Saturday, January 14, 2012


A Mobipocket publication is an Open Publication Format (.opf) file composed of one master eXtensible Markup Language (.xml) file and multiple .html and graphic files. The master file, bearing the suffix .opf, is a text (.txt) document and contains data that points to the content files (i.e. the book and cover graphic) and includes the book's manifest, spine, and guide sections. But before those, the .opf file contains the book’s metadata.

The metadata section includes information about the book: author, publisher, description, identifier, etc., which allows the buyer to find the book. This section also has a subset, which includes the output encoding, the embedded cover graphic, and the price of the book.

The metadata section begins with two metadata namespace attributes: Dublin Core metadata specifications (dc-metadata) and “open ebook” specifications (oebps), which keeps the .xml document valid. The dc-metadata elements, oebps elements, and x-metadata were deprecated with the launch of the ePub format in 2007, but the Mobipocket format continues to use them.

Here’s what those statements look like:

<dc-metadata xmlns:dc="" xmlns:oebpackage="">

And here’s the rest of River’s Bend’s metadata section:

<dc:Title>River's Bend</dc:Title>
<dc:Identifier id="uid">978-09769824-8-7</dc:Identifier>
<dc:Creator>Russell, Charlsie</dc:Creator>
<dc:Publisher>Loblolly Writer’s House</dc:Publisher>
<dc:SubjectBASICCode="FIC014000">Historical Fiction</dc:Subject>
<dc:Description>Thirty years following the War Between the States a handsome stranger comes to Mississippi and marries a cast-away beauty in exchange for a now decrepit antebellum home steeped in dark history and rumored to hold the secret to a fortune in missing Yankee gold. Mystery, suspense, and romance that will keep the lights on and the pages turning until the final mystery is solved.</dc:Description>

<output encoding="utf-8" content-type="text/x-oeb1-document" </output>
<SRP currency="USD">2.99</SRP>

For those of you who want to delve further into the “why’s” of a mobipocket book, here are the sources I used: Joshua Tallent’s Kindle Formatting, April I. Hamilton’s Indie Author Guide To Publishing For the Kindle..., the Mobipocket Development Center website, the International Digital Publishing Forum website, the Dublin Core website, and good ole Wikipedia.

I love it when this stuff starts making sense, even if just “sorta.” Next week I'll discuss the “manifest, spine, and tours.”

And if anyone is interested in how my baby looks on Kindle I'd love for you to go over and take a look at the Kindle Store.

Thanks for reading,



  1. The perfect!These articles written too great,they rich contents and data accurately.they are help to me.I expect to see your new share.

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    1. My plan next week is to put this paradigm to the test with another book. I'll let you know if it proves as efficient (I've got the templates created now) as I hope it will be.



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