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Old 09-23-2021, 10:56 AM   #16
gmw
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Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
No. It's a clear option when you go to upload content for a title. I've done it with maybe 17 titles.
After clicking on Upload new version in Dashboard (or part of creation of a new title):
Ah, I do see in in the upload new version interface, but it is NOT available on the "Publish a New Book" interface - the only mention of mobi there is as a choice to convert from doc.
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:04 AM   #17
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Historically I have always created the epub using a special plugin (writer2latex) in LibreOffice - I even had a custom version of it for a while - and after that I clean up the epub directly using Sigil. writer2latex did an excellent job of handling styles etc. making the clean up much easier than any of the other options I found at the time. (Some conversions to epub make a serious mess of the styles.)

Of course that is several years ago now, so I'd have to review my options before publishing again (no idea if writer2latex still works with the latest LibreOffice releases). So thanks for sharing your more up-to-date experiences.
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Old 09-23-2021, 12:50 PM   #18
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Ah, I do see in in the upload new version interface, but it is NOT available on the "Publish a New Book" interface - the only mention of mobi there is as a choice to convert from doc.
Yes, but as soon as you upload the epub the Mobi option available!

I was originally using MS Word and Mobicreator. Before I'd even heard of epubs!

I used Calibre instead when I found it (before version 3.4x) and switched from Word to LO Writer (version 4.x?) on XP. I quickly found that odt -> Calibre -> epub wasn't quite right, MS Word "doc" was worse and that docx worked best. (Kovid confirms this).
I tried many epub tools and plugins inc. Writer2latex. I've used actual laTex for mathematical stuff.
I looked at Sigil, and it's very good if you want more complex ebooks than basic fiction needs. Or you want fancy stuff not automatic in docx to calibre to epub2.

I found mobi KF7 and azw3 KF8 worked best from epub2.

Amazon confirmed that epub2 upload works better than docx.

I find LO Writer 5.x and 6.x work better to make a docx than Word 2003 or Word 2007 (I also have Word 2.0a and Word XP/2002). BUT every time you open a doc or docx in LO Writer (or Open Office), it's converted! SO you can import ONCE, then fixup the page, character, paragraph, image styles and headings, THEN only edit in odt!

Do an extra Save As in docx, and as with Word (or PDFs), embed the fonts if Calibre is importing the docx on a different computer (should be no need on SAME computer) and set Calibre options:
0 Line height
Embed fonts
Subset fonts

Page: Tablet (so images are not resized)

Note the Wordprocessor doc should have Page Break before (with no page type specified) at Chapter heading style (or other item where you want a new HTML file, new page on ereader or TOC entry. I use a default page about the size of an ereader with no header, footer or page numbers.

There is some other stuff I do too. When everything is done correctly (wordprocessor and conversion settings) the epub is perfect and passes book check and epub check, and system NCX/TOC is perfect. No CSS or HTML editing.

I changed from Windows to Linux entirely in 2016.

Then I proof and annotate on a Kobo Libra (used to be Kindle) and read back the annotations and put them in a tab in KATE (Notepad++ is similar on Windows and I used to use it). Each project/series is a KATE session (previously Notepad++).
I used custom spell check dictionaries per project longer than I can remember in Word. These were easily migrated to LO Writer by editing one line in Notepad++ and saving in the LO dictionary directory (originally on Windows for a few years).

In 1995 I was editing with a Wordstar clone, using GST Publisher to make a draft, printing on an inkjet.

Oh, and only set line heights, headers, footers different page styles (front, body rear etc) and page numbers for PDF for paper POD.
The PDF export on LO Writer is fine.

There is a bug on last line of most versions of MS Word at the end of a chapter. The last line should be flushed left (or right in Hebrew & Arabic) even if paragraph style is Fully Justified. When you make the PDF (or sometimes epub) the last line is justified. MS official workaround is: At the last line of the last paragraph before a page break add a carriage return (extra press Enter) key. Then Back Space to delete it.

I do a bunch of regex in LO Writer after making sure all multiple spaces are one space:
[ ]$ (removes trailing space on paragraph)
^[ ] (Removes leading spaces)
^$ (Removes blank lines)

LO indents and top & bottom margins in paragraph styles map perfectly to CSS. So only ever one space, no tabs, no blank lines. Don't set line spacing or Register true except for paper.

