As a writer, this has been my experience creating an e-book for Kindle (.mobi) and Sony e-readers (.epub). I bought several books on how to create an e-book as well as consulting various sources on the internet and here is a summary of the steps I took to create my e-book. Programs I used:

y y y y


Adobe InDesign Creating the pages
First of all, I used Adobe CS5 InDesign, to create the pages. When you re creating an e-book, it doesn t matter about page sizes or margins or page numbering or repeating headers. I started InDesign and created a new document that was 5.5 inches by 7.5 inches. It s a good idea to have a new document for every chapter of your book. I saved my first document, I created a book file. In InDesign, document files are saved as .indd whereas books are saved as .indb.

Each time you create a new document, be sure to add it to your book by pressing the + sign on the bottom.

My book s documentswerein the following order: y y y y Cover.indd (an RGB jpeg image that was 650px wide by 950px high)* Title/Copyrightpage.indd Table of Contents page** The story in all its documents

*the minimum image size is 600 x 800 pixels. Any smaller and I discovered it will be rejected by Amazon! **The TOC (table of contents) page doesn t include any page numbers, just the titles of your chapters or stories. I tried to add links in InDesign but the program won t export these to epub, so I did this manually in Sigil with good results. See link here. Next I figured out what types of styles to use: 1. Paragraph styles (use for chapter titles, paragraphs) 2. Character Styles (use for individual things like a single drop cap or an italicized word) I assigned styles to all the headers and for most of the paragraphs a Body style was all I needed. I used a couple of different paragraph styles for the different sized headers on my title page and that was about it. Originally, I was trying to be fancy by including drop caps on all the first paragraphs, but later I found this is a royal pain in the neck and dropped the drop caps! If you re super keen on including these, I suggest checking out my references at the bottom. I hit Ctrl+Smany times! Tweaking tips I learned: 1. The first thing I realized would help was to show all the hidden characters in each document I was editing: Type > Show Hidden Characters 2. Deleted any extra paragraph marks that were used just to create extra space. Only one return allowed! 3. Just to make sure everything is what I thought it should be, I went to Edit > Find/Change and clicked on the Glyph tab to find out if there were any styles in the document that shouldn t be there. I did find some old unused styles, I think I must ve changed my mid about something and just pressed delete on any ones I wasn t using.Also, while I was on the Find/Changeselection, I clicked on the tab marked GREP and looked for any tabs or other types of marks. all those paragraph marks and other funny squiggles (by pressing the @ button you can get a complete list)

The next thing I did was to make a navigational Table of Contents thate-books require. First, I found the source document in the book (.indb) file. The source document is indicated by the shape in the box adjacent to the title.

Open the source document, then go to Layout > Table of Contents Styles > New a. Give your TOC Style a unique name but leave TOC in front b. Include Paragraph Styles refers to the styles that you re using for your titles in your document so if you named the style for your chapter headings as Chapter you would find the Style called Chapter in the list on the right hand side and press the <<Add button

c. Tick the box that says Create PDF Bookmarks and Include Book Documents

d. Page numbering doesn t matter in e-books, so I didn t bother to select this as an option (not shown) With the same source document still open, I selected File >File Info and entered the metadata such as the name of the book, author name, and keywords. Once I was sure everything looked okay, I pressed select Export book to EPUB by clicking on the menu

box in the upper right hand corner of the book icon.

At this point I followed the instructions that Liz Castro has in her e-book with a couple of variations. First, it asks you where to save the .epub file you are about to create, so go ahead and choose a location. Then another screen pops up with three different selections: General, Images and Contents. y Be sure to check Include Document Metadata this is what you filled out under File Info (previously) and leave the Unique Identifier! At first I didn t realize what it was and deleted it thinking it wasn t important then I found out it is crucial!

The next item to deal with is Images so click on that which will bring you to the next screen:

There are several choices for Images, but I chose JPEG with a high quality. The last tab is Contents where I made the following selections:

y y

The TOC Style should be the one that you created earlier. For CSS Options, I only checked Include Style Definitions I did experiment with choosing the other two but did not have good results so after re-doing this several times, I decided the safest bet was to leave Preserve Local Overrides and Include Embeddable Fonts deselected.

