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Old 05-09-2011, 12:08 PM   #1
Patuba
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Software recommendations for making Kindle book

Hi everyone. I am going to be making a eBook of a text book a friend wrote. I worked on it for about 10 hours this weekend and didn't get very far. Unfortunately, he has the book in PDF format which doesn't convert to Kindle very well. I have found a way to extract the Text from the PDFs but haven't found a good way of formatting the book for the Kindle.

I tired MS Word but I know it generates junky HTML code so I didn't waste much time on that. I've downloaded Jutoh, Sigil but have found it doesn't work very well for the book I'm trying to make. I find the biggest problem is formatting for the Kindle, page breaks don't work very well, sentences are on different pages when viewing in Kindle for PC then they are in the WYSIWIG editor.

I have read the Wiki on this site, and although it has helped some I am still really frustrated with trying to make a Kindle book. Can anyone recommend a good software package/WYSIWIG program that I can format this book in? If not, can you provide either a good web-site or thread that has more information on this?

I'm surprised how hard formatting a book for Kindle can be and how little Amazon has for support/reference material.

Thanks.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:20 PM   #2
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You get good results with mobipocket creator, but you need HTML first - I found kompoZer to be a good editor, you get WYSIWIG and plain HTML editor on one.

There are some special HTML codes Mobipocket uses to create pagebreaks etc.

If you need more help, I can provide links etc. later on...
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patuba View Post
I tired MS Word but I know it generates junky HTML code so I didn't waste much time on that. I've downloaded Jutoh, Sigil but have found it doesn't work very well for the book I'm trying to make. I find the biggest problem is formatting for the Kindle, page breaks don't work very well, sentences are on different pages when viewing in Kindle for PC then they are in the WYSIWIG editor.
You will never get that much control over an ebook because you have no way of knowing what font and text size, leading, margins, etc the reader is using. Page breaks can be controlled by using
< m b p : p a g e b r e a k / >
in the html, but that is about the extent of your control.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information. Wow, this can be frustrating!!! I'll keep hacking away and try to find a way that works.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:28 PM   #5
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bear4hunter is correct you should get good results there. Another place to look is Open Office.org. Open Office is a free competition to Microsoft Office and is quite a bit better then Microsoft and is getting better than that. Open Office does quite well at generating HTML and PDF.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
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How elaborately do you intend to format the thing? If it's just a bunch-'o-text, you could dump it into any text editor, do whatever minor cleanup you want, then run it through MobiPocket Creator and be done with it.

Keep in mind if you're creating flowable text, WYSIWYG no longer has any real meaning. The user can change font size on all Kindles, and screen orientation on the newer ones. What-they-see-is-not-what-you-made.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patuba View Post
Hi everyone. I am going to be making a eBook of a text book a friend wrote. I worked on it for about 10 hours this weekend and didn't get very far. Unfortunately, he has the book in PDF format which doesn't convert to Kindle very well. I have found a way to extract the Text from the PDFs but haven't found a good way of formatting the book for the Kindle.
Hmm... sounds a bit strange. Can't your "friend" provide you with the source of their book? Most people don't work in tools that edit PDF files.. they work in Word or other type program and then save the document in word.

BOb
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:07 PM   #8
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Open Office.org
Or LibreOffice.org
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:14 PM   #9
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How elaborately do you intend to format the thing? If it's just a bunch-'o-text, you could dump it into any text editor, do whatever minor cleanup you want, then run it through MobiPocket Creator and be done with it.

Keep in mind if you're creating flowable text, WYSIWYG no longer has any real meaning. The user can change font size on all Kindles, and screen orientation on the newer ones. What-they-see-is-not-what-you-made.
It has some images and graphs to be made into images so I need to format around that. Plus, when I got the text from the PDFs a lot of the paragraphs look bad. Some lines end premature when they could still go on. Some paragraphs have ran on, etc.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:15 PM   #10
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Hmm... sounds a bit strange. Can't your "friend" provide you with the source of their book? Most people don't work in tools that edit PDF files.. they work in Word or other type program and then save the document in word.

BOb
I know the book layout was done with Quark. I'm not sure what program he wrote the text in. He is on a Mac so I don't know if he used Word or something else.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patuba View Post
I know the book layout was done with Quark. I'm not sure what program he wrote the text in. He is on a Mac so I don't know if he used Word or something else.
I would ask him if he has a text based format that he could save it too. Most word processor and software (even on a Mac) will save to Html which would be much easier to covert into ePub using Sigil or similar.

BOb
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patuba View Post
I know the book layout was done with Quark. I'm not sure what program he wrote the text in. He is on a Mac so I don't know if he used Word or something else.
If you can get access to the Quark file(s) and a copy of Quark 9 (maybe the 30 trial would work), it has an export to ePub function. Not sure how good the resultant ePub is, but it has to be better than something exported from a PDF. Once a good ePub is made (using Sigil to edit if necessary, or hand editing) using KindleGen/Kindle Previewer should get you a nice mobi file for use on the Kindle.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:22 PM   #13
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Thank you for all of the suggestions. I have decided just to export the Text from the PDF, then edit the entire thing by hand in HTML format with Notepad++. So far, it seems to be working pretty good, tedious, but at least it works good. Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:17 AM   #14
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PDF to Epub is a good program. It can convert PDF files to epub, HTML or Kindle files.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:17 AM   #15
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Have a look at the Atlantis Word Processor or at Jutoh or at Sigil. Prepare the book as an ePub first and get it looking right. Then convert it to mobi for Kindle using Jutoh or Calibre. I use Jutoh every month to convert a journal into the various ebook formats.
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