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Old 08-19-2010, 11:30 PM   #1
Reg22
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Technical eBook Layout Advice

Hi,
I own a web development/seo/consulting firm and I'm in the process of writing a technical manual (i.e. a computer book). I am using Word to do the writing but I'm wondering what people do at the end of the process when it comes time to start putting things together and work on the overall style guide for the eBook.

Most printed computer books that I've read have very nice overall formats -- each chapter has a nice intro or some tips in a box to the side, etc. Are there any resources people can recommended or templates available for this type of eBook? I'm willing to pay so commercial solutions are ok, too.

Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:55 AM   #2
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Welcome to mobileread ....

Have you had a look in The Workshop ...

Your source file for an ebook would be best in html (which you should be familiar with !
) ... from there you have a number of choices, Sigil and Calibre being just two .....

What's your final format expected to be ?
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply and your welcome wishes! I will take a look at the Workshop, thanks.

Truth being told I can't stand writing in HTML. I understand the logic behind your reply (I think) -- to use HTML because it does the job as a markup language. But consider that when I have to convert client documents to html, I've got to sit and append <p> </p> to every paragraph, and <h1>, <h2), etc. to the headers and section titles. And while I positively use CSS to manage the formatting of included images and multimedia, HTML would be a big pain for my 300+ page work. And forget trying to have the client save their document in "HTML" from word -- the results are messy so that why I put HTML in quotes.

To answer your question, the final result is going to probably be some kind of technical workbook that I will publish myself (to a very specific niche audience) and then probably add an eBook version.

So Word is great for now in getting everything down and editing (try paginating copying and pasting tons of paragraphs in HTML -- you'd better LOVE the clipboard), it's just that when I'm ready to roll it off the presses, I want it to have a consistent, styled, and professional feel to it.

I've already written an free eBook in Word (you professional guys here would probably consider it an "eBlurb" as it's only 16 pages) in Word as a trial run -- it's an ebook about organizing your digital photography collection. It was easy to put together and convert to PDF, but since I'm giving it away for free, I don't really care about security and getting paid, etc. It was really a proof of concept for me, but as it's short I really didn't need to start making a really big style guide. So that's why I'm trying now to learn how the pro's do it.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:01 PM   #4
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Have a look at Sigil ....

On one level it'll do all the html work in the background for you ..... whilst allowing you to tweek the html according to your preferences.... This will result in an epub format .....


Good luck
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:03 PM   #5
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now THAT's interesting....thanks.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:04 PM   #6
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Sigil has a forum on this site/and the designer .... drop in, download the program and see how it works for you ....
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:08 PM   #7
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At first glance it almost looks like InfoHesiveEP. Does anyone you know use InfoHesiveEP? And is Sigil a long-term project? Or are the files you create in it portable to other products if Sigil no longer exists one day?

Thanks for your continued help.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reg22 View Post
At first glance it almost looks like InfoHesiveEP. Does anyone you know use InfoHesiveEP? And is Sigil a long-term project? Or are the files you create in it portable to other products if Sigil no longer exists one day?

Thanks for your continued help.

You'll have to ask Valloric; but as long as he is around, then there probably will be a Sigil .....

As to InfoHesiveHP - sorry, cannot help you on that ....
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