I delete the docx format from Calibre once the epub is created. Then dual mobi is automatically from epub, which is ONLY to test on local kindles and for Smashwords, nothing else.

Last edited by Quoth; 09-23-2021 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 09-23-2021, 10:57 PM   #19
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Thanks again for sharing, it's interesting to see how others go through it.

I should have made clear in my earlier post that the writer2latex project includes a writer2xhtml component that does the epub conversion - so I wasn't actually using latex.

I like Sigil. I find it simple to use and it feels light but capable. As the saying goes: YMMV.

Many years ago I moved my network over to Linux based (mostly Ubuntu) except a few VMs needed for my Windows software development work. After about 2 years of struggle (I seemed to be spending all my time dealing with update problems and other maintenance issues) I went back to all Windows. Another case of YMMV - and obviously did. I'm guessing it's also another case of things will have moved on since I last tried it.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
I should have made clear in my earlier post that the writer2latex project includes a writer2xhtml component that does the epub conversion - so I wasn't actually using latex.
I suspected that. But LaTex is a good idea for very mathematical or scientific texts which may not always suit true ebooks, so needing PDF and maybe offering POD paper.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:51 AM   #21
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Thanks. I wasn't aware of that. That's Big to fix, though ; or even to take into account for future books.
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:47 AM   #22
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gryzor2327, first my apologies for having taken your thread off topic.

Quote:
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Thanks. I wasn't aware of that. That's Big to fix, though ; or even to take into account for future books.
Are you talking about Doitsu's observation that the book violates some French typography conventions?

If so, at least some of those look like they should be fixable with reasonably simple find-and-replace (you're already using Unicode open/close quote characters so matching should be fairly reliable), and others with just find and check manually.

I can't speak to the conventions, but there is a trite old saying that applies to publishing: you only get once chance to make a good first impression. A lot of readers will not give a second chance.

Which is sort of sad, because authors are very rarely at their best on their first book. But it's true enough - and certainly I do it often enough.
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:14 PM   #23
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Yes, I was.
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Old 09-29-2021, 01:20 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gryzor2327 View Post
Hi,
Hey. Welcome to MR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gryzor2327 View Post
I am quite new into the business of producing ebooks, so I apologize in advance if my questions are going to be obvious or naive.
In the future, you may want to post these technical questions in the Workshop forum instead.

I stumbled upon this topic by complete chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gryzor2327 View Post
I have a history of producing PDF books, from latex. [...]


Quote:
Originally Posted by gryzor2327 View Post
I don't undertand why the rendering is so different between calibre and the device itself. I don't know where to start in order to enhance the rendering on mobile device.
Calibre's reader is extremely forgiving with bad code...

It's like a browser. It's able to take piles of garbage (no matter how bad) and turn it into reasonable stuff.

It DOES NOT match actual ereaders (Kobo, Nook, Kindle, [...]) though.

* * *

Similar situation with pandoc's EPUB output.

Yes, it may generate "valid EPUBs", but not something that will play nice across many devices.

You'd have to do lots of massaging if you wanted an EPUB that's more compatible across a wide variety of actual devices out there.

Examples (Usability)

1. Like you could see with your backlinks:

↩︎

many devices/fonts will not have that character. Maybe substitute with a "[^]" instead?

2. Or your footnotes are right next to each other:

Code:
<a href="#fn7" class="footnote-ref" id="fnref7" epub:type="noteref">7</a><a href="#fn8" class="footnote-ref" id="fnref8" epub:type="noteref">8</a>
this will be impossible to click. (And it looks like a superscript "78".)

What I highly recommended is changing footnotes into non-superscript + brackets:

[7][8]

This will allow users on touch devices to actually press the tiny links with their fat fingers!

So you'd want to adjust your HTML + CSS:

Code:
<a href="#fn7" class="footnote-ref" id="fnref7" epub:type="noteref">[7]</a>
Code:
a.footnote-ref {
  vertical-align: super; <--- Remove this line
}
LaTeX Side Note: How does it look in the Print PDF? Typically, there's a comma between the superscript numbers:

- <sup>7,8</sup>

with some LaTeX classes (scrbook), this type of footnote-next-to-footnote is taken care of automatically. Others, you'd have to manually adjust.

