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Old 05-08-2015, 11:10 AM   #1
Timbow
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Greetings and a few queries

I am preparing a book for kindle publication for the first time. Pleased to have found this forum. I looked at the html that was generated exporting the author's work from .doc and realised immediately that I had to start from scratch. For the moment I am just going through the text writing minimal and valid html and a small css file. I will soon be on to the unfamiliar kindle specific stuff, so I will have many questions.

I would like to have some up to date sample files to help me learn about the other required files and what they do. Does that exist? I am also looking for the approved html for numbered footnote links. My footnotes will just be at the end of each chapter. I believe they need to link both ways?

Glad to be here.

Tim W
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:41 AM   #2
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I don't believe there is any sort of "approved html". But some people may be able to give you tips on what worked for them.

Yes, footnotes should link both ways. They don't have to, but it would be nice.
Suggestion -- don't use superscripted numbers, use "[1]" etc. instead. It is easier for us to click.



If you can get ahold of an original DOCX (not old DOC) then Toxaris' Word Addin can do a much better job of exporting an actual base EPUB than Word itslef will do with filtered HTML. Alternatively, the calibre E-Book Editor can directly import DOCX, again with much better results than exporting from Word.
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Old 05-08-2015, 03:25 PM   #3
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Thanks. Having written a bit of html for the web I couldn't bear to look at the mess made by Word. I guess it's unimportant if you only want your html to display correctly on one specific device but still, I am rewriting it in a text editor now.

I am getting the impression that amazon's declarations of 'requirements' are not taken too seriously. Is that so? They say that superscript and the link back are both 'required' for footnotes. That's why I was fretting about getting approved code. maybe I should just worry less and get on with the job.
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Old 05-08-2015, 03:31 PM   #4
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I think the linkback may be required for the latest devices to make the footnotes appear in a popup. That would be a requirement.

Certainly my Kindle Touch supports plain old hyperlinked footnotes, though. But I appreciate it anyway when I can link back to the text. The back button is only partially helpful, e.g. I cannot look through the footnotes and go to the places they refer to.
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbow View Post
I am also looking for the approved html for numbered footnote links. My footnotes will just be at the end of each chapter. I believe they need to link both ways?
Just keep it nice and simple. This is an example of the code I use, just a simple link back/forth:

Quote:
In fact, firms were able to hire increased quantities of labor at the frozen wage scales and employment grew at the rapid rate of 4.2 percent per annum from August to November 1971.<a href="#fn1" id="ft1">[1]</a></p>

[...]

<p><a href="#ft1" id="fn1">[1]</a> Michael R. Darby, “The U. S. Economic Stabilization Program of 1971–1974,” in Michael Walker (ed.), <i>The Illusion of Wage and Price Control</i> (Vancouver, Canada: The Fraser Institute, 1976) pp. 136–37.</p>
I second what eschwartz said about the [##] format instead of superscript footnotes.

We had a long discussion about a year ago discussing footnotes:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=241177

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbow View Post
Thanks. Having written a bit of html for the web I couldn't bear to look at the mess made by Word. I guess it's unimportant if you only want your html to display correctly on one specific device but still, I am rewriting it in a text editor now.
Yeah, Word output is pretty bad, especially when direct formatting is used all over the place.

If you do have the source DOCs, I would recommend taking a look at Toxaris's EPUB Tools:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=213372

It cleans and exports extremely clean HTML from any sort of DOC(X). It will save you a ton of hours instead of manual cleanup.

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 05-08-2015 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:34 PM   #6
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Oh, so Toxaris' tools handle old DOC as well? I guess that makes sense if they run in Word after all...

As you can tell, I know a lot more about calibre than I do about Toxaris' tools. Or Word.
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbow View Post
I am getting the impression that amazon's declarations of 'requirements' are not taken too seriously.
Amazon might not enforce all requirements, but KindleGen will refuse to compile invalid books. Therefore I'd strongly recommend creating an ePub that passes epubcheck, because valid ePubs rarely fail to compile with KindleGen.

