Authoring and Publishing your Books

How is my Ebook structured?

Your ebook consists of a collection of files bundled and zipped in one container file with an extension like EPUB, MOBI, AZW etc.
The files in your ebook contain the main texts, images, meta-data, styles and information about the structure of the book. Authoring your ebook means not only writing the content but also providing additional information, crucial in the marketing of the book, like the subject category, audience, descriptive texts, identification codes, contributors and the like.

I clicked on a book on my Desk and landed on the editor page. Now what?

When you click on any book link on your Desk, the Publitory editor will open. The Publitory editor is an interface through which you can edit the main text, upload your cover, define the general styles governing the appearance, like headings, paragraphs, etc., upload other images and illustrations to be used in your book, provide descriptive meta-data information and construct and check the "table of contents" navigation.

What is the EBook button for?

The "EBook" button on the top right controls the main actions on your ebook. These are:

  • Download Epub - compiles the project and provides a download link to the output epub format file. This option is frequently used to test the current state of the ebook and see how it performs on your desktop and other e-reader devices. With this facility, the editor can also be used as a tool to create epub format files for personal use without the need to publish them.
  • Download Document - compiles the text content to an OpenOffice .odt document and provides the download link. This is used when you need a text document of the latest version of your ebook. One use-case could be when you or your designer needs to author a print version pdf file of the latest edition of your ebook and needs a text file of the most recent content.
  • Publish - compiles the ebook to an epub file and puts it on the Publitory store shelf. During the process you will be asked to quote the sales price. Entering "0" will publish your book "free" under a Creative Commons licence. Upon publishing your book the working copy on the Desk will be transferred from the "Work in Progress" area to the "Published" area.
  • Unpublish - Takes the published book out of the store shelf and transfers the book back from the "Published" area to the "Work in Progress" area on your Desk.
  • Delete Book - Deletes the whole book project including its content from your Desk.

What is the function of the Left Panel?

The panel on the left side of the Publitory Editor interface is used to navigate and edit various files and settings of your ebook. It is divided into two main tabs: Files and TOC (Table of Contents). Selecting the entries on the left panel, reveals the respective details on the main panel on the right where the user can fill-out forms or directly edit the main text of the book depending on the selection.

What are the sub-sections under the Files tab?

The Files tab has the following sub-sections:

