Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next 63 Replies Latest reply: Jun 18, 2011 11:43 AM by steven from san diego Go to original post
  • Chris Hayden Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    tasslehawf wrote:
    Ok, I just spent 15 hours


    Not a workflow I would have chosen. I would suggest at some point in the workflow that you are at a simple txt level. For instance, use Calibre to convert a pdf out to .epub, then use Sigil to clean up any odd formatting that may have resulted from Calibre's conversion. Why? Calibre should be breaking the source file down into text and inline text objects. Calibre should retain most of whatever formatting is in the PDF. That is as long as there are not layered graphics. In that case Calibre will interpert the graphics out to a stacked order as they appreared from left to right and down.

    Another workflow is to use OpenOffice or MS-Word .doc (NOT .docx) and have Calibre convert, then check in Sigil.

    Calibre would be able to do it all if it had editing capibility but that is what Sigil does best. On the other hand Sigil would be able to do it all if the author felt comfortable drafting in that interface.

    Don't know what DW has offered the mix, but I'm feeling that 2 markup languages without a clean conversion step might be an issue.
  • Barbara Brundage Level 7 Level 7 (22,075 points)
    Well, it would be a lot of work, depending on what kind of book it was (I believe I mentioned earlier in this thread that the folks at Take Control say it takes a full week to convert one of their highly formatted books), but I have to agree that DW would totally not be my choice if you want to get something of that sort involved, and I'm not sure why you would. You for sure didn't save any time there and probably added to the amount of cleanup needed.
  • Chris Hayden Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    Barbara Brundage wrote:
    You for sure didn't save any time there and probably added to the amount of cleanup needed.


    It would be a lot shorter than 15 hours depending on how well the initial document was pre-formatted. But, I do agree that none of these workflows, including building your .epub in InDesign CS5, are going to be instantaneous. One can dream, I guess.

    As I said earlier, the .epub self-publisher is not excused from the finishing tasks that a professional publishing house would undertake to make a polished product. Any workflows I suggest are intended for those who are not willing to use Adobe Indesign CS5.

    But regardless of the workflow, there will be time involved. Just checking a perfect book length novel should take an hour or so for those who absolutely want to catch any formatting errors.

    Barbara, I'm sure you save your publisher a lot of work by submitting files that require very little tweaking in the conversion and finishing steps, but self publishers do not have have your toolset.

    A lot of the battle is won in the planning - seems to be the right advice.
  • Barbara Brundage Level 7 Level 7 (22,075 points)
    Barbara, I'm sure you save your publisher a lot of work by submitting files that require very little tweaking in the conversion and finishing steps, but self publishers do not have have your toolset.



    Nah, I'm not allowed to. I would much prefer to submit a laid out MS, for example, but I have no control over where production decides things should go and how large a particular illustration will be in the final layout.

    A novel is a very different thing, since it doesn't mandate these things.

    If I were going to write a novel in a web program, I would use wordpress (which is used fairly often for ebook production) instead of running it through dreamweaver, though. I was just commenting that I don't see the point of getting DW involved. I would have followed roughly your suggested workflow of WP app->Calibre->Sigil for a novel.

    And novelists don't have to care about things like how ibooks 1.1 broke font tag support for body copy, a very big problem for anyone doing any kind of technical book.
  • Chris Hayden Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    Barbara Brundage wrote:
    Nah, I'm not allowed to.


    Still, your raw MS (manuscript) is a cleaner starting point that what most people attempt. If I were doing conversions for others, I would prefer a clean text or rtf file with notes or strict minimal formatting using paragraph styles and images separately so that I could optimize the images to work best with the target reader device.

    See, my workflow just got a lot simpler.
  • Magnus Lewan Level 4 Level 4 (3,655 points)
    Barbara Brundage wrote:
    What we can do is use InDesign, and go straight from InDesign to ePub.


    Actually, that's not the end of it, by any means. There is a great deal that needs to be done to an epub after InDesign to fix output errors, and InDesign CS5 has some very severe bugs that have made it a poor choice till Adobe fixes some very big problems that are new with it.


