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


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man2010

Posts: 2,047
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML
Posted: Nov 19, 2012 8:43 PM   in response to: alkinea in response to: alkinea
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Amazon chose to support Word, and it works well if you follow specific rules. You'll find dozens of step-by-step instructions everywhere. But not everybody has Word.

Most people can download a free 60-day trial of Microsoft Office (30-day trial for Mac) either to their home or work computer. More than enough time to build a Kindle book.
alkinea

Posts: 227
Registered: 08/31/12
Re: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML
Posted: Nov 19, 2012 8:54 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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Most people can download a free 60-day trial of Microsoft Office (30-day trial for Mac) either to their home or work computer. More than enough time to build a Kindle book.

Yes, that's right, one or two months is in general enough to do the conversion.
But it's nice to do all the writing, editing and formatting, in the same program.
Using Word or LibreOffice also allows you to export to PDF in case you want to have a paper edition through CreateSpace.
galacticaactual

Posts: 3
Registered: 05/23/12
Re: Templates for children’s books and comics
Posted: Dec 13, 2012 9:23 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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I have been trying to format a fixed format book for Kindle so that images are immediately zoomable by just pinching. This is the default on Apple's iBooks, but on Kindle (the color versions) it seems that the only option is to select an image, then choose "zoom". Once done zooming, you then need to close out of the "image viewing mode" in order to go to the next page. It would be much more fluid if a reader could just zoom in and out on an image on the page, and swipe to turn when ready.

I know that there is panel view, but that doesn't allow for zooming. I am publishing comics, and readers are presented with a whole page, that they should then be able to zoom into easily.

Is that possible? I hope that I am describing my question well, it's a bit challenging to describe exactly.
Thanks
man2010

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Re: Templates for children’s books and comics
Posted: Dec 13, 2012 9:42 AM   in response to: galacticaactual in response to: galacticaactual
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Region magnification means zooming (usually by 1.5-fold) after double-tapping a comic panel on touch screen devices. This is a standard feature of Kindle comics. You can also move from one magnified panel to the next by pressing the "Next Page" button of the device. See this thread for templates and instructions: http://kdp.amazon.com/community/thread.jspa?threadID=70446
Jackie Mae

Posts: 14
Registered: 12/11/12
Re: How to format a Kindle book properly in Word (or in HTML if needed)
Posted: Dec 26, 2012 3:43 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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I followed these instructions and got fantastic results I had my formatting seemingly correct, but discovered through the community (Thanks) that my "look inside" formatting was a lacking to say the least. I want to sincerely, respectfully thank you man2010 for posting the links here and your recommendations. These posts are life lines for some of us. Now my "look inside" feature has paragraph indentations and I think formatting the TOC as described has helped as well. I will write all my books using these guidelines from this point forward.
Michael Robinson

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Registered: 12/26/12
Re: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML
Posted: Dec 26, 2012 1:03 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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(not for fixed-format books, but for regular ones ...) This workflow is reliable but uses several different programs:

(1) Write the book in OpenOffice chapter-by-chapter as separate documents. Use styles consistently to format content.

(2) Build an OpenOffice "Master Document" containing all of the text pieces in the desired sequence, excluding cover-page or table-of-contents.

(3) Update all links in the master document then export as HTML.

(4) Use Sigil to create an EPUB file. Insert the HTML document, the cover-page image, a page containing the cover-page, and the front matter. Use Sigil to generate the table-of-contents then to produce the HTML version of it. Arrange the parts in the proper sequence: cover, TOC, front-matter, body HTML. Follow Sigil's documentation carefully about attributes and so-on. Use it to prepare document metadata: description, copyright, ISBN [i](buy one...)[/i], author, and so-on.

(5) Run the epub file through KindleGen to produce a MOBI file from the EPUB. There [u]must[/u] be no errors. (It will remove the title-page section and use the image having the "title image" attribute instead.)

(6) Use the Calibre program to manage the library on your device and to move the MOBI file to the actual device. Look through the whole thing, yes page by page, yes again, on an actual device. (Don't forget to look at some pages sideways.)

(7) Submit the MOBI file to Amazon as your "original."

If you change the HTML you should:

(a) go back to Sigil, reopen the EPUB (instead of creating a new one...),

(b) remove the HTML, TOC, and all inserted images other than the cover-page.

(c) Then insert HTML (which will also insert referenced images).

(d) re-generate the TOC, create the HTML TOC, and move that following the cover-page as before.

(e) Re-execute KindleGen on the EPUB and verify no-errors.

(f) Use Calibre to put the new file on the device and ... Look through the whole thing, yes page by page, yes every page, yes again.

Being somewhat of a geek-type, I use the command-line to execute kindlegen and it works fine. Kindle Previewer frankly doesn't work so well for me. (Calbre does.)

By taking explicit control of the process that takes the document from OpenOffice to "ready to upload," I have solid reason to know what the file [i]will[/i] look like on the device(s) before ever presenting it to Amazon for publication.
Michael Robinson

Posts: 444
Registered: 12/26/12
Re: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML
Posted: Dec 26, 2012 1:03 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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(not for fixed-format books, but for regular ones ...) This workflow is reliable but uses several different programs: (All of them are free-of-charge, fully functional w/ donations-invited, and IMHO well worth the donations.)

(1) Write the book in OpenOffice chapter-by-chapter as separate documents. Use STYLES consistently to format content.