  • Cover - is the section where the cover image is uploaded. If no cover image is present, Publitory displays a default blue book cover in its web pages but sends no cover image to the final ebook file. In this case each reader software or -device displays it's own default cover image for the book.
  • Metadata - is where the descriptive information of the book is edited. When selected, the main panel displays the following forms and selections:
    • Subject category selection - the button invokes a nested list of an international subject categorization standard where you can choose one or more subject categories at the preferred detail level, simply by clicking respective checkboxes. The selection of appropriate subject specifications is highly recommended for an efficient international distribution of your ebook.
    • Audience selection - this button invokes a selection list for the intended audience.
    • Language dropdown - specifies the language of the written text in your book. The language chosen also determines in which store your book will be displayed. Publitory store displays books by language.
    • Title field - where the main book title is declared.
    • Subtitle field - (optional) where the sub-title is entered.
    • Authors field - (default) the name in the user profile comes as default. In case of multiple authors, the other names must be added, each separated with a comma. Note that your books published in Publitory will always bare the name specified in your profile as the author, even if a different name is specified here. The rule is one profile-one author!
    • ISBN field - (optional) if an ISBN number has been acquired for this specific book, it should be entered here.
    • Series field - (optional) in case the book is part of a series, the top level series name is entered here.
    • Series Index field - (optional) in case of a series, the rank of the book is entered here. Ex: "Volume 3", or simply "3"
    • Description field - (strongly advised) this is a short description of the book, limited with 350 characters, which is displayed in the book details page in the store as well as embedded in the catalogue metadata to be distributed to other retail channels. In that respect, this teaser is an important marketing item which should be filled-out with care.
    • Long Description field - (optional) as above, the long description is displayed additionally (when a "more" button is clicked after the short description) in the book details page on the Publitory store but not necessarily embedded in the distribution catalogue's metadata. The long description is not limited to 350 characters like the short description.
    • Tags field - (optional) is a free style tagging area where you can specify keywords separated by commas which describe your book's features and content. Tags helps your book's search success and visibility.
  • Styles - is where the settings of the predefined styles to be used in the ebook can be edited. Selecting any style bar invokes the accordion widget to open the Cascaded Stylesheet (CSS) settings of that specific style. A sample text reflects the changes made a couple of seconds after the style has been saved. Default units are in "em" (default font size multiple). Alternatively "pt" (points) and "px" (pixels) can also be used but not advised since the ebook will be displayed on a variety of devices which have a wide range of resolutions resulting in unexpected sizes in different devices. NOTE that: decimal separation should be expressed with a "dot" (.) and not with a "comma" (,) like in some countries. If you are not acquainted with CSS styling, just use the defaults. If you need further styling than the defaults please reach out for help from our support team. You can also purchase a full-conversion service from Publitory or acquire free-lance support from the community. The predefined styles available are:
    • Paragraph - all standard paragraphs enclosed in the HTML <p> tag.
    • Preformatted text - fixed-width text usually in Courier font, enclosed within HTML <pre> tag. Frequently used to distinguish software program codes within the text.
    • Heading 1 - Top level heading style enclosed in HTML <h1> tag. Used for chapter or section headings. CAUTION: Publitory detects Heading 1,2 … styles and creates the Table of Content (TOC) accordingly. Therefore DO NOT use heading styles if that line is not a specific chapter or sub-heading which you specifically want to be part of the TOC.
    • Heading 2 - Heading field with respective rank enclosed in HTML <h2> tag.
    • Heading 3 - Heading field with respective rank enclosed in HTML <h3> tag.
    • Heading 4 - Heading field with respective rank enclosed in HTML <h4> tag.
    • Bibliography - a system style which can be used to style your book's bibliography sections separately. System styles are not based on distinct HTML tags but on specific style "classes" assigned to the standard paragraph tag like <p class="bibliography">.
    • Copyright - a system style which can be used to style your book's copyright declaration separately. CAUTION: Publitory automatically adds a copyright section on the first page of the book as the book is compiled for publishing. This section is styled with the "Copyright" style. Altering this style will cause your copyright page to be altered only to be noticed after the book is compiled, published and landed in the store. DO NOT alter this style unless you really know what you are doing.
    • Dedication - a system style which can be used to style your book's dedication section separately.
    • Footnotes - a system style which can be used to style your book's footnotes separately. Footnotes are coded with "markdown" syntax in the editor text and rendered during the compiling and publishing process. Therefore the end result of this styling can only be conclusively seen by downloading the epub file and testing in any reader.
    • User defined 1 - a system style which can be used to style a custom paragraph which is distinctly important or you expect to occur frequently in your book. A frequent example is "quotes" within the text which are italic, margined from the left and right and maybe in slightly different font-size.
    • User defined 2 - another system style left for the user to customize.
    • Caption - a system style which can be used to style your book's image caption text separately.
    • Custom style - this is a text area where experts can append and define their own CSS classes later to be applied to style specific items in the text. CSS style definitions in Publitory must always be preceded with ".publitory". Custom coding the style also requires the application to be coded on the HTML editing interface. DO NOT alter this area if you are not acquainted with CSS styling. DO NOT delete anything. This may cause loss of styling in your book. Please consult the support team in case of need.
  • Text - is the folder containing the text files which hold the content of the ebook. The reason there are more than one files making up the content, unlike a standard word processing interface, is due to the ebook structure conventions. Readers are devices with limited memory and loading all the text in one shot can be cumbersome both for the device and for the user who experiences delays. Dividing the content to separate files smooths out the memory usage and reading experience also allowing for page breaks which usually is an issue in free flow text environments. In practice, every section which requires a page-break (like an almost blank page with two lines of dedication) and every chapter is authored on a separate file.
  • Images - is where all the images to be used in the ebook is uploaded. This section creates the gallery of images which are later to be placed in their respective places within the text using the editor toolbar image icon. In Publitory the images and illustrations have to be uploaded to the project FIRST and placed the text using the editor toolbar icon LATER.

How do I add new chapters to my book?

It is advised to have a separate file for every chapter of the book, provided any chapter is not too long to exceed 300Kb (roughly 150,000 words). This limitation is to guarantee acceptable speed performance in low memory e-ink devices. In case a section is longer than that, it should be split in two.

The left panel has an "add new file" icon on it's top left toolbar. Clicking this icon, will insert a new text file AFTER THE PRESENT ONE. The present one being the text file currently being edited on the main pane. In case you need to insert a file at the very beginning, simply navigate to any section other than the text folder (say, "Meta Data") and click the new file icon in that position. This will insert a new blank text file at the very beginning of the main text folder.

Note that a new file creates a page break for the ebook but does not by itself mean a new chapter or sub-section as far as the TOC is concerned.
Similarly, note that a new chapter or sub-section (TOC entry) is created when a line is formatted with a "Heading" style but this need not be at the beginning of a text file (hence a new page). It is only a usual case to have a new chapter with its heading start at the beginning of a text file (hence a new page). Obviously there can be exceptions where you could have text files without any headings (for example dedication pages) or chapters which are split with a new text file starting with ordinary text.

