E-Book Writing Workflow

I’ve begun writing a lil’ book – more details on that later. What I’m most interested in now is the workflow.

The End Product: PDF, epub and mobi versions of the book.

The Challenge: Doing all the writing and editing in a format I can simply get into the formats listed above, and doesn’t limit me or force me to go make loads of changes to make things look right later.

If you’re not on the list   I can’t help you.   Help me help you!

Hi Chase,

Unless you’re doing something fancy (i.e., interaction) I’d skip InDesign.

Give this workflow a shot:

.txt > Calibre (free and open source) http://calibre-ebook.com/

Add meta data and cover> export .epub to Sigil (free and open source) to create TOC, clean up HTML, add hyperlinks http://code.google.com/p/sigil/

Open .epub in Calibre> export .mobi and .pdf

Have fun!


Merci! I’ll look into those links. Thx!!

I am just nearing completion of my book, I started in Open Office, great free W.P. tool, and that of course, lets me do spell & grammar checking. I originally intended to publish as PDF, and OO will export to that format. Then I discovered I should try to do ePub format, and got lost in the confusing maze. I could convert to Word, or PDF from OO, then use a “convertor” which sounded like trying to move your Television aerial single-handedly, (can’t see TV and screen at same time). Then I found “Sigil”, free open source WYSIWYG epub editor, and all my problems were solved. Simply copy text in, highlight and set headers, push a button to generate TOC (no page numbers in electronic publications – they don’t need them, text flows to fit screen size on various devices) [that threw me till the penny dropped] yes, write in a text editor, but like I said, got spell-checking in OO. Save as separate chapters, yes, then add sections (chapters) in Sigil as you copy & paste them in. Finally add the illustrations. Hyperlinks…? hmmm… not worked that one out yet. Maybe it is in the XHTML code someplace. oh, there is an online proofreading tool, costs a few bucks to join, then you can throw your text at it and it even checks to see if you are plaguarising, sorry not got link to hand, google should help. Staggered me to see how bad my English was, also finds repetitions and suggests better wording and redundant phrasing. Excellent tool. Good luck all.

Greg L

I know this is a little late to help, but . . . I used to have a similarly convoluted workflow. It’s too fiddly.

Eight published books later (print, but with Kindle, iBooks, and PDF versions available) , now everything begins and lives in Pages (part of iWork) and exports to PDF and EPUB. Amazon provides a free conversion from EPUB to MOBI.

Stop curating, start publishing!

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