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Old 07-01-2010, 10:37 AM   #1
M T McGuire
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E-Book publishing software, any recommendations?

Hello there,

I apologise if this is the wrong place to ask this question... but... I'm hoping to pick yer brains! I've been publishing short stories on Smashwords and am on the brink of publishing a novel.

So far, I've stuck things into the Smashwords meatgrinder with no real way of seeing what comes out the other side BUT, while that's fine for free e-shorts I feel guilty charging people to download something I haven't even (can't even) check before publication. I think it might be better if I could find a programme which would convert say, a fully formatted word file, on my own computer... Failing that, even a reader which would allow me to look at what Smashwords gives me in say... six most used formats (I was thinking LRF, Ebup, Mobi, Pdf, RTF and possibly the Palm thing although I might be able to do that with my iPAQ no?).

There is a useful wiki page about these things but I'm a bit of a techno-spanner and so most of the helpful details to assist my choice are passing several miles over my head.

What I really need is something that will open my rtf or word file, save it in the format of my choice and then let me preview it and make any changes if required. I won't be applying any drm because drm is pants and I believe this might make things a bit more straightforward. Ideally it would be free software... or VERY cheap.

Um... anyone have any ideas?

Cheers

M T M

Last edited by M T McGuire; 07-01-2010 at 10:39 AM. Reason: To remove multiple typos and spellos...
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:43 AM   #2
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Atlantis Ocean Mind Word Processor will output ePub with TOC. It costs $35. Windows only (but will work under Wine on Linux).

Linky: http://www.atlantiswordprocessor.com/en/

The download is fully functioning, so you can test it out before buying. Enjoy
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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If you already use WORD, I found this earlier today ... Not tried it, but it is supposed to take a word document and make an epub .... (needs registration) http://www.aspose.com/community/blog...om-aspose.aspx and it's free .....
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffC View Post
If you already use WORD, I found this earlier today ... Not tried it, but it is supposed to take a word document and make an epub .... (needs registration) http://www.aspose.com/community/blog...om-aspose.aspx and it's free .....
Isn't there a script somewhere here on MR that integrates with Microsoft Word and outputs several formats? I'll have a look.

EDIT: Here it is http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28313 Book Creator Tool v3.0 by MR member =X=
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:58 AM   #5
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Wow! Thanks guys, those all look good I'll go check them out...
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:58 AM   #6
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WOw - You've a good memory - I'd forgotten that ... run down the post to the version 3 ....
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M T McGuire View Post
I think it might be better if I could find a programme which would convert say, a fully formatted word file, on my own computer...
Won't do a ton of good as far as what the final results will be as you'll still be sending the Word file to Smashwords for conversion. Just be sure to follow their style guide. From what I've been reading a lot of the formatting problems seen from the 'meat grinder' are from authors not following it.


Quote:
Failing that, even a reader which would allow me to look at what Smashwords gives me in say... six most used formats (I was thinking LRF, Ebup, Mobi, Pdf, RTF and possibly the Palm thing although I might be able to do that with my iPAQ no?)
You don't say what OS you're using.

If it's Windows (click software names for links)...
ePub (Sony Reader Software, Adobe Digital Editions)
Mobi (Kindle for PC, Mobipocket Reader)
PDF (Adobe Digital Editions, Adobe Acrobat Reader, any other PDF reader)
RTF (MS Word which you indicate you have, Open Office)
PDB (B&N Reader, eReader)

For Mac the software is basically the same except there is no Mobipocket Reader for Mac. For Linux I'm not sure. There's FBReader, but I don't know if all the formats it does work that well yet.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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What about Sigil?
I have it but haven't looked at it. It converts documents. Google it. It's at Google.

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Old 07-01-2010, 02:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Robin O'Neill View Post
What about Sigil?
I have it but haven't looked at it. It converts documents. Google it. It's at Google.

Robin
It also has its own forum here at MR. http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=203
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin O'Neill View Post
What about Sigil?
I have it but haven't looked at it. It converts documents. Google it. It's at Google.

Robin

No need, as moe says ... It's HERE ......
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:14 AM   #11
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Sorry to miss that out I'm using Windows. My Word files are actually all converted to Smashwords specifications from Wordperfect - I hate Word and use WordPerfect because it actually has a British English UK spelling dictionary as opposed to Word's we-call-it-uk-english-but-it's-actually-american one. I wanted to provide the formats on my author website though and having seen how mucky Word files are converted to html I thought I should try to get something cleaner than the Smashwords output.

I've downloaded Sigil, EBook publisher, MobiPocket's own editing system and something called Calibre also mentioned in the recommended here. Ebook publisher looks the most straightforward once I've built the source file. I found a template on here, somewhere, too... I'm beginning to wonder if I should build the book in Dreamweaver and then convert it from html afterwards!

Cheers

M T M
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:19 AM   #12
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You can produce the book whichever way you find easiest. I started with Sigil, but found some quirks, then went to use sciTE (text producer) and create the html files and the other files needed by the ePub wrapper.

Overall I found the "hard" way of doing it the more satisfying ... (although often frustrating).
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:19 AM   #13
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Calibre is a great way to convert. Put your word doc. into either htm by using 'save as' or lit by using read, and then download it into Calibre which is free. It looks great, and the conversions offered are many.
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:05 PM   #14
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I second Calibre. It's what I use.
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