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Old 01-25-2013, 10:10 AM   #61
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Yes, I'm sure a number of us would find that fascinating!
@exaltedwomat: Ok, here goes... I created a new thread in the Epub forum, since it is a bit off-topic here.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:27 PM   #62
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I do strip out the internal ToC (worthless in an ePub) .
Well, not entirely useless! It serves as an excellent sales tool when seen on Amazon's Look Inside and Barnes & Noble's Read Instantly Feature. I assume (well, I hope) that other retailers have equivalent previews.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:50 PM   #63
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Well, not entirely useless! It serves as an excellent sales tool when seen on Amazon's Look Inside and Barnes & Noble's Read Instantly Feature. I assume (well, I hope) that other retailers have equivalent previews.
For one, Amazon don't sell epubs, and their Kindle conversion tool all but requires an inline TOC

JSWolf seriously dislikes html TOCs. While I agree with him that they're superfluous in epubs as proper software* should make the toc.ncx available, I just shrug and skip past them whenever I encounter them. Some users like them, and it's not like they're in your way when you read the rest of the book. It's not really hampering the readers who don't use them. (unless you backlink from every freaking headline, as I've seen in a couple of epubs. That *does* irk me). That said, I don't include them in the epubs I make unless specifically requested by the author even after I explain why they're not needed.

* This includes the web pages of Epub vendors who provide a "peek at the book" feature as well, they should really provide a preview of the embedded TOC.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:29 PM   #64
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For one, Amazon don't sell epubs, and their Kindle conversion tool all but requires an inline TOC
No, but one may, and many of our clients, do, upload ePUBs for conversion at the KDP. We make mobi's for our retail clients, but we make optimized ePUBs for our publisher clients, and that's what they upload at KDP.

Which means, therefore, an inline TOC. Moreover, if you do not include an inline TOC, it bollixes up the SRL (this is new, folks). And remember, you must have an inline TOC for mobi, as the "go to" for the TOC, from the Guide, only works with an html toc, not an NCX. (Yes, yes, excluding the K4PC app).

Lastly, as I think I mentioned elsewhere here on MR, this whole discussion is moot. The new ePUB3 spec has a TOC that is far more an html TOC than an NCX, so shortly, that's what we'll all be using, because certainly other than multimedia, the first thing that will be adopted is probably that TOC--which means that the ncx will go the way of the Dodo. {shrug}.

And, yes, Wolfie's hatred of all things html.toc is legendary here.

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Old 01-25-2013, 09:18 PM   #65
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Late to the party, as usual, but I thought I'd comment that it has been our experience that no matter how many rounds of substantive edits, copy edits, and author proofreads are done, many typos (and in extreme cases, stylistic changes) are only caught in the printed proof.

Therefore, we usually defer the production epub version until after the "final" corrections are made in the InDesign master file.

ID -> epub export is fairly straightforward even though we're still using CS4, especially since the vast majority of our titles are fiction; so there are generally few internal illustrations, tables, formulae, etc. to fuss with. Strict use of InDesign styles (a collection of which, stored in a template file, constitutes our nearly-universal house style) and an absolute ban on local formatting keeps the generated epub stylesheet managably simple.

The final touches are then made in Sigil, and another epub is made with modifications suitable for kindlegen conversion to mobi/kf8.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:49 AM   #66
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The final touches are then made in Sigil, and another epub is made with modifications suitable for kindlegen conversion to mobi/kf8.
I'm sure many of us would be interested in details of your strategy for this?
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:36 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by st_albert View Post
Late to the party, as usual, but I thought I'd comment that it has been our experience that no matter how many rounds of substantive edits, copy edits, and author proofreads are done, many typos (and in extreme cases, stylistic changes) are only caught in the printed proof.

Therefore, we usually defer the production epub version until after the "final" corrections are made in the InDesign master file.

