is not perfect, but people continue to buy my books, though not yet in large quantities--have not received a complaint yet, and only 3 or 4 returns which could have been due to misunderstanding the book's real contents. My files have never been rejected by Amazon Kindle, but only half the time, a Kindle-accepted file has been rejected (error messages) by Smashwords, and been much harder to get through, even after many attempts (all but one is now finally online on Smashwords, and one has failed the epub test). Once I get through Smashwords, if I am making only editorial changes, there is never a problem uploading the same corrected file (with only Smashwords changed to Kindle, as the case may be) to both
Kindle and Smashwords.

One question: would you place "About the Author and this Book" and "Disclaimer" before the TOC or after the TOC. And, would you put "Praise" (blurbs) on Page 1 before the title page?

Thank you,
Richard

Message was edited by: invisible-man-books
man2010

Posts: 1,897
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: May 19, 2011 4:56 AM   in response to: invisible-man-b... in response to: invisible-man-b...
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IMO, the "about the author" section belongs at the end of a book and/or on the web page that sells the book. A disclaimer can be placed before or after TOC, doesn't matter. I don't think you should put blurbs anywhere inside your ebook. They belong on the web page where the customers need to be persuaded to buy the book. Once they bought the book or at least decided to read a sample, the last thing they need to see is more marketing B.S. ;-)

As for how much time should be spent on formatting, IMO, it's a matter of personal preference. I have yet to see a bestselling ebook that is badly formatted. On the other hand, whatever the formatting, the probability that any of our ebooks will earn serious money (enough to make a living) is extremely small. Anyway, spending several days, not hours, on formatting is reasonable, IMHO.
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