How is this type of situation handled in French typography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gryzor2327 View Post
I should have mentionned I'm only distributing ebooks from a website. I am not using the Amazon/kindle marketplaces.
What you'll want to do is offer 2+ files:
  • EPUB
    • Works on all non-Amazon devices.
    • Kobo, Nook, [...]
  • MOBI
    • Works on Amazon devices.
    • Kindle
  • PDF (Optional)
    • If they want to match the Print book

Users will then be able to download whatever format they prefer.

Side Note: You can convert your EPUB->MOBI using Kindle Previewer.

This creates a special "Dual MOBI". (This is a KF7 + KF8 version mixed in one file.)

Really old Kindles will load the KF7 portion. Newer Kindles will load the KF8.

(Don't get this confused with Calibre's MOBI. Calibre uses slightly different names. More details can be found in 2020: "Uploading a dual mobi format")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
FYI: Your book violates some French typography conventions.

[...]

(Since many fonts don't have glyphs for narrow no-break spaces, most book designers use non-breaking spaces or regular spaces.)
Yep. Another issue is the spaced punctuation like:

Code:
le criminel international ; assoiffée

Vansittart et du style qu’il employait :

« guerre de l’opium »
could break across lines like this in the ebook:

Code:
le criminel international
; assoiffée

Vansittart et du style qu’il employait
:

«
guerre de l’opium »
I've written about French spacing in ebooks extensively over the years:

In EPUB + HTML

Technically, the most correct space before/after French punctuation would be a:
  • NARROW NO-BREAK SPACE (U+202F)

but in real life, most people settle for:
  • THIN SPACE (U+2009)

and cross their fingers, hoping the program renders correctly. (LaTeX/InDesign makes that non-breaking too.)

But in French ebooks, for max compatibility, you'd have to settle on the:
  • NO-BREAK SPACE (U+00A0)
    • &nbsp; (EPUB2) or &160; (EPUB3)

EPUB3:

Code:
le criminel international&160;; assoiffée

Vansittart et du style qu’il employait&160;:

«&160;guerre de l’opium&160;»
You can see the difference here:
  • « guerre de l’opium » <--- Normal Spaces
  • « guerre de l’opium » <--- Thin Spaces
    • This is what typographers use + French typography demands.
  • « guerre de l’opium » <--- Narrow No-Break Spaces
    • The "most correct" Unicode character for French, but barely anybody does this. Plus it's broken/missing in many fonts/programs.

Way more technical details and thorough testing can be found in the above threads.

In LaTeX

French spacing is already taken care of automatically by packages (like polyglossia, babel, microtype, etc.) + setting the proper language.

If you wanted to manually add a thin space, you use the:
  • \,
    • Thin Space (it's already non-breaking in LaTeX)

Code:
le criminel international\,; assoiffée

Vansittart et du style qu’il employait\,:

«\,guerre de l’opium\,»
I'm unsure how pandoc interacts with all of this stuff though (or if it does French non-breaking spaces).

Maybe there's a French-specific option to feed into pandoc. (I haven't done much LaTeX->EPUB, and haven't thoroughly tested exactly what pandoc's output looks like.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gryzor2327 View Post
To be concrete, I am attaching an ebook from my production, which produces such effects.
A few random notes as I skimmed through:

1. Caught one typo:

expirpated -> extirpated
- The twin roots of all our evils, Nazi tyranny and Prussian militarism, must be expirpated.

2. You'll want to use EN DASHES between number ranges. Like this:
  • ✗ 1914-1918
  • ✓ 1914–1918

One way you type EN DASHES in your original LaTeX document is by using "--":
  • 1914--1918 (LaTeX)

If you're using LaTeX... you should pay special attention to creating typographically superior documents.

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 09-29-2021 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 10-02-2021, 03:41 PM   #25
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Wait, stop, Tex:

Amazon no longer accepts MOBI except for fixed-layout eBooks. Just...FYI. As of 8/1/21.

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Old 10-03-2021, 01:32 AM   #26
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Amazon no longer accepts MOBI except for fixed-layout eBooks. Just...FYI. As of 8/1/21.
From what I understood, he was offering the files on his website.
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Old 10-03-2021, 07:21 PM   #27
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From what I understood, he was offering the files on his website.
Ah, okay, then.

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