EPUB Conversion Help

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  • I use Lulu for printed books and for ePubs, but I always use KDP directly (as it says!) To be able to still do that at least gets a digital version of my books 'out there' and is better than no e-book at all. Once Lulu's ePub Wizard is mended I will then start uploading docx to it again.
  • Arachis_2013Arachis_2013 Florida Panhandle Writer
    Paul_Lulu said:
    I've been playing with Calibre in hopes there was some setting that would prevent the file from generating, but I haven't found anything yet.
    There is a place to turn off reader bookmarks in the 'reader' section of Calibre, under preferences>miscellaneous options. That might do it.
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Well my EPUB is finally made and in my Spotlight. I want to give a huge THANKS to Paul for his help.
  • Well done! Now tell everyone else how you did it.  :)
  • The issue Larika ran into is one I've seen a few times. Basically, when you convert a DOCX to ODT and open in Libre Office or Open Office, the styles are present visually, but are not being recognized.
    That caused our converter and Calibre to not see any Heading Styles to work with. It's incredibly annoying because it means we have to re-enter all of the styles.
  • I have been using Lulu since 2012 and was quite pleased with the eight eBooks I have published. But now I am having all of the same problems mentioned here -- even with a previous original odt file (not a conversion) that worked perfectly before. My question is this: Paul said to let his support team know if we have a problem.
    What is the procedure for doing that? Or do they have a service that can fix these odd errors found in a properly formatted document? In any case, who do we send our work to so we can get it fixed? This problem has been going on for more than a month now and should have been fixed. Third party services charge $150 to fix this which is much too high for a few tweaks.
  • Hi rick_doble,
    We're in a kind of unique situation at the moment. Our support team would normally review your DOCX or ODT file and prescribe the needed corrections to complete conversion.
    But with our converting failing about 1 in 5 DOCX files despite proper formatting, we're having to go a little beyond the usual levels of assistance and direct authors in creating an EPUB file.
    For the most part, you should be able to convert a DOCX that's already formatted correctly for EPUB conversion in Calibre, with the exception of the publication date line I mention earlier in this thread.
    If you've gotten that far and are still seeing errors, I do suggest reaching out to Support through email to get a little more in depth assistance. If you want to post the error log our system creates when an EPUB fails uploading, we can do our best to help you with it on here as well.
  • Ah, interesting! 1 in 5 docx conversions fail? Can it not be worked out what the failed ones have in common?
  • Not easily. Otherwise we'd have been able to make a simple fix.
    The problem is that there are so many variables inherent in DOCX files that the time necessary to pinpoint the issue, find a solution, test the solution, and get that solution rolled out does add up.
    A side note: 1 in 5 is a broad estimate, we cant know precisely how many files fail that would have otherwise succeeded.
  • Not easily. Otherwise we'd have been able to make a simple fix.

    That's of course true.
     
    The problem is that there are so many variables inherent in DOCX files that the time necessary to pinpoint the issue, find a solution, test the solution, and get that solution rolled out does add up.

    Err, surely it does if it's going to be fixed soon? Someone there must know why it broke in the first place? Some update?

    A side note: 1 in 5 is a broad estimate, we cant know precisely how many files fail that would have otherwise succeeded.
     
    Ah, okay. Does the software not keep track of what goes through it then?
  • It's been over 2 weeks since I commented here about the trouble I have been having with publishing my ebook. I continue to have the 'validation' error message displayed when I try to upload my EPUB file. I have been back and forwards with support. They have managed to fix one file, but not the main manuscript. I have been advised to look at the forums, knowledge base and Calibre's website for help, which I have already done. It looks as if nobody can help me at Lulu. Paul, what are your thoughts. I am looking at publishing elsewhere now. 
  • It is taking a remarkably long time to fix.
  • Natalie said:
    It's been over 2 weeks since I commented here about the trouble I have been having with publishing my ebook. I continue to have the 'validation' error message displayed when I try to upload my EPUB file. I have been back and forwards with support. They have managed to fix one file, but not the main manuscript. I have been advised to look at the forums, knowledge base and Calibre's website for help, which I have already done. It looks as if nobody can help me at Lulu. Paul, what are your thoughts. I am looking at publishing elsewhere now. 
    Hi Natalie,
    Did you have an original DOCX file that did convert successfully before our system began having issues? If so, I suggest converting that original file to an EPUB with Calibre. That should result in the absolute minimum number of errors, as the only issues would be specific requirements our system has that Calibre doesn't (such as the publication date). Once you've got an EPUB, test upload it and post the error file you receive.
    With that file we'll have something we can troubleshoot.
  • Hi Paul,

