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Old 07-12-2012, 12:43 PM   #1
northstar7
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Book Wildly Different Depending on Device

Hi. I have been working on converting a publisher's list to ebooks. The books will be for sale on Amazon, iBook, iPublish and so on.

So far I've converted about 100 books to the mobi format with minimal problems. But the epub format is giving me a lot of headaches.

The book I have started with is a simple presentation of 150 short stories, some with line drawings as illustrations. I produced it by starting with a Word doc, which I saved as filtered html in Word. Then I used Calibre to create the epub from the html.

The problem is that each flavor of ebook software displays the book in different ways. ADE displays it well. So does the ebub extension for Firefox.

Lucidor displays only the first 50 entries in the TOC, but if you scroll down, the stories and illustrations are displayed well. Same for RBReader. Koolbits will only display the first 50 stories.

Azzardi displays only the first 50 stories in the TOC and while the stories not in the TOC are there, any story with an illustration is chopped off at the point where the illustration should be. Sigil does the same. Stanza doesn't display any formatting.

So I'm wondering how to deal with this situation. Is using Calibre from filtered html a good approach to creating an epub?

Is there a reader that's accepted generally as the standard, so that if a book reads well on that reader, it's the best you can do?

I'd be grateful for any suggestions, insights, etc.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar7 View Post
So I'm wondering how to deal with this situation. Is using Calibre from filtered html a good approach to creating an epub?
IMO no. Filtered html has still too much "Office"-Styles which are useless (or worse...).

If the target is epub, i would never run it through calibre. Instead i would use sigil to tidy up the remaining "office" and give the Book a proper shape. (Which is probablys more work espeacially in your case...)

There are Word Macros here in this forum which generate a better HTML-source than "filtered word-html"

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Is there a reader that's accepted generally as the standard, so that if a book reads well on that reader, it's the best you can do?
I guess no. A test with ADE and epubcheck/flightcrew can't hurt. Testing with any webbrowser-based application (such as the Firefx plugin) is worthless in most cases.
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar7 View Post
Hi. I have been working on converting a publisher's list to ebooks. The books will be for sale on Amazon, iBook, iPublish and so on.

So far I've converted about 100 books to the mobi format with minimal problems. But the epub format is giving me a lot of headaches.

The book I have started with is a simple presentation of 150 short stories, some with line drawings as illustrations. I produced it by starting with a Word doc, which I saved as filtered html in Word. Then I used Calibre to create the epub from the html.

The problem is that each flavor of ebook software displays the book in different ways. ADE displays it well. So does the ebub extension for Firefox.

Lucidor displays only the first 50 entries in the TOC, but if you scroll down, the stories and illustrations are displayed well. Same for RBReader. Koolbits will only display the first 50 stories.

Azzardi displays only the first 50 stories in the TOC and while the stories not in the TOC are there, any story with an illustration is chopped off at the point where the illustration should be. Sigil does the same. Stanza doesn't display any formatting.

So I'm wondering how to deal with this situation. Is using Calibre from filtered html a good approach to creating an epub?

Is there a reader that's accepted generally as the standard, so that if a book reads well on that reader, it's the best you can do?

I'd be grateful for any suggestions, insights, etc.
Forget Lucidor, forget Azzardi, forget Koolbits and forget RBReader. Those are minor players and don't make a bit of difference at all. Most people don't even know they exist.

That said, what format is your original in before you moved it into Word? Word puts in lots of garbage that you don't need and you don't want and can make things look off or not work properly. Since your books are something you can load into Word, I recommend that you use Sigil. It will help you create the ePub such that it won't have all the Word garbage that Word loves to put in. Even filtered HTML is nasty.

As for Mobi for Amazon, you don't want that. You want to get your ePub looking good and then you want to run the ePub through Kindlegen so you can generate a KF8/Mobi combination file. Use Kindlepreviewer to view how that looks. Use the Kindle Fire setting to view the KF8 and use a Kindle setting to see how it looks in Mobi. If both look good, that can go to Amazon.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:45 PM   #4
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There are Sony and Nook for PC. You might try those. The Sony Reader Library displays books very much as they will appear in a Sony.

You may want to fork your output for iBooks and e-readers. The tablets can take bigger pictures in color which are lost on an e-ink reader and whose images may be chopped off or folded over on an e-reader.

I second starting with Sigil in the first place if you can. Other programs put tags inside of tags inside of tags that make it very hard to try format things easily. You try to fix something but it does not good because there is another <div> covering an even larger section.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:28 AM   #5
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Also, learn xhtml and CSS. You will need that to tune your book.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:06 AM   #6
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Also, learn xhtml and CSS. You will need that to tune your book.
If you are serious and not just making a hobby of it for yourself, Toxaris is absolutely right.

Check out the possibilities at http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp. Not about epub per se, but everything about html, xml, css and has an introduction to xhtml.

Check out the mobileread library for those whose formatting you admire and open them in Sigil and see how that transcriber did it and compare it to what you are working with.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mrmikel View Post
There are Sony and Nook for PC. You might try those. The Sony Reader Library displays books very much as they will appear in a Sony.

You may want to fork your output for iBooks and e-readers. The tablets can take bigger pictures in color which are lost on an e-ink reader and whose images may be chopped off or folded over on an e-reader.

I second starting with Sigil in the first place if you can. Other programs put tags inside of tags inside of tags that make it very hard to try format things easily. You try to fix something but it does not good because there is another <div> covering an even larger section.
The Sony software is a very good thing to have to test how ePub may look on an eink reader as it shows you how it would be on a 6" screen. That means you can make sure it will look good for the majority of stand-alone readers.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:25 AM   #8
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AFAIK, a lot of e-readers use ADE (Adobe Digital Editions).

So if it looks good in ADE, it should look good on >90% of e-readers or something like that...
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