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How to program an EPUB file from scratch?

After more than 2 years of saying I would do it "someday", I finally made the greatest EPUB tutorial on the Internet. Forget any others you've seen. They are all inferior to this one.

Read the tutorial on InkShard:

Watch the video on YouTube:

Why do I boast so confidently? Because mine is the ONLY tutorial I have ever seen teaching how to hand-code XHTML to build a valid and publishable EPUB file from scratch, that will be accepted for publication by:
Barnes & Noble

There are other tutorials teaching how to program EPUB files that validate, but those EPUBs are missing data required by some publishers.

There are other tutorials teaching how to convert Word documents, or how to use Sigil, or calibre, or other manners of WYSIWYG software. But, all of those require conversions and end up inserting gratuitous code.

To heck with that. This is for the programmers. This is for the people who want to write some real code and have a streamlined book without any superfluous junk.

If you're not a programmer, my tutorial will be too technical for you. But if you know your way around HTML, you're going to love this. You will finally have the detailed information of how to build a file properly. No extra code. No unnecessary and extraneous garbage thrown in by some WYSIWYG program. This is the real deal. Super clean and stripped-down efficient XHTML that is 100% valid in conforming to all the EPUB standards and accepted for publication at all the major distributors.



  • You should have posted this advert in Shameless Promotions.

    Where is this book for sale?

    It will be interesting to see what Ken says about your claims. Smiley Happy

  • I can't imagine why anyone would want to create an ePub from scratch. That'd be like designing a webpage line by line. Oy-veh. But I'm sure this would be a helpful resource for those who do.

    EPUB: Straight to the Point by Elizabeth Castro is a fabulous ePub design tutorial for the rest of us. I design eBook formatting all day, and I still refer to this readable, useful book.

  • I would have to agree to that and to the webpage example.

  • The last two comments are a tad unkind.
    EricMuss stated quite clearly who his tutorial is aimed.
    He has produced an excellent piece of work that includes much information not found elsewhere.

    If you can't say something nice then perhaps best to say nowt!

  • mcwriting wrote:

    I can't imagine why anyone would want to create an ePub from scratch. That'd be like designing a webpage line by line. Oy-veh. But I'm sure this would be a helpful resource for those who do.

    Me, for a start. Too much of my professional life has been spent cleaning out crud and fixing bugs in the output from "easy-to-use" web tools. I always hand-code my web pages, any other way is just, well, Oy-veh! Of course, having written XML training materials many years ago also helps.

    I am currently fighting some awful HTML ebook output from OpenOffice (destined hopefully for Kindle, but I'd better not mention that here). Yes, I am your target audience ericmuss, and thank you soo much. I'm off to convert all those elements to lower-case now.

  • For anything other than a book containing just simple basically formatted text it really is more than worthwhile to get down and dirty with the XHTML code and associated CSS.

    I suggest you be a little careful starting with the Kindle formatted work but as long you follow the samples supplied by the originator you should be okay. Anyway good luck and please shout if you need help.
  • Thanks, Ken. Will bear that in mind.

  • Here is a lightweight EPUB SDK for readers development. Please read a detailed article on EPUB reader development


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