    I converted a DOCX file that is currently published on LULU to EPUB with Calibre and tried to upload it to the Wizard. I received the same error message:

    "Your EPUB contains errors that must be addressed before you can proceed. Details...

    The following issues can affect your EPUB's eligibility for the iBookstore:

    • Failed validation. Please contact support for more information.

    Download this file to review warning and error messages generated during validation: EPUB Results for 23608960.

    Note: This file is intended for advanced users. It will tell you exactly what problems our validation tools found in your EPUB. If you are unsure what a particular error or warning means, you can try a Google search or ask for help in our forums. If you need to find this later, we will keep it in your account's My Files for at least 21 days.

    At this time, our EPUB validation tools can only provide log results in English." 

    Thanks.

    Natalie.
  • I see two specific errors:
    ERROR: Raising_Kids_Who_Love_Food_and_Theidies_LULU_7.9.17_-_Natalie_Thompson.epub/content.opf(-1): Unable to locate a valid publication date.  A date with the event attribute publication (opf:event=publication) is required
    This one is covered in the first part of this post and is a unique requirement from Lulu that Calibre wont automatically apply. Just follow the instructions from the first couple posts on this thread.
    And this one:
    ERROR(RSC-005): Raising_Kids_Who_Love_Food_and_Theidies_LULU_7.9.17_-_Natalie_Thompson.epub/index_split_005.html(22,32): Error while parsing file 'attribute "value" not allowed here; expected attribute "class", "dir", "id", "lang", "style", "title" or "xml:lang"'.
    I see repeated a number of times. You have content marked with a "value" attribute, which the EPUB file doesn't know how to handle. This is another requirement for a file that can be distributed so having invalid value data here wouldn't stop you from viewing the EPUB, but it does prevent us from passing it to retailers for listing.
    Here's an example of a some attributes:

    You'll need to remove or replace any attribute "value" in the file. Without being able to actually see the file, I'm guessing you have table or charts, as these tend to have "value" attributes when converted from a DOCX.


  • I spent hours converting my file in pages so the formatting was correct. I'm able to open it in iBook but still can't upload to Lulu. Then I downloaded caliber but I'm not finding it as simple as so many are stating. I've even spoken with Lulu and they wanted $800 for the package to do the ebook and everything else I've already done. I was part of the first group that Lulu converted for free years ago. I would gladly pay for them to do it again but I can't justify that much money for a conversion. Will this issue be fixed any time soon or should I just figure my eBook will have to wait until I have more money?
  • Completely and utterly lost, my word document won't load but that's all I know how to use, I've tried converting my file to odt which is the only format that doesn't change the layout of my work, read everything on this forum and can't work out what to do.  If I change my book to an epub it looks awful as I write poetry and my one poem per page has become one over three, I've emailed the support team so hope to get help soon.  I just want to print my book the same way I've done for the last 4 years with yourselves.  Hoping for help soon was trying to get this done ready for Christmas
  • https://www.calibre-ebook.com/help

    Do note that a docx for an ePub is basically plain text. No page numbers, no Headers/Footers, Page Breaks, Sections. I would assume the same applies to putting them in to calibre.

