yep, jtorrence is me. Congrats on the book, wbyancey, that's monumental work, 204 images.
if you care for some feedback, I downloaded your free sample and here's what caught my eye:
1. I would delete the extra cover image from your .html file. You have two covers in the book.
2. I would align all images to the center. You have left-aligned, right-aligned and center-aligned images. See the simple image code in the first post here. This code also inserts spacing between text and images.
3. Paragraphs have different indentation. I would make it all the same, except the first paragraph (immediately following a heading) can have zero indentation.
4. Numbered lists could be improved. See the code for ordered and unordered lists in the HTML template in the first post.
Anyway, that's just icing on a cake. Your book looks nice as is.
@wbyancey: Sigil is good because it gives you an ebook WYSIWYG view, and lets you tweak the code at the same time. Congrats on getting your book together!
One thing for future reference--as notjohn points out you can upload the Word DOC version directly, but if you want to tweak, you can also upload the Sigil EPUB version directly! There's no need to convert to MOBI from EPUB, because the formats are very similar. There are a few things you can do in EPUB that you can't do in MOBI, but for the most part, if you stick with the formatting available in Sigil, your EPUB should translate to a MOBI with no changes at all.
Roundabout or not, it offers some advantages. SIGIL is WYSIWYG. The changes you make in the document are immediately visible in the near HTML EPUB code. It's very useful for seeing how things fit together and what the tags do. Also it's easy to check the TOC display. The only unfortunate part is that the end result is EPUB, which is misinterpreted during the upload to Amazon, hence the Calibre step.
As an aside, you can take the SIGIL EPUB version and run it through Calibre to get an EPUB version that uploads nicely to the BN site for that ereader. The SIGIL EPUB version doesn't translate well, but the Calibre version works very nicely.
man2010: Thanks for the review and the BN info on the other site. I think I'll leave things as they are. Took 2 weeks of part-time work to make the changes and find a way to upload to both sites. Don't know why images present such a problem. Maybe it's my lack of programming skill, but WORD docs, filtered HTML, and SIGIL EPUB just don't look the same once uploaded with images.
You mentioned the two covers. There is a reason for that. When I download my samples to my iPod (don't laugh, it's all I have other than the desktop), if I don't put in the second cover image, there is no image for the book when I start to read. I like having the image on the first page to remind folks what the cover looks like. There is an image in my list of books, but that image doesn't show up in the text.
If you are seeing two covers, then apparently your Kindle or whatever virtual Kindle you are using is working differently than my iPod. Hate to aggravate everyone with two covers but don't know a way around it.
@wbyancey: [i]The only unfortunate part is that the end result is EPUB, which is misinterpreted during the upload to Amazon, hence the Calibre step.[/i]
Not true. Amazon handles EPUBs just fine. Also:
[i]As an aside, you can take the SIGIL EPUB version and run it through Calibre to get an EPUB version that uploads nicely to the BN site for that ereader. The SIGIL EPUB version doesn't translate well, but the Calibre version works very nicely.[/i]
That doesn't make any sense at all. Sigil has an epubcheck-like thingy built in, and Calibre doesn't. Calibre adds extra crap to the EPUB that isn't strictly necessary. Calibre also inserts front-cover code that does not pass epubcheck. It doesn't make any sense that running an EPUB through Calibre would improve it.
@notjohn: [i] I was under the impression that epubs, like PDFs, were tricky even though supposedly supported. [/i]
I haven't had any problems. I've tried both a picture book and a more standard story, and both turned out great. It's a very different situation than PDF. The EPUB format is very similar to the MOBI format. PDF is very different. MOBI and EPUB both use OPF format package files, NCX format logical table of contents, XHTML for content and the usual suspects for images. EPUB is a bit more flexible, so there are things you can do with EPUB that MOBI doesn't support, but if you stick to the subset that MOBI supports, you're fine.
It may be that since I am dealing with 204 images, my manuscript is overwhelming the software. Final size is 5 megs.
Even if it makes no sense, if I upload the EPUB version from SIGIL, the BN version is screwed up beyond recognition. The Kindle upload is slightly screwed up, but the Calibre MOBI version fixes that. If I allow Calibre to change the SIGIL EPUB version to the Calibre EPUB version and upload to BN, the BN version looks just like the good MOBI Kindle version. Don't know why, either. Do know I spent a whole day trying different ways to upload to get an acceptable version on BN and that's the only way that worked. All the crap that Calibre added made for a much nicer manuscript. If you don't believe me, look at both samples. I'd fix the stuff man2010 mentions, but after 2 weeks, I'm happy enough with the outcome to let it sit for a while. ;-/
I suppose this is the right place to ask. I am completely incompetent when it comes to anything with technology, haha.
Okay, so, I wrote the book up in OpenOffice, inserted the page breaks, saved it as a .html, and tried running it through MobiPocket. However, MobiPocket was all, 'WHOA HOLD UP YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE BODY TAGS YO." So I went back and added "<html><body>" at the beginning and "</body></html>" at the end. The file went through that time, but when I looked at it in the Kindle Previewer, the tags showed. How can I get the tags not to show, but still have everything work?
MobiPocket Creator is designed to work with Microsoft Word-generated files. My advice is to undo your coding and to ask a friend to open your file in Word and save as a Word 1997-2003 file. You can then import it into MPC directly (MPC will convert the .doc file to HTML).