    Barbara, do you happen to have some link or reference to the ID epub problems? I still have not tried it, and I would like it to work at first attempt if possible. If there is no use even trying, I won't. If there are known pitfalls to stay away from, it would be good to know beforehand.
  • Barbara Brundage Level 7 Level 7 (22,075 points)
    Hi, Magnus, for ID CS4, the best thing is to watch this:

    http://instantindesign.com/index.php?view=414

    (although there some specific tweaks necessary for ibooks afterwards, too)

    EDIT If you aren't familiar with the basic ID process for setting up an ebook, it would be good to watch the first section, too, for a general overview

    For ID CS5 problems, see

    http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/2010/06/indesign-cs5-creates-faulty-links-in.h tml

    and

    http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/2010/06/update-on-indesign-cs5-links-bug.html




    And in ibooks 1.1 span tags for body font are no longer recognized.
  • Magnus Lewan Level 4 Level 4 (3,655 points)
    Barbara Brundage wrote:
    Hi, Magnus, for ID CS4, the best thing is to watch this:

    http://instantindesign.com/index.php?view=414

    (although there some specific tweaks necessary for ibooks afterwards, too)

    EDIT If you aren't familiar with the basic ID process for setting up an ebook, it would be good to watch the first section, too, for a general overview

    For ID CS5 problems, see

    http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/2010/06/indesign-cs5-creates-faulty-links-in.h tml

    and

    http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/2010/06/update-on-indesign-cs5-links-bug.html


    And in ibooks 1.1 span tags for body font are no longer recognized.


    Thanks, Barbara, that was just the kind of information I was looking for!
  • tasslehawf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having an ePub conundrum. I got my html file all cleaned up and into sigil. I tweaked and tweaked and finally got the file where I want it (I was using iBooks on my wife's iPhone 3GS to test).

    Yesterday I picked up an iPad (and an iPhone 4). I noticed that there are interesting formatting differences between the two versions of iBooks which I had assumed were both the same "version" for both pieces of hardware. On iBooks on the iphone, my title page justifies center and my book text justifies left. On the iPad, my title page seems to justify left (the images stay centered). The body text force-justifies (justified left and right). But now that I think of it, my title page is probably also force-justified. I'm assuming there is no way to override this. My thought was to maybe convert the title and copyright pages to images.
  • Barbara Brundage Level 7 Level 7 (22,075 points)
    My guess would be that the ipad is still using ibooks 1.0 while the iphone has 1.1. There are big differences between the two:

    http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/2010/06/apple-makes-full-justification-worse-i n.html
  • tasslehawf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So it was force-justifying (full justifying). Based on that blog, I was able to turn it off. I wonder if I should add an item into the preface about shutting it off.

    I can't remember if the iPhone iBooks was off by default (I think it was), or if I turned it off. What a weird discrepancy.

    Message was edited by: tasslehawf
  • Chris Hayden Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    tasslehawf wrote:
    So it was force-justifying (full justifying).


    Don't forget to let Apple know how you feel this works or doesn't work for your books via the [feedback specific for each device|http://www.apple.com/feedback>.
  • AaronShep Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    It's ironic that one of Apple's greatest ePub tools is never mentioned. ePub is basically glorified XHTML 1.1, and you can save a Word or RTF file directly to that with TextEdit, as chosen in the preferences. After that, it should be simple to put it into Sigil or ecub and complete the package.

    Page layout software and word processors are simply not the right tools for making ePub books. But neither are Web design programs. What we need is a cross between them: A fully-developed word processor that uses XHTML as its native file format.
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (74,255 points)
    ePub is basically glorified XHTML 1.1, and you can save a Word or RTF file directly to that with TextEdit, as chosen in the preferences.


    What are you referring to exactly? The TextEdit .html option saves to html 4 strict and not xhtml.

    iWeb does export to xhtml 1 transitional.
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (74,255 points)
    PS Sorry, disregard my earlier post -- I now see the xhtml 1.0 option in TextEdit preferences.