  • Paul_LuluPaul_Lulu Admin
    edited December 2018
    12/3/2018 UPDATE:
    After investigating the EPUB conversion issue thoroughly, we've decided to abandon work on fixing the individual issue that is causing some DOCX files to fail and instead work on updating our converter entirely. Our existing conversion engine is outdated and attempting to fix it often simply results in some other piece breaking. The software is almost impossible to effectively support, as evidenced by this current issue.
    Unfortunately, an update of this magnitude won't happen overnight. And that will leave some of you with DOCX files that would convert to EPUB but are failing currently.
    To best assist those of you experiencing conversion issues with DOCX files, we'd like to offer these instructions:
    1. If you are revising or updating an EPUB created from a DOCX, please use Calibre to convert your DOCX to EPUB. The valid Publication Date will need to be added.
    2. If you are creating a new Ebook and the DOCX file will not convert, please verify that the DOCX is set up correctly using our EPUB Creator Guide. If you still are unable to convert, please contact support.. 
    3. If you use Calibre (or any other EPUB editing software) to create an EPUB and receive an error message when uploading, please download the TXT file (error log) we generate. We'll do our best to provide instructions for correcting these errors or you can search for the errors online for instructions on how to fix them.
    We know this issue has been very prolonged and apologize for that. But we are turning over a new page that will result in a much better conversion tool in the long run. In the meantime, we'll be doing our best to offer support for your existing files.
  • Paul_Lulu said:
    12/3/2018 UPDATE:
    After investigating the EPUB conversion issue thoroughly, we've decided to abandon work on fixing the individual issue that is causing some DOCX files to fail and instead work on updating our converter entirely. Our existing conversion engine is outdated and attempting to fix it often simply results in some other piece breaking. The software is almost impossible to effectively support, as evidenced by this current issue.
    Unfortunately, an update of this magnitude won't happen overnight. And that will leave some of you with DOCX files that would convert to EPUB but are failing currently.
    To best assist those of you experiencing conversion issues with DOCX files, we'd like to offer these instructions:
    1. If you are revising or updating an EPUB created from a DOCX, please use Calibre to convert your DOCX to EPUB. The valid Publication Date will need to be added.
    2. If you are creating a new Ebook and the DOCX file will not convert, please verify that the DOCX is set up correctly using our EPUB Creator Guide. If you still are unable to convert, please contact support.. 
    3. If you use Calibre (or any other EPUB editing software) to create an EPUB and receive an error message when uploading, please download the TXT file (error log) we generate. We'll do our best to provide instructions for correcting these errors or you can search for the errors online for instructions on how to fix them.
    I know this issue has been very prolonged and I apologize for that. But we are turning over a new page that will result in a much better conversion tool in the long run. In the meantime, we'll be doing our best to offer support for your existing files.
    Hi

    Could you give an approximate date when this new converter will be in operation?

    regards
    jack.
  • Glad for the update. I'd rather upload DOCX book myself than pay $999.00 Classic Plan to have Lulu do it and not be able to use my own ISBN and copyright. Hopefully will be fixed by January or February 2019?
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    edited December 2018
    You copyright is yours, and I would assume you can still use your own ISBN. Lulu will just do the conversion. But I too want to upload a docx and it's strange that's no longer possible after all these years.
  • Paul_LuluPaul_Lulu Admin
    edited December 2018
    You copyright is yours, and I would assume you can still use your own ISBN. Lulu will just do the conversion. But I too want to upload a docx and it's strange that's no longer possible after all these years.
    Just to be clear, we're only seeing about a 20% increase in DOCX failures to convert. The majority of DOCX files uploaded for EPUB conversion will still convert.
  • That's cool then. It's still puzzling though. Dare I ask if the convertor has a virus scanner in it?
  • That's cool then. It's still puzzling though. Dare I ask if the convertor has a virus scanner in it?
    I'm incredibly tempted to just delete this comment as a violation of Rule 9, but I'm going to assume you're not just trolling.
    I've made a statement regarding how we intend to correct this issue to bring long term stability to our EPUB converter.
  • Huh?! It was a valid question. I did not ask if it had a virus in it. What is Rule 9?
  • I have just read Rule 9, what has it to do with my posting? :(
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 2018

    Lulu Forums Policies & Guidelines

    I'm so glad I re-read the above. I think I had read them (or something similar) when I first joined Lulu many years ago, but it's well worth reading again. I could so easily have, unknowingly perhaps, broken the policy and guidelines of the forums. 

  • Well, I read it not long ago (some of it!) and cannot see how Rule 9 applies to what I posted!
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