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Old 01-21-2013, 05:23 PM   #1
lissie
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Workflow - XHTML to mobi to ePub

For sometime I've been converting books to Kindle using
Word - export to HTMl - stripped to clean HTML - edited in a text editor, created opf and ncx by hand - create mobi using KindlePreviewer

It's the only way I've found to control both the html and ncx TOC. Plus by editing the html I can remove all <p> tags which are automatically over-written by Kindle to have an indent - I don't want indents. Instead I use <br/> for new lines and end up with nice looking kindle books.

HOWEVER now that smashwords allows direct import of epubs - I'm looking for an easy way to take the mobi file and make iit an epub. Is it as easy as using Calibre for conversion?

I noticed in the epub spec there is a requirement that all text is wrapped in <p> tags - so do I need to now have 2 different source files: one for mobi one for epub?

Last edited by lissie; 01-21-2013 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:56 PM   #2
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It seems that the usual way is to create the epub file first and send it off to smashwords. Then strip out the smashword edition paragraphs and run it through Kindlegen. That way you get both old and new Amazon formats and your epub all tied up in one file. Of course then you probably want to run that file through kindlstrip (see mobi forum) to take it apart into its separate parts
Of course it isn't quite that simple, as good looking epub files and Amazon's requirements are sometimes conflicting. But it's not too difficult to sort out.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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Please don't do the no indent with paragraph spacing. It just looks awful and is a mess to read. The way to do it so it looks nice is a smallish (1.2em is nice) indent and no paragraph spacing except for section breaks.

If your eBook does not have complex formatting in Word, search/replace in word so each paragraph has <p></p> surrounding it. Save it as text. Use Sigil to load the text file. Split it as each different bit like copyright, dedication, chapters, etc. Then format it in Sigil. It's very easy to create simple styles by hand.

It's a lot easier to put in the bold, italic, headers, etc. then it is to clean up Word output. It will be a lot easier overall then it would be to clean up after Word.

Once you get a nice looking ePub, run it thought Kindlegen and see how it looks with Kindlepreviewer in both KF8 & Mobi. If it looks good in both, you are done.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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@pholy - that's probably what I'll do going forward - but at the moment I have plenty of books in mobi only format - as do many other authors !

@JSWolf - I'm talking non-fiction here - indents look dreadful - particularly when combined with sub-heads and bullets! The standard of no indent for NF is a standard for very good reason.

I don't have word (I do have openoffice which formats slightly differently) - but I don't see why I would go back to word - for one thing it will add unnecssary <p? tags around the <li> items which have to be removed again.

I've never found a need for Sigil- it seemed overly complex in comparison to notepad++ What benefit does it offer?
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:06 AM   #5
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Please don't use <br /> instead of normal paragraphs <p></p>. You will loose structure amongst other things.
If indents trouble you, create a stylesheet and put this in:
Code:
p {
text-indent: 0;
}
That will remove the indents.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:28 AM   #6
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Older Kindles don't recognise CSS Toxaris
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:37 AM   #7
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I know that mobi doesn't recognize CSS. However, during the conversion process of ePUB to mobi it gets converted to an internal style.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:22 AM   #8
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Thanks - I'd only just figured out that I can convert from the epub straight to mobi using KP rather than going from the html!

Also the point seems to be moot - it appears that the file displays fine on my actual Kindle 3 - it's just the previewer that is showing it incorrectly in the older Kindles
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