(2) Build an OpenOffice "Master Document" containing all of the text pieces in the desired sequence, excluding cover-page or table-of-contents.

(3) Update all links in the master document then export as HTML.

(4) Use Sigil to create an EPUB file. Insert the HTML document, the cover-page image, a page containing the cover-page, and the front matter. Be sure to set the cover-page attribute on the proper image. Be sure also to exactly match Amazon's requirement about aspect-ratio and JPEG quality. Use Sigil to generate the table-of-contents then to produce the HTML version of it. Arrange the parts in the proper sequence: cover, TOC, front-matter, body HTML. Follow Sigil's documentation carefully about attributes and so-on. Use it to prepare document metadata: description, copyright, ISBN (buy one...), author, and so-on.

(By doing "generate TOC" first, you can specify how many levels of "heading" styles should be included in it. Then "generate HTML TOC" to actually produce it.)

You probably don't have to do any further "twiddling" of the EPUB contents, although with Sigil you can do so.

(5) Run the epub file through KindleGen to produce a MOBI file from the EPUB. There MUST be no errors. If there are ANY ... STOP. Go fix them. (Informational messages are numerous, and okay.)

(6) Use the Calibre program to manage the library on your device and to move the MOBI file to the actual device. Look through the whole thing, yes page by page, yes again, on an actual device. (Don't forget to look at some pages sideways.)

(Calibre is also a good tool for "taking a peek at" the metadata of titles that you already own and that you have stored in its library for safekeeping. Notice what the big guys are doing, and do likewise.)

(7) Submit the MOBI file to Amazon as your "original." If you've done your job well, Amazon's software has basically nothing to "do."

If you change the HTML you should:

(a) go back to Sigil, reopen the EPUB (instead of creating a new one...),

(b) remove the HTML, TOC, and all inserted images other than the cover-page.

(c) Then insert HTML (which will also insert referenced images).

(d) re-generate the TOC, create the HTML TOC, and move that following the cover-page as before.

(e) Re-execute KindleGen on the EPUB and verify no-errors.

(f) Use Calibre to put the new file on the device and ... Look through the whole thing, yes page by page, yes every page, yes again.

Being somewhat of a geek-type, I use the command-line to execute kindlegen and it works fine. Kindle Previewer frankly doesn't work so well for me. (Calbre does.)

By taking explicit control of the process that takes the document from OpenOffice to "ready to upload," I have solid reason to know what the file WILL look like on actual device(s) before ever presenting it to Amazon for publication.

"Microsoft Office" should be interchangeable with "OpenOffice" in the foregoing description.
man2010

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Registered: 01/01/10
Re: How to format a Kindle book properly in Word (or in HTML if needed)
Posted: Dec 27, 2012 2:23 AM   in response to: Jackie Mae in response to: Jackie Mae
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You're very welcome and good luck with your ebook.
man2010

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Re: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML
Posted: Dec 27, 2012 2:30 AM   in response to: Michael Robinson in response to: Michael Robinson
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Thanks for sharing your expertise. Since you like KindleGen, I recommend trying KindleGen 1.2 instead of the latest one. This will give you more consistent formatting across different devices and a full-screen cover in Kindle for PC and Kindle Fire.
punchygonzales

Posts: 2,853
Registered: 11/26/11
Re: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML
Posted: Dec 27, 2012 5:45 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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But is there any place that still has KindleGen 1.2 available for download? I wouldn't mind having it myself.
man2010

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Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML
Posted: Dec 27, 2012 7:10 AM   in response to: punchygonzales in response to: punchygonzales
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http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/KindleGen-Download-163551.html

but the external link (to Amazon) doesn't work, only their own download links are live. It's no use trying to find KindleGen 1.2 for Mac.
notjohn

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Registered: 01/06/10
Re: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML
Posted: Dec 27, 2012 7:33 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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OpenOffice might work for a very generic and simple type of manuscript without any bells and whistles. But the devil is in the details

I was curious how OO would function when saved in *.doc format (Word 1997/2000/XP) so I tried that this morning, then uploaded the *.doc file to Word2cleanhtml.com and pasted it in. The conversion was perfect in every respect. So building either an html file or an epub using the template and style sheet I posted at http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com/ should work fine on the KDP if the author is willing to do a bit of hand tweaking.

Opening it in Sigil to build an epub ought to work even better, since Sigil gives a good chance to do the tweaking in a purpose-built editor. The resulting file does away with the need to zip anything for the KDP and will work as well at Barnes & Noble etc.
punchygonzales

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Registered: 11/26/11
Re: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML
Posted: Dec 27, 2012 8:08 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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Great--got it!
punchygonzales

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Registered: 11/26/11
Re: Templates for children’s books and comics
Posted: Dec 27, 2012 6:26 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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Hey Manny,

I was looking at your comic book examples and found the following in the CSS:

div.FixedPage {
height: 600px;
width: 1024px;
position: relative;
}

div.FixedPage a {
display: block;
width : 100%;
height: 100%;
}

I can't think of what "a" is a referrence too in that second one: "div.FixedPage a" and was wondering if you'd fill me in.
man2010

Posts: 2,047
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Templates for children’s books and comics
Posted: Dec 27, 2012 7:14 PM   in response to: punchygonzales in response to: punchygonzales
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Hiya Punchy: it defines the a element of class "app-amzn-magnify"
(located within another div tag inside the div tag we are talking about)
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