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


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man2010

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Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links properly
Posted: Dec 3, 2010 2:29 AM   in response to: jackibar in response to: jackibar
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bevehoward

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Registered: 09/22/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links prope
Posted: Dec 8, 2010 2:02 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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fwiw, just found this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPUB

which includes a lot of info on ncx files and the ncx reation to html standards.

I have just started reading, so, have no conclusions but will report back if I manage to learn anything with respect to toc entries within html source files... (I'm trying to find out if it's possible to stay with html only and avoid the other tools posted in this thread.

Since it seems to be possible to include hyperlinks today, this relates to a reference in the op

http://www.cjs-easy-as-pie.com/p/create-ncx-file-by-araby-greene.html

Hope that this information is of value.
Beverly Howard

added easy as pie link


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man2010

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Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links prope
Posted: Dec 8, 2010 6:48 PM   in response to: bevehoward in response to: bevehoward
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[i](I'm trying to find out if it's possible to stay with html only and avoid the other tools posted in this thread.)[/i]

You could if you create an easy-to-use template of the OPF file with instructions on how to adjust it to an HTML book in question and supporting files. I might try doing this myself. In this case, you can skip MobiPocket Creator, but you will still need KindleGen at your final step. IMO, creating the book files using the aforementioned software would be easier for most people. Both OPF and NCX files contain XML language, therefore, HTML only is not gonna work. Without those two files, the book cannot have a full-screen good-quality cover (this is "embedcover" command in the OPF file) and NCX toc. Finally, Kindlegen or some other app will still be necessary to build the final book file. I am afraid that HTML is not sufficient to create a full-featured, professionally formatted ebook.

Thanks for posting the links, BTW.
russell_melvin

Posts: 13
Registered: 03/01/09
Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links properly
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 5:29 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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Getting the book started is the hardest part. You might want to consider having the first 10% (what Amazon gives away in the sample) professionally edited and formatted. Formatting the body of the book is much less work. There are many good third parties who do it. It might be a good use of your time and resources if you're writing professionally or have little computer experience. ~ Russ

http://www.linkedin.com/in/russellmelvin
bevehoward

Posts: 250
Registered: 09/22/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links prope
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 9:16 AM   in response to: russell_melvin in response to: russell_melvin
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the first 10% (what Amazon gives away in the sample) <<

Would you provide a link to this sample.

Through DTP support, I have found the following links, however, none of them give any clear examples of html-xhtml formatting to meet or understand and creating TOC's

...unfortunately, today, the forum has again elected to reject any text following a <forwardslash>

Beverly Howard
bevehoward

Posts: 250
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Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links prope
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 9:33 AM   in response to: russell_melvin in response to: russell_melvin
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Getting the book started is the hardest part. <<

Creating and editing html documents is extremely easy... significantly easier than using word.

The hardest part for most people is getting your mind wrapped around the concept that you can't (more accurately, shouldn't) format any of the page display aspects such as margins, text width, page length, page numbers, etc, etc. This is because there are so many different platforms, browsers, readers, screen sizes, resolutions, and personal vision requirements that require that the format should comply to the user rather than the user comply to the requirements of the document.

Using a text editor such as nvue (www.nvu.com ...the same editor is included in the Mozilla Suite which is currently SeaMonkey) you can type or paste your text and are on your way.

If we ever get a good, reliable sample of how the beginning should be formatted, you could start with that, paste your text below and format the beginning to match your content.

Beverly Howard

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Message was edited by: bevehoward
bevehoward

Posts: 250
Registered: 09/22/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links prope
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 9:36 AM   in response to: bevehoward in response to: bevehoward
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http://www.nvu.com

ridiculous... seems you can't include "/" in replys to other messages, but you can use them in replies to your own messages... at least there is an option to post complex links.

Beverly Howard
bevehoward

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Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links prope
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 9:44 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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I am afraid that HTML is not sufficient to create a full-featured, professionally formatted ebook. <<

There may be some semantics in play with this. I think it depends on the html editor since xhtml and xml is are "extensions" of html. I've had no significant problems including xhtml and xml code in files.

