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  • Jenny

E-book Conversion & Coding: On My Way to Getting it Right

If you are unfamiliar with creating books in Adobe InDesign as I currently am, and just use the program to format a book as a regular document, you will find the same level of difficulty in its subsequent e-book conversion. Ideally, you should be able to use the book formatting feature in Adobe, specifically also available in a web version setup, which should then automatically set up important e-book items, such as the Table of Contents, with ease as you export as the necessary .epub file.

But for those of you not there yet, fear not, as I have conquered the conversion by figuring out how to dabble with InDesign e-book exporting, Calibre and html coding…particularly when it comes to setting up the said Table of Contents. For using distribution sites like Ingram Spark, which require .epub files, I have found that I can export from my regular document InDesign file, open it in Calibre to edit and then use my html coding know-how to manually alter to Table of Contents to set-up correctly for publication. I also learned how to paste graphics into the text boxes as anchors to ensure the book exports the way I see it on the screen.

Lots of troubleshooting and testing, but in the end, I found my way to the solution.

Now for Amazon, I had to take a different approach. For Kindle Set-up, I literally copied and pasted the final product into word and formatted it the way I wanted it before importing into the Kindle Creator app. I then had to figure out the coding here as well to properly setup the book, though it was less html coding and more layout adjustments. It took some font, margin setting and TOC tweaking before I could get it right.

Being self-taught in InDesign, Calibre, Kindle Creator (regular and children’s) and html coding, you may wonder why I have this book publishing process all backwards. Well, because I am self-taught. It takes me a while to get there, but I teach myself how to work out of technological challenges, building some problem-solving skills along the way.

But what this actually does is to help me to understand these kinds of errors when my clients come to me for publishing assistance.

So, in a way, I do this for customer service, you can say?

Well, if you find yourself in a similar situation, it may take some time, but you can work through the glitches without starting from scratch with a little patience and innovation.

Or, you can do what I plan to do, and learn how to use InDesign properly for book setups, and perhaps have a much easier e-book conversion experience.

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