The basic Sigil for Kindle books workflow can be summed up as follows:

1. Create a basic ePub by adding HTML and CSS files to the book. (CSS files need to be linked to HTML files.)
2. Add a cover image file, right-click it and select Add Semantics > Cover Image.
3. Generate a regular TOC by pressing CTRL+T.
4. Generate an HTML TOC for backwards compatibility with older Kindles. (Tools > Table of Contents > Create HTML Table Of Contents)
5. Select the HTML page of the first chapter and mark it as Start Reading Location (Add Semantics > Text).
6. Press F8 end enter author and book title.
7. Verify the ePub with Sigil FlightCrew and epubcheck.
8. Test the book with Kindle Previewer and actual Kindles.
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:59 PM   #8
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I use Word 2000, so the Toxaris plug-in doesn't work for me. Rather, I paste the *.doc into Word2CleanHtml dot com online, open the html file in Sigil, make the book beautiful and functional, and upload it to the KDP for conversion. Works every time.

Any tool seems to work better than Word's export / save as html, though to be sure it seems to get better (cleaner) with every iteration. I'm told that Open Office exports / saves as html that is very good.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:19 AM   #9
Timbow
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This is all really useful. Especially Doitsu's workflow. Have I got this right? :

I can upload html in a zip to amazon, but it is much preferred to prepare a complete tested and checked epub?

Sigil/Calibre are preferred methods of creating epub? I imagined I would do it manually but I am hearing that it isn't necessary.

In my html I can forget semantics and leaness. I just want simple functional markup for layout.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:29 AM   #10
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Hang on. Do I ned to write xhtml for an epub? kindle documents say they accept html5.
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbow View Post
I can upload html in a zip to amazon, but it is much preferred to prepare a complete tested and checked epub?
You can upload your book as a .zip file or as an .ePub file. (You could also upload a Kindle Previewer/KindleGen generated .mobi file.) However, creating an ePub file first has the advantage that you can have it checked by epubcheck and Sigil FlightCrew.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbow View Post
Sigil/Calibre are preferred methods of creating epub?
You can use either program to create an ePub, however, I wouldn't recommend uploading a Calibre generated .mobi file to KDP, because they occasionally get rejected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbow View Post
In my html I can forget semantics and leaness. I just want simple functional markup for layout.
In that case check out pandoc, which can generate epubs from markdown documents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbow View Post
Hang on. Do I ned to write xhtml for an epub? kindle documents say they accept html5.
KindleGen supports a subset of HTML5 as well as XHTML and even HTML 3.2. For more information on supported HTML5 tags refer to the Kindle Publishing Guidelines. (Sigil will automatically save HTML files as XHTML files.)

BTW, if you decide to give Sigil a try make sure to select Edit > Preferences > Clean Source > Pretty Print Tidy. Otherwise Sigil might automatically create unwanted classes for inline styles.
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbow View Post
I can upload html in a zip to amazon, but it is much preferred to prepare a complete tested and checked epub?

Sigil/Calibre are preferred methods of creating epub? I imagined I would do it manually but I am hearing that it isn't necessary.

In my html I can forget semantics and leaness. I just want simple functional markup for layout.
Not to step on Doitsu's excellent response, but it isn't "much preferred" to upload an epub. It's simply a workable way to do it, with many benefits for the uploader.

I would urge you to settle on Sigil. It's meant for the one purpose -- building an epub -- and does it wonderfully well.

And with respect to your third point, Sigil's additional tools can be very useful. I'm all for simplicity and letting the defaults rule, but neither would I rule out the semantics tool, nor the metadata tool, nor the TOC tools.
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Old 05-09-2015, 07:22 AM   #13
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Have you tried to clean the doc in word? I too would recommend toxaris tools, but if you have an old word, you could do many things by hand. I assume the author used direct formating since otherwise the word output shouldn't be that messy.
If we are talking about a simple novel, you could just assign correct styles. Use words search and replace to mark headers and the few special cases then select all and give it the normal style. Now style the marked paragraphs. The word output should now be pretty good, remaining things are then easily corrected with sigil/calibre and search and replace.
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
I think the linkback may be required for the latest devices to make the footnotes appear in a popup. That would be a requirement.
That's correct. Without the back link, the notes don't appear in a popup window.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:50 AM   #15
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just have to make a backup like this now:
http://imgur.com/gallery/UL2NY
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