I'm still learning but intend to stay with "html" if at all possible and will try to post what I learn relating to DTP here.

Beverly Howard
man2010

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Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links prope
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 3:48 PM   in response to: bevehoward in response to: bevehoward
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[i][b]I am afraid that HTML is not sufficient to create a full-featured, professionally formatted ebook.[/b]

There may be some semantics in play with this.[/i]

I can be more specific. It is impossible to create a full-featured professionally formatted Kindle book without Kindlegen. NCX toc requires Kindlegen, MPC, or some other app in addition to MS Word and HTML editing. A good-quality cover requires Kindlegen.

Regarding forward slash and other special symbols, you can use an HTML code of these characters and they will look OK in your post:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_XML_and_HTML_character_entity_references
man2010

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Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links properly
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 3:55 PM   in response to: russell_melvin in response to: russell_melvin
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[i]Getting the book started is the hardest part. You might want to consider having the first 10% (what Amazon gives away in the sample) professionally edited and formatted.[/i]

All of this stuff is difficult: writing a book, formatting the book, proofreading the book. I have proofread my first 10% at least ten times by now and the whole book four times. I also hired an editor to do stylistic editing and copyediting of the free sample.
man2010

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Re: Sample files: HTML code, NCX and OPF files
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 4:53 PM   in response to: bevehoward in response to: bevehoward
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[i]If we ever get a good, reliable sample of how the beginning should be formatted, you could start with that[/i]

I am posting an example of a well-formatted book (see the attached HTML file; right-click and "Save as...", make sure that your browser does not change the extension of those files while saving them to your computer). This is the beginning of my own book. You can open it in NotePad and use as a template code for your own book. I am also attaching my OPF, mbp_toc and NCX files, which can also be used as a template. Keep in mind that OPF and mbp_toc files can be easily created by MobiPocket creator (see the first post in this thread).

If you want to see what the free Kindle sample looks like, click here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0032JT11K
bevehoward

Posts: 250
Registered: 09/22/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links prope
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 6:10 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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I am posting... <<

Thanks... the references are very much appreciated. I am looking forward to learning and hope they will help others as well. I have already downloaded the files and they will be my late night reading tonight.

Your posts seem to detect my frustration finding answers to a number of questions ;-)

otoh, at least three different toc difficulty discussions-threads have been ongoing here for several months with no clear answers to questions and procedures. In addition, queries to DTP support have resulted in responses and links that are equally obtuse and extensive searches have been fruitless as well. I sincerely hope that this thread will become the standard reference for those of us who are adrift.

You are absolutely correct that this is hard, but, there is no reason the publishing part of it should be hard if there were easily available references on how the Kindle process functions to create book items such as TOCs.

A good-quality cover requires Kindlegen. <<

I will revisit Kindlegen on your suggestion. It was my hope that the kindlegen tool on this DTP site would be sufficient to achieve the same goals.

you can use an HTML code of these characters and they will look OK in your post: <<

Thanks for that information. However, imho, it's unacceptable for any forum to require that all of the slashes in all links posted be converted to html characters, especially in a post such as the above where I count twenty three slashes that would need to be replaced. At the moment, I am glad to know that I can post a reply, then reply to that reply to bypass whatever is going on in the forum processes.

Thanks again for the references and samples... they are well appreciated.

Beverly Howard
bevehoward

Posts: 250
Registered: 09/22/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links prope
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 6:44 PM   in response to: bevehoward in response to: bevehoward
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First look through your donated sample files suggests that the structure of the automatically generated file named;

mbp_toc.html

...might be of high value toward understanding what the kindle tools are looking for. Might I impose on you to post that file as well?

Your files have already answered a number of questions for me.

Thanks in advance,
Beverly Howard
bevehoward

Posts: 250
Registered: 09/22/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Table of Contents, Cover & Beginning links prope
Posted: Dec 9, 2010 6:49 PM   in response to: bevehoward in response to: bevehoward
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your book, "How to Become Smarter" is also now waiting to be read... obviously information I need ;-)

Beverly Howard
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