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Thread: Formatting an ebook in OpenOffice on a Mac


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Permlink Replies: 6 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: May 19, 2013 3:28 PM Last Post By: Andrew N. Messent
Andrew N. Messent

Posts: 335
Registered: 03/19/13
Formatting an ebook in OpenOffice on a Mac
Posted: Apr 4, 2013 8:11 AM
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I've recently joined KDP and have been struggling to create an ebook. It just seemed like it should be an easier process than it was turning out to be. After a lot of struggling and testing I think I have a reasonable answer. The way I'm doing it now is both easy and straight forward.

I only have a Mac, and I make point of avoiding anything labeled Microsoft, so I use OpenOffice and utilities built for the Mac, namely Alkinea to generate the epub and Kindlegen to convert it into the mobi. A pointer to Kindlegen is set inside Alkinea and it's run automatically, so I never see that step. If I need to edit the epub I use Sigil 0.6.1 (the latest version that will run on OSX 10.6.8) and then run Kindlegen manually on the epub in order to generate the mobi. Re Kindlegen, open a terminal window and 2 mouse-clicks will generate the mobi. The only reason I've edited the epub was to see if I could change the title of the toc since Alkinea defaults to just 'Contents'. And I could, easily and simply, using Sigil and Kindlegen.

Alkinea will only work with the OpenOffice created toc using their 'Insert' -> 'Indexes and Tables'. Well almost only, having no toc, just Header1 styles at the start of each chapter gives Alkinea enough information to generate the toc. Using manually created hyperlinks to bookmarks DOES NOT WORK. The OpenOffice generated toc works very easily, just a few clicks, let me know if you're having problems.

If the name of and path to, a cover image is given to Alkinea then it will be used it inlieu of an Alkinea generated cover page consisting of title and author.

I did no testing with embedded images and other objects, so I can't comment on them, but the mobi generated by Alkinea and Kindlegen works great in both Kindle previewer and Kindle for Mac, as well as on my e-ink Kindle 3g.

I can go from an OpenOffice source *.odt file to a fully functional *.mobi in about 3 secs (for a 100 page novella).

I hope this helps some people avoid the frustration and hair-pulling I did...

Andrew

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C3OUCF4 Erotica for the Thinking Man (and Woman) 1
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CBYY0SG Erotica for the Thinking Man (and Woman) 2
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C48QFAK The Dragoman Chronicles, supplemental - Lola chapter 1
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1869JU The Dragoman Chronicles Book 3 Yyg

Edited by: Andrew N. Messent on Apr 12, 2013 12:11 PM

Edited by: Andrew N. Messent on Apr 13, 2013 10:07 AM
notjohn

Posts: 15,241
Registered: 01/06/10
Re: Formatting an ebook in OpenOffice on a Mac
Posted: Apr 12, 2013 2:41 AM   in response to: Andrew N. Messent in response to: Andrew N. Messent
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And I could, easily and simply, using Sigil and Kindlegen

Well, you don't need Kindlegen for that purpose. You can upload the epub directly to the KDP. That's what I do. (Though I am delighted to know that KIndlegen works more easily on a Mac than it does on the Windows computer which has a DOS feature for just such a purpose!)

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing
The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com/
Andrew N. Messent

Posts: 335
Registered: 03/19/13
Re: Formatting an ebook in OpenOffice on a Mac
Posted: Apr 12, 2013 10:14 AM   in response to: notjohn in response to: notjohn
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Maybe I'm wrong, but I figure the mobi I create will more acurately represent what KDP puts up on the website, as well as letting me view it locally. I have noticed that I can drop an epub on the Kindle Previewer and it says something like 'converting' and then displays it.

But I will keep that in mind, sounds like it may come in handy...

Andrew

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C3OUCF4
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C48QFAK
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1869JU
alkinea

Posts: 204
Registered: 08/31/12
Re: Formatting an ebook in OpenOffice on a Mac
Posted: Apr 12, 2013 8:15 PM   in response to: Andrew N. Messent in response to: Andrew N. Messent
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Good suggestion Andrew!

I've uploaded a new version of Alkinea
If a ToC is present in the ODT file, then Alkinea uses its position in the document and its title.
If there is no ToC, then a new one is created and added at the beginning of the ebook.
No ToC is created if there are no chapters (ex: for a small document.)

The converter doesn't add a cover to a kindle ebook (Amazon adds it automatically) but it does add it to the ePub.

Alki
http://soft.alkinea.net

PS: The software works on the same way on OS X and Windows
man2010

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Re: Formatting an ebook in OpenOffice on a Mac
Posted: Apr 13, 2013 2:06 AM   in response to: alkinea in response to: alkinea
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Your template is gaining steam!
Andrew N. Messent

Posts: 335
Registered: 03/19/13
Re: Formatting an ebook in OpenOffice on a Mac
Posted: Apr 13, 2013 9:49 AM   in response to: alkinea in response to: alkinea
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Hi Alki,

I've tried the latest version (3.11) of Alkinea and it works great, the Mac version is now up to the same standard as the Windows version.

It works so quickly and easily on my Mac that I often think something's wrong, but then I check file times and see that it really did run.

It really is the simplest way to produce an ebook.

Andrew

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C3OUCF4 Erotica for the Thinking Man (and Woman) 1
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CBYY0SG Erotica for the Thinking Man (and Woman) 2
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C48QFAK The Dragoman Chronicles, supplemental - Lola chapter 1
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1869JU The Dragoman Chronicles Book 3 Yyg
Andrew N. Messent

Posts: 335
Registered: 03/19/13
Re: Formatting an ebook in OpenOffice on a Mac
Posted: May 19, 2013 3:28 PM   in response to: Andrew N. Messent in response to: Andrew N. Messent
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I agree with what people have said about Alkinea, it's a great little piece of software, easy to use etc.

Andrew Messent
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