I generally work with MS Word,and save as a doc file; or occasionally as an HTML from there.
This is good enough for standard books.
Books with a lot of references (like the bible, or encyclopedia) can better be edited in HTML; because HTML takes longer to edit and finalize; but you're more able to find formatting errors, or you're more able to custom tailor the HTML.
BD generally strips HTML from all excessive info, appart from the body text, and pastes it in 'header1', 'header2', or paragraph text.
So there's not really a reason why not to use a doc instead of html (for a normal book). I mean,there's really not that much HTML in a normal book.
BD is not capable of calling a "header2" (<H2>) a subtitle. But generally Header1 will become a chapter title.
The last thing I've learned BD recognizes is references and bookmarks.
"a href" and "a name".
MS Word creates a lot of overload on HTML files, in case you plan on creating the HTML from there, and it often takes a lot of pruning.
Often you can save about 15-25% of space, just removing unnecessary data from MS Word HTML's.
I prefer creating them in openoffice writer, since it tends to leave less of a mess behind.
I've also been thinking of publishing the html sources, since apart from a Sony Reader, I have no device to compare my ebooks on,and generally only release the LRF file.
Besides, probably like others on the forums, the (hand) creation of an LRF file already takes time enough, and probably there are many out there who won't mind sharing the original sources, for others to convert.
If it where as simple as just running it through a convertor it would be ok, however, I see many books posted by people on the forum with very lousy formatting!
I'm not talking about guys just starting out posting books,and not have it 100% together yet, like those that have some border issues, or font size issues.
But those uploading files, almost as if a text file with a few added pictures was put into an LRF jacket and published.
Sadly, some of the best uploaders, also have some of the worst formatting in their books. It may be because of automatic conversions.
I mean: Titles are not aligned,and starting from mid-page, pagebreaks are missing, text has a lousy formatting (last word of a line always appears on next line), lettertype is just TOO BIG to comfortably read it in medium or large (on a Sony PRS-505; eg.
nly 10-15 words fit a screen in Large view),etc...
Maybe conversion tools have improved the last months, and faithfully can convert one format into another without loss of formatting quality.. After all, most of the formats are for 800x600 screen resolutions,so formatting, fonts and sizes should not differ much from one or the other ebook.
I'd honestly prefer a lot of the files uploaded to this site, to be removed and reformatted by hand.
Because apart from the text which you can read, the formatting as well as the covers of books are just done horrible on many books...
I mean, one of the posting guidelines is to not post a book if it only took you a few minutes of work to create them. Then there would be no benefit in uploading the files,and you might as well just read the txt or html file on your reader directly downloaded from the Gutenberg (or siminar) website(s).