Sigil, for the most part, has been a most capable software for creating ePubs. (and yes, i am aware of other softwares which are more oriented for online distribution, but i’m not here to discuss that.) And has been the primary tool i use for making the ePubs on my blog.
Now, normally, when creating content for ePubs, one has to have a source material. It could be an original creation, or an online source. Mine is the latter. There are many ways to “grab”, but i haven’t found a really effective tool for that, so i go old school, the copy n’ pasta tool.
This is basically the thought process when i create an ePub.
1] Find a source that interest me enough to create an ePub version of it. I usually look for more details so that i can have enough information i can use for the metadata of the ePub.
2] Find a decent cover. I can’t stress this enough. Most ePubs i’ve seen have no book covers, and it just looks sad on my ePub reader (i recommend Moon+ Reader for your needs). There are plenty of online tools to create book covers nowadays. Yes, we are at that age already. Isn’t technology awesome?
3] Once you have those two covered, then you can start using Sigil to create the ePub.
4] Populate the metadata, as thorough as possible. The way i see it, this separates my ePub versions, compared to other ePub releases. While it’s great that there is a title, and an author metadata. And IMHO, those are the barest of requirements for a decent ePub, but yeah, more information is always better.
5] Do format it properly, 6] and make use headers. And by properly, i mean format your content using stylesheets and headers. For my releases, contents have no format on them. That means, they’re just plain text. I do, however, use stylesheets, to apply formatting on them. This has major benefits compared to just plain old copy’pasta including the format. One, it means that the formatting of your content can be easily modified by only editing the stylesheets. And while one might argue that you can do all that directly on the content, and yes, i will agree that it is EASIER since you automatically SEE the results of your format, try doing that for documents spanning multiple pages.
Ironically, this also made me realize just how WRONGLY i’ve been using MS Word for that matter. Really folks, use the headings.
Secondly, the generation of the Table of Contents is done automagically (as long as you are using headers properly).
6] After all that, then it’s time to save your ePub.
.. This is by no means, a step by step tutorial.
I’m not gonna do that.
I am, however, sharing my thought process, on how to create an ePub as complete as possible, without missing anything (too much).
Lastly, this is a tip.
When you have a series that spans multiple ePubs, it is usually tempting to just copy the 1st one, then erase its contents, then save it as the 2nd ePub.
There is a risk of the two books having the same “unique” bookID. And if you load it on your eBook Reader or catalog, the “newer” version will just OVERWRITE the old version due to the “same” bookID.
This is especially true when you’re in content distribution.
The solution is, create a new ePub instead.
In the end, well, 90% of this content won’t be useful to you anyways, so that’s that. As for the 10%, ‘grats.
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