Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Two in Mobipocket Didn’t Prove to be the Charm, But It Is Closer

     As promised, I’m updating y’all on what transpired when I created my second mobipocket book using the templates I created back in December 2011/January 2012.
    I’m pleased to announce that I uploaded Epico Bayou to Amazon’s Kindle Store this week. I’d given myself a week to get it done, but it took me eight days from beginning to actually building the .prc, but most of that time was spent formatting the book in .html.
     The good news is that the templates for my .toc.ncx file (navigational table of contents) and the .opf  file (open package ebook format) that I created with River’s Bend worked beautifully. All I had to do was copy them into a new document, change the name of the .html file embedded in them, and make any other necessary changes. For example: River’s Bend had two more chapters than Epico Bayou, so I removed a couple of the “nav points” from Epico Bayou’s toc.ncx file.
     The same was true for the embedded Table of Contents (TOC). I copied the entire .html formatted beginning of River’s Bend down to Chapter One, then pasted it into a new document. Then I added the text of Epico Bayou. That I got by taking my Smashwords Word.doc and converting it to a filtered Word (.html) document. I started formatting from there. That aforementioned beginning to all my books (and I imagine most of you out there are like me) is generic and includes the .html document head, style sheet, title and copyright pages, and Table of Contents. Again, it was simply a matter of changing the references from River’s Bend to Epico Bayou.
     Now that only works if the “copier/pasterer” [yeah, I know it’s not a good word, but you get my gist. I’m talking about me] and her subsequent modifications do not corrupt the .html. The .html code does not take kindly to errors--and oh, those errors can be so hard to find in all that code. But in this particular case, it wasn’t the code that got me.
     When I first built, or tried to build, Epico Bayou, Mobipocket Creator told me, in its extremely aggravating, abbreviated manner, that the cover link was missing and the TOC couldn’t be built. Darn it! The toc.ncx was fine and there was a link to the cover in it. And as for the TOC embedded in the book? Well, I not only could “see” it--I could click on it and it worked. There was no link to the cover, but there never had been, and Rivers Bend didn’t have one in it’s embedded TOC. Things like that are easy to see. I could not figure out what The Creator’s problem was. I kept tweaking, looking, then clicking the build button over and over with the same result. Finally, I pulled up the original .html for River’s Bend [not for the first time, but I could not see any difference in the two files], did a search on “cover,” and sure enough, right after the closing of the style sheet and the </head> there was a link to the embedded cover (which shows up in the toc.ncx, but not the embedded TOC at the front of the book). That link was missing in Epico Bayou. I re-added my cover link, which I assume I’d inadvertently deleted; Mobipocket Creator dutifully “built” my book; then I uploaded it to the Kindle Store. There was a glitch there, too, but that was on Amazon’s end, thank goodness, and they fixed it.
     For more information on how I created my mobi books for the Kindle Store, go back and look at my blog posts between 9 December 2011 and 27 January 2012. My point was to create the mobi files without the help of the Mobipocket Creator (The Creator’s files appear messy and confusing to me). I can now take the files I create, place them in the “build” window, then let The Creator build the .prc, which I upload to Amazon’s DTP.
     My goal is to create my mobi book without a hitch. The third time’s the charm, right? That would be Wolf Dawson.

Thanks for reading.


No comments:

Post a Comment

I encourage you to leave comments. I'll reply to all questions within a week, and errors in the posts will be acknowledged in the comment area. Feel free to answer questions/clarify confusion I express in my posts. Disagree with my points if you believe there is need for disagreement, but keep in mind that all off-topic comments, disparaging comments, comments with more than one link, and comments that include profanity will be deleted.