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Old 06-13-2011, 10:06 PM   #1
bfollowell
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Ebook not starting at "first" page after converting from epub to mobi

I'm having a problem with my ebooks not starting on the page I want them to start on. I create my own "jacket" based on an old version of the Calibre jacket. I just cut and paste the code into a new html page at the beginning of my ebook and change the text as nevessary. I create/convert all of my ebooks in Sigil and then perform a final conversion to mobi for reading on my Kindle 3 using Calibre. My jacket always follows the cover page and this is where all of my ebooks used to open to in my K3 or whenever I selected Go TO, Beginning. Now all of my ebooks start at whatever my first navpoint is, as defined by toc.ncx in my original epub. I'm not even certain this is a Calibre issue but I've been using the same version of Sigil for some time now and nothing has changed on my Kindle that I'nm aware of. The only thing that I know has changed is the version of Calibre I'm using. Whatever it is that changed, assuming it is a Calibre issue, seemed to start about a month or so ago, so whatever version we may've been on four to six weeks ago seems to be about the time the change was made.

Does anyone have any ideas what may've changed and how I may be able to get things back to the way they were?

Thanks.

- Byron
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:06 PM   #2
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OK, trying to narrow the problem down a little further I decided to go and try some of my older mobis that I know used to open right where I wanted them to. I figured I might be able to narrow the problem down to when I switched to a certain new verision of Sigil or Calibre. Guess what, all my old files that used to work just the way I wanted them to now do the same thing as my newer ones. They open to the heading/first nav point in the ebook. It's really starting to look like my Kindle is the issue and not Sigil or Calibre. It seems as if something changed on a recent firmware update that is causing this but I have no idea what or how to correct it.

The whole problem is very strange.

- Byron
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:35 PM   #3
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It certainly sounds like an amazon firmware change. Unfortunately, I don't use kindles any more so I haven't been keeping track.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfollowell View Post
I'm having a problem with my ebooks not starting on the page I want them to start on. I create my own "jacket" based on an old version of the Calibre jacket. I just cut and paste the code into a new html page at the beginning of my ebook and change the text as nevessary. I create/convert all of my ebooks in Sigil and then perform a final conversion to mobi for reading on my Kindle 3 using Calibre. My jacket always follows the cover page and this is where all of my ebooks used to open to in my K3 or whenever I selected Go TO, Beginning. Now all of my ebooks start at whatever my first navpoint is, as defined by toc.ncx in my original epub. I'm not even certain this is a Calibre issue but I've been using the same version of Sigil for some time now and nothing has changed on my Kindle that I'nm aware of. The only thing that I know has changed is the version of Calibre I'm using. Whatever it is that changed, assuming it is a Calibre issue, seemed to start about a month or so ago, so whatever version we may've been on four to six weeks ago seems to be about the time the change was made.

Does anyone have any ideas what may've changed and how I may be able to get things back to the way they were?

Thanks.

- Byron
I don't know whether it's a fluk, a feature or a phenomenon, but I've found that when Calibre-converting HTML to MOBI (either raw or in a Sigil-edited EPUB), if you enclose whatever you want on your start page in a <div class="TitlePage"> </div> block (caps seem to be important) Kindle and Kindle Previewer both recognize that as the start page. You don't need to have a "TitlePage" class defined in the style sheet. Maybe it's a buried part of the Amazon firmware, or the Calibre conversion software. Maybe it's just worked for me a couple dozen times because I got lucky. Or maybe it's just magic!
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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I just tried <div class="TitlePage"> </div>, and it didn't work. I have HTML files that I drag-and-drop into Calibre (currently version 0.8.11), and when converting to MOBI for Kindle 3, the "Go To Beginning" still only goes to the first entry (Chapter 1) in the TOC. So this isn't the magic HTML that I need.

There used to be information that <a name="start"/> was the way to go, but it also doesn't work.

Does anyone know the magic HTML code which will indicate the beginning in a MOBI format? Or is this a bug in Calibre, which, during the conversion from HTML (ZIP) to MOBI, the proper "start" tag is not getting included?

Thanks!
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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This was implemented in calibre 0.8.11. If the opf file for the ePub has a "start" reference in the guide section. It will be used as the point that the resulting mobi first opens.
Code:
<guide>
  <reference type="start" title="Start here" href="../path/to/desired_start.xhtml#start" />
  <reference type="toc" title="Table of Contents" href="../path/to/book.xhtml#toc" />
</guide>
Just use the Tweak ePub utility to verify/add the start reference before converting.
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:23 AM   #7
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For now, I've solved this to my satisfaction.

Dragging and dropping an HTM/HTML file into Calibre still puts the "Go To Beginning" at the first Table of Contents entry. So, since I use H3 and H4 tags for Chapter/Sub-Chapter TOC entries, I add this line at the beginning of every HTM/HTML <body> section:

<div style="visibility: hidden"><h3>Title Page</h3></div>

This makes a TOC entry called "Title Page", and starts the book there, but the words "Title Page" don't show up in the text.

I'm happy enough with that, and having the "Title Page" in the TOC is ok. I really don't want to modify the opf files manually, and would prefer that Calibre did it for me automatically with the old <a name="start" />.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:52 PM   #8
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I've found that the easiest and best way for me is to edit the opf file from within Sigil before using Calibre to convert and adding the file/page I want to start with and defining the page as "start".

Everyone has their own techniques though.

- Byron
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