Should I author a copyrights section at the beginning of my book?

Publitory automatically adds an initial page with copyright information when the book is compiled for publishing. If the ebook is a free download, then information about the author, the timestamp of file creation, the UUID (Universally Unique Identifier) and the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license is mentioned. If the book is commercially on sale, then in addition to copyright, timestamp and UUID, a watermark specifying the buyer information is added together with respective warning against illegal copy and distribution. In case you don't have any additional information to publish, you don't need to author a copyright page for the beginning of the book. In case you do, you can always open a new text file from the left panel and author.

How does the TOC work?

The TOC (Table of Contents) is a navigational structure specifically defined within the ebook file, in compliance with Epub file format standards. Every Epub reader software or device recognizes this structure and populates its TOC utility with which the user can see the outline of the book and navigate through it by clicking TOC entries. Due to this standard facility there is normally no need to embed a TOC section in the beginning of the book like in printed versions. However, many ebooks prefer to have an additionally embedded TOC probably to satisfy book readers' reading habits.

In Publitory, the Table of Contents is created automatically from the Heading styled paragraphs within the main text across all text files. The hierarchy of Headings is directly reflected to the hierarchy of the TOC structure. Therefore, you should be aware that every paragraph styled with any Heading style is going to be included in the TOC and displayed in all devices as a TOC entry. DO NOT USE HEADING STYLE unless that paragraph is actually a heading which you want to be part of the TOC and a navigational link.

The TOC tab, displays the outline structure of the detected TOC entries (Heading styled paragraphs). All the links in the TOC tab are active. Hence, the TOC tab is frequently used to check wether the outline and styling of headings is properly done. In case there are empty spaces, mis-formatted entries, the user has to check styling of the respective heading paragraphs and subsequently the coding of the text from the HTML editor. Any errors in the TOC structure will be carried on to the final product, hence care should be given to have a smoothly working TOC reflecting the actual intended outline of the book content. Please consult our support staff in case of further questions.

What are the required Cover image specifications?

Cover specifications differ among ebook retailers like Amazon, Apple, Google, Smashwords, Kobo and others in file size, resolution and dimension. With the advent of high resolution tablets as ebook devices, the size specifications have increased considerably and keep changing as new devices hit the market. On the other hand there is a spectrum of e-ink reader brands on which your ebook can possibly be used and which have size limitations.

Publitory uses jpg or png format files for cover images at a 2:3 (1:1.5) aspect ratio. Resolution in dpi (dots per inch) should be 72. In order to prevent crashes in smaller reader devices, we advise to have a max 1000 x 1500 pixel image for cover upload.

Keep in mind that in case your book is to be distributed to major channels, and can be printed in the future, it is advised to prepare the original cover image at a size of 3200 x 4800 with 300dpi resolution. This file can later be downsized to smaller versions of: 1000X1500 (72 dpi) for Publitory or 1600 x 2400 (72dpi) for distribution channels.

How do I handle Footnotes?

Footnotes are handled with "markdown" syntax in Publitory. That is, you use a special coding syntax in the text area to place the footnote mime and another code for the footnote itself. As the book is compiled for epub download (or eventually for publishing), the codes are parsed, removed from the text and the respective footnote links created. Therefore, in case you are working heftily with footnotes, it is strongly advised to download the epub file frequently and check the resulting footnote navigation on any ebup reader.

The footnote syntax is a as follows: footnote numbers are enclosed in square brackets, preceded with the "hat" symbol. For example, to insert a footnote with number "1" into your text, simply type [^1]. This will render the footnote number 1, in the text where it was placed, as a hyperlink to the footnote.

The footnote itself can be placed anywhere in the text as a separate paragraph starting with [^1]: (note the colon at the end, do not miss it!). During the compiling process, this paragraph will be removed from its text position and appended at the end of the book along with all the other footnotes with the numbering hyperlink at the beginning. Clicking the respective links will navigate back and forth between the text and the footnote. The following example shows how to place a footnote with number 5 while editing on the Publitory editor:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus rhoncus ac mauris ut posuere. Cras id suscipit felis. Etiam ut magna congue, elementum massa sit amet, tristique urna. Praesent pellentesque sit amet dolor quis malesuada. Vivamus diam dui, cursus a purus ut, convallis ornare nisl. Mauris bibendum massa a leo fringilla, at malesuada leo scelerisque. Duis egestas nisl ut sodales interdum [^5].

[^5]: This is the footnote text. Never mind where it appears in the editor, it will be listed in order among all the footnotes, at the end of the ebook.

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