I was at the Garden State Horror Writers meeting yesterday and the topic crossed over into ebooks. My memory isn’t the best, so when asked about the specific software I was using, my mind failed me. I mentioned Calibre but forgot Sigil. Since I forgot and mixed up names, the actual process I use is more like…
1. Export the data from the magazines website in HTML with CSS markup
2. Clean up the HTML in Dreamweaver (my HTML editor of choice)
3. Paste the revised HTML into the code view of SIGIL and add the chapter breaks, images and meta information (publisher, author, pub date, etc.)
4. Tell it which page is the table of content and cover of the ebook (semantics).
4. Save as epub
5. Import into CALIBRE as epub
6. Doublecheck my meta information and update as necessary
7. Convert to mobi file.
The mobi file can be used for Kindle and epub file for Apple and others. Anyone can get an account to submit files to Amazon. The process is very painless. Apple, on the other hand, wants you to have ISBNs and prefers you to work through a third party. I’ve been talking with LibreDigital, but haven’t done enough with them to say much about them.
As mentioned, there are several places that will do conversions for you, but your results will vary. One of the biggest complaints about ebooks is the formatting, so it is better if you can avoid those Word/RTF/PDF/HTML conversion services and design it properly. I also mentioned that I had received some very useful ebook formatting feedback from readers of this blog. You can find that post here.
I’m happy to share whatever information I have, so feel free to ask questions. I’m also considering taking up ebook formatting as a side job, so if anyone is interested in contracting some ebook work out, let me know.
If you’d like to check out some of my ebook work, you can get any of the Clarkesworld back issues I’ve done through Amazon. Epub and mobi files can be bought direct from us, but, for the moment, those orders have to be done via email.