Can Everton Jones find out how his father stole Emperor Bokassa’s diamonds and, more importantly, where he hid them; before the world and his brother get there first?
Click on the picture link in the sidebar to read an extract of my first novel, which was published by Paradise Press in August 2012.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

How to split your ebook up into chapters using Sigil

Once you have imported your book text into a single chapter in your ebook and converted the markup into CSS styling, you can begin breaking it up into the individual chapters. It is best to do this after formatting the text, as it makes Find and Replace easier if it is done when the entire text is in ONE chapter. (Although Find and Replace can be set to edit multiple files, but why make life difficult?)

In this example I have a single chapter called Section0001.xhtml, which is what Sigil will call it by default:

Keeping the example simple, here is what the chapter text looks like in Sigil using code view (the styling has been omitted from the example for clarity):

Notice the stylesheet link in the <head> section: <link href="../Styles/RodsFormat.css" rel="stylesheet" type="css" />. See my post on how to create and link the stylesheet for more information. This is required in EVERY chapter to allow the e-reader software to find the style information to format the text.

To split your chapter, place the cursor in between the end of chapter one and the begining of chapter two. Make sure it lies between the last closing </p> tag of chapter one and the first opening <p> tag of chapter two:

You need to be in code view to be absolutely sure of the position of the cursor relative to the html tags.

Then just click on the ‘split at cursor’ button in the toolbar:

Sigil creates a new chapter, called Section0002.xhtml by default, with everything after the cursor in it:

An important detail to note is that Sigil reproduces the stylesheet link used in the original chapter in the <head> of the new chapter, as shown above.

The new section appears in the book browser:

Section0001.xhtml now only contains whatever was above the cursor. Section0002.xhtml contains everything which was below the cursor. I recommend renaming the chapters with informative names as you go along. (Right-click on the chapter name in the book browser to do this.) Remember to use chapter filenames which are single text strings with NO SPACES. Click and drag the chapters in the book browser to resequence them. Sigil will have created appropriate entries in the <manifest> and <spine> in content.opf for you.

With a long book, splitting the first chapter will take a while but as you get nearer the end of the text each successive chapter will take progressively less time to split.

If you place the cursor at the START of a chapter, splitting the chapter results in a new BLANK chapter BEFORE the chapter you split. Pacing the cursor at the END of a chapter results in a new BLANK chapter AFTER the chapter you split.

Carry on until the whole book has been split up into chapters.

Next steps: Create the preliminary matter (title page, copyright page, etc.). The next post in this series will cover the customary sequence of the preliminary matter and end matter.

Index to ‘how to …’ posts:

How to ‘unpack’ an epub file to edit the contents and see what’s inside.
How to understand what is inside an epub
How to link the html table of Contents in a Kindle e-book
How to restructure the html table of contents for a Kindle
How to delete the html cover for a Kindle ebook
How to link the cover IMAGE in a Kindle e-book
How to clean up your MS Word file before your get started
How to markup an MS Word file to identify the formats before importing it into an epub
How to create a new blank e-pub using Sigil
How to import your marked-up MS Word file into your ebook using Sigil
How to create and link a CSS stylesheet in an e-book using Sigil
How to replace the markup with CSS styles in your ebook using Sigil
How to style an e-book so it works with the limited CSS styling available to Kindle e-readers
How to understand the syntax of CSS
How to style Small Caps in an e-book
How to split your ebook up into chapters using Sigil
How to sequence your e-book
How to phrase the copyright declarations etc. in an e-book
How to generate the logical table of contents using Sigil
How to understand toc.ncx in an e-book
How to generate the html table of contents in an e-pub
How to style the html table of contents using CSS
How to create an html cover for your epub using Sigil
How to present references and notes in a book
How to use Mark Up to link notes in your e-book
How to present a bibliography in a book
How to use markup to link entries in a bibliography with the notes section
How to index an e-book
How to use the tools in MS Word to create an index
How to alphabetise an index or bibliography
How to adapt the print index in your MS Word file for an e-book using markup
How to adapt cross-references in your print index for e-book and how to use markup to make the links
How to understand content.opf
How to understand and edit the Metadata of an ebook using Sigil
How to understand the manifest in content.opf
How to understand the spine and guide in content.opf
How to test your e-pub using flightCrew in Sigil
How to test your e-pub using epubcheck
How to convert an e-pub to Kindle using kindlegen

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  1. the large volume conversion shops, we are not satisfied until you are Epub3 conversion. You can also hire Brian Schwartz, the Kindle Expert for one-on-consulting through Amazon has the highest consumer trust of any company on the web.

  2. It would be great if epub 3.0 were available on more e-readers!!! THIS sequence of posts is about making an epub 2.0 e-book which will convert properly to Kindle, and display similarly on both platforms. In fact, as by far the vast majority of our sales are via the Kindlestore, the kindle is more important to me than the e-pub, which is just a means to an end. It IS a conservative strategy, but at least I can be confident all my e-books work on all readers. I use a bare minimum of html and CSS in an attempt to reduce any possible cross-platform issues. Sometimes, less is more?


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