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The Challenge of Making Ebooks August 22, 2011

Posted by shannonmuir in Advice, Books, ebooks, epub, fiction, indie, indie publishing, Kindle, novels, publishing, Writing.
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TOUCH THE STARS, the first novel I released in print, is now available for purchase in epub format via iBookstore and on the Kindle via Amazon. Both of these I created myself over the past week, including new a new cover in the Kindle version instance (since the cover on the other version is generated by Lulu who does the distribution).  A lot of hit and miss learning, and found that even the tiniest mistake here or there meant having to regenerate a file.

The most time consuming thing was figuring out how in creating a MOBI file (the file used by Amazon) I could create a Table of Contents.  This was probably the most drastic change I did since TOUCH THE STARS in its print form does not have a Table of Contents. Some material like the dedication that became back matter due to page count on the print version needed to move to front matter (where I would have preferred to have it anyway) on the Kindle version due to the Table of Contents requirements.

In the case of making the epub file that many readers can use but that Lulu as the distributor sends to the iBookstore, that was easier to actually do once I found an editing program that would be cooperative.  I started with calibre but after Lulu kicked back the epub the first time for certain things not being in my Table of Contents (after trying to mark them fifteen times before that first upload) certain things didn’t seem to be holding and causing me to repeatedly fail the recommended third party epub validation program.  So I searched the web to see if there might be a different program I could try.  Found Sigil and it totally solved all my problems, allowing me more control to manipulate and add the items that calibre didn’t seem to retain.  I won’t give it my full blessing until I finish formatting my next project from scratch in Sigil though.

So there you have it.  If TOUCH THE STARS interested you, but the lack of an easily available ebook got in your way, it is available for purchase in epub format via iBookstore and on the Kindle via Amazon now. 

I do have a second book of new material, an anthology, that is e-book only.   I’ll cover that subject of releasing e-book only and why next time.  Thanks for reading!

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