eBook Conversion and Creation Made Simple

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to fix the James Potter fan books for my Nook. The James Potter Series of fan books by Norman Lippert based on the J.K. Rowling Harry Potter series are only downloadable in PDF format from the website.

So what needs fixed? If I try to read a PDF file on my Nook, it turns whatever page that has an image into an image itself making it unreadable.

How can I fix this that will be less work for me? That has been the question on my mind for days and I finally figured it out tonight.

First I used Calibre to convert the PDF file to ePub file for Nook. Then I went into Sigil, I opened the ePub file that Calibre created.

Here is the tricky part that I didn’t understand at first. What I had to do was find the Prologue page, highlight the word Prologue then made it Header 2 and same with all the chapters. That will help the e-book reader find where the chapters are to create a table of contents.

The first letter of the first paragraph of the Prologue page and every chapter thereafter is missing. Why? Because in the PDF file that letter is bigger than all the rest so when Calibre converted the PDF file to ePub it lost those letters.  I had to figure out what the letter was then type it in.

Page numbers are all over the entire document which means I had to click Edit then Find and type in the first number (1) and find it then I could either replace it with nothing or when it found the number I could click it and delete it manually. Then 2, then 3, etc. Sometimes the number would be mixed in a paragraph and the rest of the paragraph was down on the next line so I had to bring it up.

Yes, it’s a huge pain in my rear but I really want to read these books.

There are a lot of .xhtml files so what I’ve done is when there is a new chapter I click the Sigil logo which is the create chapter button which basically creates a new .xhtml page. The previous page that I had just edited all the numbers out of is now its own chapter in its own file so I renamed that file to Prologue.xhtml. This makes it easier for me to go back to each chapter if I need to edit them further.

This is a painstaking process and it has taken me a couple of hours just to do 10 chapters and I have several more chapters to do tomorrow but I am willing to put in the work to get this done because I really want to read these books. It’s just too bad that the author of these great fan based novels didn’t think to create a file for every persons needs for e-book readers. .ePub is the most common e-book file there is, much easier than a PDF file. I mean seriously, who wants to stare into their LCD screen for hours reading an e-book?

I seriously hope that these books are worth the effort I’m putting into them.

Another thing about editing an e-book is that I didn’t know how to create a chapter that didn’t start with the word “Chapter”, I thought it HAD to have the word Chapter but apparently it doesn’t because these chapters don’t. Also the Prologue page isn’t called Chapter and now it shows up in the table of contents in the Nook for PC program.

So, I have a ton of work ahead of me tomorrow to get the rest of the first James Potter novel converted to .ePub so that I can read it.

This also helps me with my own e-book that I am writing. I wasn’t sure how to create the chapters and now that I have this new information I can do it without any issue and actually I think I might just write the darn thing in Sigil instead of using MS Word. I think it will make it so much easier to write.

I can also now write my Cookbook with diabetic recipes from the SparkPeople website that I can store in my Nook so when I need to find a recipe I can find it easily. What will make it easier is being able to make a chapter named “Entrée’s”, “Sandwiches”, “Salads” etc. instead of Chapter 1…

Thanks Sigil for making my life so much easier.