After you re done, press Export and wait for InDesign to churn out your Epub book. It s interesting to note how InDesign converts the text into a file that can be read by epub e-readers. Everything is placed in <div> tags: y <div class = generated style > Paragraph styles are converted to <p> elements with .class definitions y <p class = paragraph style > Character styles are converted to <span> elements y <span class = character style >

Sigil Editing the Epub files
Since InDesign doesn t make a perfect conversion, I decided to download a free copy of Sigil onto my desktop. This is an open source program and it is a WSYIWIG (what you see is what you get) editor. For any questions about downloading, they have a helpful Wiki tab. I run a Windows operating system so I downloaded the zip file. I opened up the program and then went File > Open and searched around for the epub file that I had saved from InDesign. Where to start? After reading Liz Castro s book and a couple of other references,this is what I finally learned: 1. Look for the CSS file that InDesign converted. It should be on your left hand side of the screen in folder view and is called template. a. Open it up in code <> view and look at the top of the file for any styles that are empty: div.generated style { } - go ahead and delete these 2. Add Semantics: a. Click on the Images folder, right click on the image you re using for the cover and under Semantics, click on this to indicate that this will be your cover image b. Repeat the above steps and add semantics to: i. Table of Contents page ii. Copyright Right click on title in Book Browser window

3. Centre the cover image by changing the code as follows. Note: (replace titleofbook but keep the quotes!) <body> <div> <imgsrc = ..jpg alt= titleofbook style= max-width: 100%; /> </div> </body>

4. Add links to your Table of Contents file: a. I opened up my first story Appraiser.xhtml, then switched to code view b. Next, under the <body> tag I entered the following between the <p> and </p> tags: i. <a id= appraiser ></a> c. I opened up Table of Contents.xhtml, switched to code view, found the <p> tags: i. Right after the <p >I typed: <a href= Appraiser.xhtml#appraiser >Costly Appraisal</a></p> d. Repeat the process for all of your headings in your Table of Contents I discovered that it is very important to make your id s unique! See line 4b.i. 5. Make any styling adjustments by changing CSS template file. As an example, I found that the Story titles weren t as large as I had thought they would be, so with one of the files open, I made adjustments to the CSS. Automatically, the changes were applied to the other files!

Checking the file for errors with Epubcheck:
Epubcheck is an open source program available at . 1. Be sure to download the latest version, as of this writing the version is 1.1 so in my case I would download to my desktop. 2. I created a folder called Epubcheck, then I unzipped the file to this folder 3. I dragged the epub file I had been working on to the Epubcheck folder 4. Next, I clicked on Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt or Start > Run type cmd then enter to get the old black DOS like screen 5. I typed: java jar epubcheck-1.1.jar WaveOne.epub (to make it clear, there is a space after java , a space after both jars and don t forget the dot after each 1) press enter 6. Check for any error messages. The only error message I received one time was regarding two id s being the same. I went back to Sigil and opened it up and made a change to make the id more unique.Epubcheck also has a good website with some helpful explanations of common error messages. Once you re epub file is free of errors, you can view it in a free epub reader like Adobe Digital Editions at Once I was satisfied with it, I decided I wanted to sell a copy on Amazon, however, Amazon requires e-books to be in a .mobi format.

Converting your e-book for Amazon s Kindle:
I tried to download Amazon s tool to convert the InDesign file to a .mobi format but from what I read on the internet, this process is still a bit precarious. Therefore, I decided to use Amazon s tool called KindleGen. 1. Download KindleGen by doing a search for Amazon Kindle s Publishing Program or try Download the zip file to your desktop. 2. Make up a file on your C: drive called KindleGen 3. Extract the zip file to C:\KindleGen 4. Copy the epub file you worked on to the KindleGen folder (above) 5. Open up a command window by clicking on Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt or Start > Run type cmd then enter to get the old black DOS like screen 6. It doesn t matter where the computer says it s at, I just went ahead and typed: C:\KindleGen\kindlegen C:\KindleGen\WaveOne.epub 7. It takes a couple of moments of whirring around before KindleGen converts your epub file to mobi. Even if it doesn t say whether there are any errors, be sure to view the file in the Kindle Previewer (Start > All Programs > Amazon > Kindle Previewer)

Here are some useful references if you want more information and tips:
Liz Castro s EPUB Straight to the Point Making e-books from InDesign: Best Practices in EPUB cover images: The epub blog:

I hope you found this helpful Please come and visit my short story blog at

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