Practical example of creating an ebook. Part 4

Paper book connected to ebook reader

The layout of an electronic book is different from one that is going to be printed.

In the previous article We begin to see the guidelines required by the Amazon direct publication system to be able to participate in the contest and how to implement them in the two tools that we mentioned; Caliber and Sigil/PageEdit. ANow we are going to see how they are used with a practical example of creating an ebook.

Although the contest is for novels, in my example I will use the Constitution of the Argentine Nationbecause it is the typical structured document that Kindle loves so much.

Assembling the structure of the ebook

A scratch. Caliber's ebook editor can natively create books for Amazon's proprietary AZW3 format while Sigil uses EPUB3 which requires a conversion to be done on Amazon's servers.

Creating a blank ebook

In the Caliber Editor

  1. Press on Archive.
  2. Select in Create a new void.
  3. Complete with the title Constitution of the Argentine Nation and, make sure the language is Spanish.
  4. Press on AZW3

in sigil

  1. Click on New.
  2. Select ePub3.
  3. Click on Tools.
  4. Select Metadata Editor.
  5. Change the language to Spanish by selecting from the dropdown menu.
  6. Change the title to Constitution of the Argentine Nation.

adding pages

The structure of the Constitution is as follows:

  1. Preamble.
  2. First part composed of two chapters.
  3. Second part composed of titles that are divided into sections which in turn are divided into chapters.

We need two pages to separate the parts, one for each chapter of the first,

In the Caliber editor

    1. Hover over the Start page under the Text section and right-click to select the option to rename. You can name it Home.
    2. Click on the sign + from the menu and create pages with the names from the list of pages below.

in sigil

  1. Hover over Text.
  2. Choose Create blank HTML file.
  3. Rest the pointer on each page and change its name to the one in the list below.

List of page names

  • first_part.xhtml
  • chapter_1.xhtml
  • chapter_2.xhtml
  • second_part.xhtml
  • title_first.xhtml
  • first_section.xhtml
  • chapter_1.xhtml
  • chapter_2.xhtml
  • chapter_3.xhtml
  • chapter_4.xhtml
  • chapter_5.xhtml
  • chapter_6.xhtml
  • chapter_7.xhtml
  • section_2.xhtml
  • chapter_1.xhtml
  • chapter_2.xhtml
  • chapter_3.xhtml
  • chapter_4.xhtml
  • third_section.xhtml
  • chapter_1.xhtml
  • chapter_2.xhtml.
  • fourth_section.xhtml
  • title_2.xhtml
  • transitory dispositions

Adding style sheets

I haven't said them yet, but EPUB and AZW3 are a cross between web pages and zip files. As in any other web page it is possible to style the text directly or using a separate style sheet. The second method allows us to reduce the file space in addition to setting general display rules for different types of Kindle devices.

The way to add a style sheet is:

In the Caliber editor

  1. Click on the + sign
  2. Write styles/style_sheet_name.css in the window that opens.
  3. Press on Accept.

of course change style_sheet_name for what is appropriate.

in sigil

  1. Click on styles.
  2. Right click on Add a blank style sheet.

Before you read on, I'm warning you that I'm complicating things.  The Kindle Direct Publishing Program supports documents in DOCX format so you could skip all this and write it in LibreOffice just taking care that it is well structured. But if you do that don't speak to us again and uninstall Linux from your computer. Just kidding, I like to use EPUB or AZW3 because it generates lighter and above all more configurable files.

In any case, to create a quality ebook, Amazon suggests the following:

  1. Clearly set the language of the text. (It is done in the code)
  2. Use hierarchical headings for chapters, sections, and subsections.
  3. Organize items into lists. (Numbered or bulleted are allowed)
  4. Use tables instead of table capture. Include the table footer and the row and column headers.
  5. Put explanatory texts on all images.
  6. Add self-descriptive text to links.
  7. Use the MathML language to represent mathematical formulas.
  8. Take into account the contrast between the text and the background color.

In the next article we will see how the different elements of the book are arranged in the code.

Previous Articles

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