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Old 07-14-2011, 07:09 PM   #1
russ5260
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How to create a professional up to standards Kindle eBook without the hassle

Greetings, I have been publishing eBooks in Kindle Direct Publishing for a couple of years. I have been very happy with the results. I have been using MobiPocket Creator with very good results. A couple of weeks ago that program stopped working. So I set out to find an alternative for producing my books. Well, I have worked out a procedure to create a professional looking eBook like the big boys. I have used it to update 3 of my previous books and they are under review in my bookshelf. Following are the steps I now use to produce my books:

1. I start out with an html file of my book. I know that you can use Word to write your book and then save as html but that does not do a good job of formatting. I always have to go in to that and massage it. In the html I put a 1 line piece of code that gives me the guide for the TOC, Cover, Beginning, etc That piece of code is
<guide> <reference type="toc" title="Table of Contents" href="#toc""/> </guide>
This is very important since later on down the process this will allow software to create the .OPF and .NCX files, not you. Also, you must have a fully functional TOC in your html book file, otherwise that line of code will not mean anything and Calibre cannot create a toc or if it does an incorrect one.

2. After the html is created there are a couple of ways to get a preliminary kindle file (.azw). Use the program kindlegen found at http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...cId=1000234621 or if you have a Kindle 3 with WIFI just email the html file to your Kindle with "convert" in the subject line and attach the html file. If you have a Kindle 2 you can still email it but you will be charged for it.

3. Once you have the file in .azw format fire up the program Calibre found at http://calibre-ebook.com/ Once in Calibre add your .azw file to calibre.

4. Next edit the Metadata to your book: adding the title and author and at this time you add your cover to your book.(on a side note: If you need a great cover your your book, and for free go to http://www.wattpad.com/forums/discus...ee+book+covers she will create a free cover for you. She has already created 6 covers for me and they are really professional).

5 Once the metadata is done press "convert". One cavaet, make sure you are going from .azw to .mobi. You can set that up in Calibre in Preferences.

6. Once the convert is done you will have a fully functional .mobi book, a created .opf file, and a created .ncx file. The produced book will be up to standards of Kindle publishing and industry standards.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:37 PM   #2
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If you have a Kindle 2 you can still email it but you will be charged for it.
Only if you're silly enough to email it to your *@kindle.com address instead of the *@free.kindle.com address.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:32 PM   #3
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Nice first post Russ. Welcome to mobile read.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:34 PM   #4
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Why not skip step 2 and just import the HTML directly into Calibre? This creates a "ZIP" format book which can then be converted to MOBI.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:43 AM   #5
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re: How to create a professional up to standards Kindle eBook without the hassle

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkookumPete View Post
Why not skip step 2 and just import the HTML directly into Calibre? This creates a "ZIP" format book which can then be converted to MOBI.
I tried that but Calibre messed up the formatting to a point it was unreadable. By doing it this way Calibre leaves the formatting alone.
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:25 AM   #6
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What do you mean when you say that Mobi Creator "stopped working"? Why did it stop working?
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russ5260 View Post
Greetings, I have been publishing eBooks in Kindle Direct Publishing for a couple of years. I have been very happy with the results. I have been using MobiPocket Creator with very good results. A couple of weeks ago that program stopped working. So I set out to find an alternative for producing my books. Well, I have worked out a procedure to create a professional looking eBook like the big boys. I have used it to update 3 of my previous books and they are under review in my bookshelf. Following are the steps I now use to produce my books:

1. I start out with an html file of my book. I know that you can use Word to write your book and then save as html but that does not do a good job of formatting. I always have to go in to that and massage it. In the html I put a 1 line piece of code that gives me the guide for the TOC, Cover, Beginning, etc That piece of code is
<guide> <reference type="toc" title="Table of Contents" href="#toc""/> </guide>
This is very important since later on down the process this will allow software to create the .OPF and .NCX files, not you. Also, you must have a fully functional TOC in your html book file, otherwise that line of code will not mean anything and Calibre cannot create a toc or if it does an incorrect one.

2. After the html is created there are a couple of ways to get a preliminary kindle file (.azw). Use the program kindlegen found at http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...cId=1000234621 or if you have a Kindle 3 with WIFI just email the html file to your Kindle with "convert" in the subject line and attach the html file. If you have a Kindle 2 you can still email it but you will be charged for it.

3. Once you have the file in .azw format fire up the program Calibre found at http://calibre-ebook.com/ Once in Calibre add your .azw file to calibre.

4. Next edit the Metadata to your book: adding the title and author and at this time you add your cover to your book.(on a side note: If you need a great cover your your book, and for free go to http://www.wattpad.com/forums/discus...ee+book+covers she will create a free cover for you. She has already created 6 covers for me and they are really professional).

5 Once the metadata is done press "convert". One cavaet, make sure you are going from .azw to .mobi. You can set that up in Calibre in Preferences.

6. Once the convert is done you will have a fully functional .mobi book, a created .opf file, and a created .ncx file. The produced book will be up to standards of Kindle publishing and industry standards.
Helpful stuff, Russ. Key question, at least for me: you say that you start out with an html file of your book. Where is that file, i.e., how are you looking at it so that you can then work on the code.
Thanks,
GM
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeM View Post
Helpful stuff, Russ. Key question, at least for me: you say that you start out with an html file of your book. Where is that file, i.e., how are you looking at it so that you can then work on the code.
Thanks,
GM
An HTML file is just text: you can write it in any text editor - eg Windows Notepad.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:35 PM   #9
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Naively: can I open an existing manuscript in Notepad for purposes of such text editing? Or can I open the ms., already in html, in Notepad?
thanks,
GM
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:50 PM   #10
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You can open any HTML file in Notepad, yes.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:23 PM   #11
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What do you mean when you say that Mobi Creator "stopped working"? Why did it stop working?
I suspect it joined a union and is now on strike for better working conditions!

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Old 08-24-2011, 09:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
What do you mean when you say that Mobi Creator "stopped working"? Why did it stop working?
It stopped working because s/he upgraded to IE9, which has an inherent conflict with MBPCreator. If you put Internet Exploder 9 on your computer--even if you don't have it running, the MBP TOC won't build. There's a workaround, if you use the attributes and values in the TOC Wizard.

Amazon's aware of the conflict; last I understood the engineers were looking at it. Use the css class as the attribute and the element as the value, i.e., "chapter." You have to play around with it a bit to find a grouping that works.

Naturally, however, most folks would rather just use Calibre than do this, which is all I'll say about that.

HTH,
Hitch
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