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ePub and Kindle formatting tips

If you start with a Word .doc file, you may want to use OpenOffice or LibreOffice with the "writer2epub" plugin. Use very basic styles to simplify your results.
http://www.libreoffice.org/
http://www.openoffice.org/

You will have a very basic ePub file which you can then tweak with Sigil to get the look and features you prefer. This version will also be fairly easy to convert to other ebook formats including Kindle.
http://code.google.com/p/sigil/

InDesign CS4 and InDesign CS5 will also generate ePub files, but these ePub files will require considerable tweaking. Several experts explain the process of creating ePub files via InDesign and the problems:

"Why I Crack Open InDesign EPUBs" by Liz Castro
1. First and foremost, because the EPUB doesn't validate. To do so, I must add the dc:date element.
2. Because InDesign doesn't properly designate an image or given page as a cover. This is huge!
http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/2010/09/why-i-crack-open-indesign-epubs.html

"Creating EPUB in InDesign CS5.5: Beware the WebKit Bug!" by Steve Werner
http://indesignsecrets.com/creating-epub-in-indesign-cs5-5-beware-the-webkit-bug.php

"Creating My 1st iBook for the iPad with Adobe InDesign CS5" by Terry White
"...There are some limitations that you have to be mindful in your document itself. These are limitations on the standard more so than of InDesign. For example, InDesign is an amazingly powerful page layout application that pretty much allows you do do anything you want on the page. However, ePUB has limitations on how the content has to flow to make it possible to have this single document on a multitude of different devices."
http://terrywhite.com/techblog/archives/5179

Resources

EPUB Straight to the Point: Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders by Liz Castro would be a wise investment.
http://www.elizabethcastro.com/epub/

"The ABCs of e-book format conversion: Easy Calibre tips for the Kindle, Sony and Nook" by John Schember
http://www.teleread.com/drm/the-abcs-of-format-conversion-for-the-kindle-sony-and-nook-plus-some-calibre-tips/

You may want to consider signing up with MobileRead and posting your tech questions there.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/index.php

Calibre conversion
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=235

Sigil discussion - open-source WYSIWYG ebook editor for ePub format
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=203

I highly recommend Jim and Zetta's services. Have them convert one of your books and then compare their versions to your own efforts.
http://www.jimandzetta.com/

Lida E. Quillen, Publisher
Twilight Times Books
 
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