Jan 17, 2012

Create your own epub e-books using sigil

Now-a-days most of the books are available in digital format. The books in digital format are called e-books. Thanks to the tablet PCs, e-book readers and smart phones. The extraordinary growth of the these hand held devices has brought a revolution in the book publishing industry. The authors and publishers should adapt to this change to survive in this stiff competitive environment. While such a revolution brings a lot of competition, it also enables the authors and publishers to reach out to a wide variety of readers. The readers have a lot of choice and can carry the entire library in a small hand held device. From the environmental point to view this is a very good trend as it saves a lot of paper.

In this article I'll discuss about the a tool called Sigil, a WYSIWYG e-book creator. This tool is very useful if you'd like to author an e-book and publish on the web. Sigil will help in creating your e-book in the popular e-book format called epub.

ePub is the short form for electronic publication. It is a free and open e-book standard. The main feature of the epub is that the text display can be optimized for a particular display of the device used to read the epub e-books. This makes the work of the authors and publishers easy. The authors can concentrate on the content of the book without worrying about how it will be displayed.

Sigil

Sigil is an open source WYSIWYG tool to create e-books in epub format. It is available for windows, linux and Mac. Sigil makes the herculean task of writing an e-book easy. The table of contents can be created  using the headings and sub headings by clicking the 'Generate TOC from headings' at the bottom right of the window.The interface is clean and tidy. 

To download Sigil visit http://code.google.com/p/sigil/



The editing can be done in three modes:
Book view
code view
split view

In book view mode the editing is same as it will be visible to the user on a e-book reader. With code view we can edit the content programatically. This is mainly recommended for advanced users who have knowledge about html and css.The split view mode will show both the book view and the code view. Selecting split view will add the code view window at the bottom of the window. 

There are also variety of formatting styles to make the e-book readable and customization. Once you have completed writing your e-book you can also validate if your ebook complies with the epub standard. You can do this by selecting the 'validate Epub'   option from the tools menu. There is also an option in tools menu to edit the metadata. This meta data includes the author of the book, tags, categories, publisher, edition of the book. copyrights etc,.
One you have done with your e-book you can sell your books on lulu.com for kindle direct publishing or any other e-book distributor.