ID -> epub export is fairly straightforward even though we're still using CS4, especially since the vast majority of our titles are fiction; so there are generally few internal illustrations, tables, formulae, etc. to fuss with. Strict use of InDesign styles (a collection of which, stored in a template file, constitutes our nearly-universal house style) and an absolute ban on local formatting keeps the generated epub stylesheet managably simple.

The final touches are then made in Sigil, and another epub is made with modifications suitable for kindlegen conversion to mobi/kf8.

This is almost exactly what we do when we have a POD Package (print, epub and mobi) ordered, although we are not primarily a print shop at all. We added print layout (essentially, for fiction-style layout or memoirs only) as a client accommodation, humorously enough. But this is how we work as well, when we have print. We do, however, have about half of our print clients come to us after they've pubbed their ebooks, and from that point we extract the html and work backwards, essentially.

For us, whether it's an e-job or print, do exactly what you do: make the final touches in Sigil, and make a dupe ePUB with mods for KindleGen conversion. On some books, we don't need to mod the book for KindleGen, but most need some minor tweakage.

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Old 01-26-2013, 05:04 PM   #68
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I'm sure many of us would be interested in details of your strategy for this?
The overall strategy is to be able to maintain one master file (in most cases the InDesign file, unless there is to be no print version) with all corrections, etc. All published forms: print, pdf, epub, mobi (and rarely others) are produced directly or indirectly from this file.

The conversion process goes roughly like this:

1) The ID file gets a few modifications before exporting to epub. For example, the first paragraph style contains nested styles (dropcap and smallcaps for the first line). These must be un-nested (as described in Elizabeth Castro's epub book). Scene breaks are usually modified to avoid having to embed a wingdings font just for them. Any internal images must be placed in-line in the story flow. Any local formatting (there should be none left) is replaced with defined paragraph or character styles. Then the book is exported to epub. This being ID4, all the text of the book ends up in a single xhtml file within the epub.

2) I expand the epub and edit the story file with Bluefish html editor. (NB nowadays, this could be just as well done within Sigil, but my practice is a holdover from the days when it was very slow to work with a single huge file in Sigil.) During this edit, chapter headers are changed from <p> tags to <h2> tags, sigil chapter break markers are inserted, a few comments are inserted just in case of later editing, and appropriate changes are made to the stylesheet.css file to match. When done, the epub is re-zipped.

3) In sigil, the cover page is added, the file is split into chapters, and the chapter files are renamed to something meaningful (kind of OCD on my part, but it helps to navigate sometimes). Semantics for cover, cover image, title page, etc. etc. are applied. The toc.ncx is regenerated and checked. Usually tweaks to the stylesheet are applied in an attempt to make the file more e-reader friendly given that I don't know what e-reader may be used. (an example is the use of "up-caps" rather than drop-caps, and fake small-caps in the first paragraph of each chapter. Also, cleanup of any stray tabs, spaces, blank lines, etc. that shouldn't be there. A full set of metadata is added to content.opf (by directly editing it). FlightCrew check, CSS validation, and (externally) epubcheck.

4) for the Mobi version, I still have not graduated to the use of conditional stylesheets for kf8 vs mobi, so I try to make the css kindlegen-friendly. Fortunately, we don't use elaborate formatting, so this is usually not difficult.
Also, the cover page is removed, metadata in content.opf is adjusted (especially the <guide> section). An in-line TOC is created and moved to just after the copyright page (per house specifications). Actually, going forward we will probably add the inline TOC to the epub version as well, per the recent directives from Cupertino.

5) The "mobi" epub is fed to kindlegen (currently v.2.7) and both epub and mobi are checked against ADE and Kindle Previewer respectively, and whatever actual hardware I can lay my hands on.

Also, in the event that we are not publishing a print version, there is no ID file so I work from a master rtf or word file within Libre Office. The manuscript is cleaned up, house styles are applied, and it is exported using "writer2epub" (from the "writer2LaTex" people), with a custom CSS file matching the house styles from LibreOffice. This epub goes directly into the above workflow at step 3 (Sigil cleanup).

Start to finish, it takes less than two hours, usually more like 30 minutes if the files are clean.
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