Hi, I’ve finished building an e-book on Sigil. But this is wrong: I can see in the preview pane, and when I open in Microsoft Edge too, that all my paragraph breaks have been taken away!
When I tried inserting one- ie just a simple html division as an experiment to create one paragraph break and see what happens, I went to save. It said this:
“This EPUB has HTML files that are not well formed and your current Clean Source preferences are set to automatically mend on Save. Saving a file that is not well formed will cause it to be automatically fixed, which will very rarely result in data loss.”
I elected to save the book anyway.
I opened it, and the file with that one division showed a big red error message in the preview pane, naming the column where I’d put the division. It called it an "opening and ending tag mismatch."
So what is going on? Does my file still somehow retain paragraph breaks that are not showing up in any application my computer lets me use?
Or should I change my sigil settings?
Do you know HTML? You'd need to look at the code, but it sounds to me like you're trying to use < br / > to end your paragraphs instead of wrapping each paragraph in the paragraph tags (p and /p inside carets). Ebook readers seem to disregard the < br / > tag.
Emma, did you Save As Html in your Word doc or otherwise build an html file from your book? (I usually finish my book in Word, then run the Word doc through Word2CleanHtml online, which does an infinitely better job of cleaning it up.)
Every paragraph must begin with the tag <p> -- do you see that when you open the book in Sigil? I think that any word processor will provide that if you Save As Html or Save As Epub.
Just having an indent or a blank line is not enough to create a paragraph. Remember that not only are all ebooks just Html documents, like a web page, but so is every Word doc or docx. You are working in html whether you know or it or not, so it's a very good idea to learn something about it. Sigil is a very powerful piece of software, and one that is continually being improved. I congratulate you on choosing to use it, but it does require some work to get it right. The result will be worthwhile, I promise you.
(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)
Hi Sarah, thank you. I've tried the p in carets and it's working.
Sadly for me, it looks like I'll have to manually add these paragraph breaks all through the novel!
If anyone knows of a way I can apply it to the whole novel without doing this, I'd be eternally grateful
Hi Notjohn I've been using your book actually. Yes I started saving my novel in HTML right from when I opened it in Notepad from Word. I started saving it in epub when I started opening it in Sigil.
I recently opened an earlier version of my novel in Sigil. It was my first attempt to make the e-book according to your guidelines. I had given up on it about halfway through the process to start on a fresh one, as I made a few stuff-ups. I noticed though, upon re-opening it, that the earlier one did have those tags at the start of every paragraph (p in a pair of pointed brackets). So obviously they are part of my original format. Somewhere along the line, as I've made my new one, they have gotten lost.