Thank you for visiting this website. I’ve been a web designer and developer since 1996, starting with a website for Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville, where I was a public services librarian responsible for federal and state depository documents collections from 1988 to 2000, and established the library web site. In May, 2000, I moved to Reno, Nevada, where I served as Web Development Librarian at UNR’s Getchell Library through June 2008. I had the privilege of working on a lot of websites with many talented contributors. When I retired—after 38 years as an academic librarian—I rediscovered the joy of working on my own projects, learned more about WordPress and open source tools (versus Microsoft enterprise applications), and found myself happily engaged in web work again.
Kindle books and ePubs are essentially very long web pages written in XHTML or HTML5. Most book manuscripts are word processor files that must be converted to HTML, then styled and packaged according to the rules for ePub and/or Kindle with attention to restrictions imposed by the target eReader device or software.
Although many authors and eBook conversion services advocate creating Kindle books directly from Word or from a Word to HTML conversion. I do not. It takes some background knowledge and discipline to resist going down that road, but if you know HTML, and are willing to invest some time in the process, you’ll have more control over the final appearance and utility of the produced eBook. I hope you find some useful tips on this website.
eBook production has changed rapidly with improvements in technology and continues to evolve, so what was standard practice one or two years ago may now be obsolete. Support of larger image sizes and the use of CSS3 are obvious examples of such changes. Pay close attention to the publication dates of articles and guidelines so that you’re working with the latest information.
In any case, the Word to ePub conversion process is not tremendously complex, but there is a definite learning curve with ePub editors such as Sigil, which can produce valid ePubs with all supporting files for either ePub 2 or ePub 3. Sigil has excellent search and replace functionality, including regular expressions. If you don’t want to use Sigil, try Calibre’s ePub editor, which also does a good job, though it introduces some proprietary CSS.
Generally, simple formatting will look good and work best with a variety of eReaders.