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Old 01-07-2010, 09:53 AM   #1
CAJensen01
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Epub to Mobi Conversion - Designating Chapter Starts?

Sorry if this is a novice question, I just don't fully understand the conversion process and tagging yet. Converting an InDesign layout to epub, is there some tagging that needs done within the layout somehow to designate where a chapter starts? Is there any good readme on the entire process prior to converting to mobi?
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:12 PM   #2
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Re-creating an EPUB to mobi from scratch requires quite a bit of work, but is actually simpler if you start from a text document (Word or OO Writer export to html). If you just want to read an epub on a Kindle, the kindle will do a simple conversion, as will Mobipocket reader software. Mobipocket reader creates a .prc version in its library when it does the conversion. Check out

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...cId=1000426311

to download Kindle for PC software. It comes with sample material and publishing guidelines.

Google to find Mobipocket Creator and Mobipocket Reader software or browse the Amazon website.

Tony
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:48 PM   #3
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Use InDesign to make the epub and then use Calibre to convert the ePub to Mobipocket. It will work well and give you what you want.

Doing it Tony's way is longer and more tedious. It's really simple with Calibre.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:16 AM   #4
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I'm sorry if I confused the issue, I'm just a newbie, but I think it depends on the end goal.

I'm not familiar with Calibre, and I'm sure there are several tools to convert from epub to mobi.

If all that is desired is to produce a readable mobi document, they will suffice.

However, if the goal is to produce a publishable document meeting Amazon spec's and the Kindle Publishing Guidelines, then the mobi document should be created using Kindlegen, and that is a hand-built process, which is certainly slower and more difficult than using a conversion utility.

I certainly bow to JSWolf's superior knowledge and experience, and will put Calibre on my growing list of things to investigate in the world of e-book publishing.

Tony
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_A20 View Post
I'm sorry if I confused the issue, I'm just a newbie, but I think it depends on the end goal.

I'm not familiar with Calibre, and I'm sure there are several tools to convert from epub to mobi.

If all that is desired is to produce a readable mobi document, they will suffice.

However, if the goal is to produce a publishable document meeting Amazon spec's and the Kindle Publishing Guidelines, then the mobi document should be created using Kindlegen, and that is a hand-built process, which is certainly slower and more difficult than using a conversion utility.

I certainly bow to JSWolf's superior knowledge and experience, and will put Calibre on my growing list of things to investigate in the world of e-book publishing.

Tony
It sounds like Kindlegen is just a slightly modified MobiGen. If the goal is to use it to convert to Mobipocket, then yes, Calibre can do this quite well and do so a lot easier.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:59 AM   #6
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There are several spec's defining the creation of digital content. They apply to e-books. To meet these spec's requires the creation of several files (opf, toc, ncx, content,etc) which control the building of the e-book. Any application that purports to produce an e-book in a specific format (kindle, epub, etc) which does not use these files, is only meant to produce a document which can be displayed on a Reader device for the owner's personal use.

Applications such as Kindlegen accept an OPF file as input and build a document following the instructions in the OPF file, whereas applications such as Mobi Creator do not, although Mobi Creator can produce a PRC file which a Kindle Reader will display.

Other formats, such as EPUB, also use opf, toc, ncx, content files, etc to create e-books and if the application, or method of packaging the e-book meets the digital spec's, the same construction file can be used with only slight modification to accommodate different Reader devices.

In brief, if you want to construct an e-book that meets digital spec's, and can be used to build versions that will run on more than one Reader device, the construction files need to be hand coded. If a translation application is used, the output can be read on a users Reader, but is unlikely to meet spec's, and probably can't be used on another type of Reader

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Old 01-22-2010, 09:20 AM   #7
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That's a complete myth. Using tools from Amazon to produce Kindle books is completely unnecessary. And hand coding files is also completely unnecessary (though very satisfying).
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_A20 View Post
Applications such as Kindlegen accept an OPF file as input and build a document following the instructions in the OPF file, whereas applications such as Mobi Creator do not, although Mobi Creator can produce a PRC file which a Kindle Reader will display.
Just an addendum - Kindlegen will also accept a (properly-made) .epub file as input and convert it to .mobi, no hand-creation involved or necessary for conversion.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_A20 View Post
In brief, if you want to construct an e-book that meets digital spec's, and can be used to build versions that will run on more than one Reader device, the construction files need to be hand coded. If a translation application is used, the output can be read on a users Reader, but is unlikely to meet spec's, and probably can't be used on another type of Reader.
Completely and utterly false. Pure FUD.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:02 AM   #10
CAJensen01
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While I've figured out how to use InDesign + Calibre to do a lot of what I was looking for, I didn't get my question quite answered. When a document is segmented as a 'book' in InDesign, the different documents contained within that book are recognized as different chapter/entries into the TOC upon conversion.

However, what about if the document is one large ID document. Is there a method to tag such that chapter breaks are designated in the conversion process?

Thanks
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:07 AM   #11
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Kovid: How do you create TOCs from RSS-Feeds from i.e. WSJ or the Economist? Obviously you do not use Kindlegen or Mobigen? Can you point me to a link in the documentation of Calibre please? Thanks for your Feedback.
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:04 AM   #12
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The answer to the above is that Kovid and the Calibre team reverse engineered the whole section list creator of mobipocket! Kindlegen also can not create any section lists! Calibre can! Also see: http://www.amazon.com/tag/kindle%20p...x31OEYBU7RUPWO
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:31 AM   #13
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Amazon intended section lists to be used only by periodicals not normal books, so they haven't made that capability available to the general public.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:32 AM   #14
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Dear Kovid! Ahhhhh. Got it! Thanks so much for this input.
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:52 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by CAJensen01 View Post
While I've figured out how to use InDesign + Calibre to do a lot of what I was looking for, I didn't get my question quite answered. When a document is segmented as a 'book' in InDesign, the different documents contained within that book are recognized as different chapter/entries into the TOC upon conversion.

However, what about if the document is one large ID document. Is there a method to tag such that chapter breaks are designated in the conversion process?

Thanks
Haha, looks like people got side-tracked by politics

Unfortunately, the answer to your question is no . The only way to get InDesign to split the output files so they stay under the 300K limit for mobile devices is to split the documents by hand. I seriously hope that CS5 will see some major improvements, because right now InDesign is quite clumsy for ePubs, though it does have some nice features.

If you want a program which will allow you to split without having to copy and paste large chunks of text, try Atlantis Word Processor (which works on doc files) or Sigil (which works with html or xhtml). The chaptering process is automatic in AWP and Sigil allows you to manually specify chapter breaks simply by clicking a button. Both are used by major publishing houses, so you don't have to use a big expensive program to get professional results.

To tag chapters in AWP, simply apply a Heading style to the relevant paragraph (i.e. Prologue, Chapter One, etc). To do it in Sigil, use the <h1><h2> etc tags.

If your source document is an InDesign layout, you can export it as XML and import it to Sigil for conversion to ePub. Just make sure that all your elements are correctly tagged before export (Map Styles to Tags in the Tag window menu for automatic tagging).

Last edited by charleski; 02-19-2010 at 07:11 AM.
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