Ebook Authoring and Publishing

By the Ebook

Article from Issue 157/2013

The right tools can make the process of authoring an ebook less laborious and time consuming. We look at several ebook authoring applications and show how to put them to practical use.

Turning raw text into an ebook might sound like a complex undertaking, but in reality, it all boils down to choosing the right tools for the job and learning how to get the most out of them. As always, which applications you choose for writing your next ebook depends largely on your requirements and skills. The easybook tool [1] is perfect for generating ebooks from the command line, whereas Sigil [2] will appeal to those who prefer to create ebooks in a graphical environment.

Another approach is to write and format the text in your text editor of choice and then use the excellent Calibre ebooks suite [3] to convert the resulting source file to an ebook in the desired format. This solution has several advantages. First, you don't need to learn a new formatting language or master a different writing tool: You can use your favorite text editor and format text using good old HTML markup. Second, Calibre provides a wealth of options that let you turn a plain HTML file into a properly formatted ebook file. Third, Calibre supports all popular ebook formats, so you can effortlessly produce the ebook in multiple formats for different publishing platforms.

Calibre also doubles as a decent ebook reader and ebook sharing application, so you can use it to preview the generated ebook, push it to your reading devices, and make it available on the web. In short, a text editor and Calibre provide a flexible and powerful solution that covers the entire ebook authoring process: from writing and formatting text to producing a ready-to-publish ebook file.


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