1. Brigid
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    Brigid New Member

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    What kind of software (except Scriverner) helps me to format my novel (books and e-books)?

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by Brigid, Apr 14, 2016.

    Dear writers, can YWriter or another software help me with this?

    I learned that there is software that does the formatting for all kinds of publishing platforms.

    So, I looked at Scrivener but pretty much everything is hidden there. I feel hunting for Easter eggs trying to figure out the functions. I want my functions on the Interface. No time for games.

    Any advice?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not quite sure what all your criteria mean, but have you looked at calibre? It's the closest I can think to of something that formats cross-platform...
     
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  3. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    @Wreybies, we need to kill her, she rejected Scrivener, she's a heretic!!! :D
    Honestly, this is all I can give you. http://creative-writing-software-review.toptenreviews.com/. I don't really know much about writing software since I just use the tools on Google Docs. I might start using Scrivener or something though seeing as they look quite useful.
     
  4. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    It may be kinda silly to say it but you don't really need specific software to format an e-book well. You may have to learn a teeny bit about the technology (html and css) but it's all googleable and just using something simple and lightweight like Sigil is just fine. That's how I did my e-books and they came out great.
     
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  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Calibre works and is free to boot. But it has its own learning curve if the file is not already an eBook. As mentioned by @LostThePlot, if the author wants anything above the very basic format that Calibre defaults to, some html and css will have to be learned. Calibre allows you to implement it, but you have to know it. Sigil also works.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    These days you can just create an MSWord document and use that. I don't even go in and edit the HTML anymore.
     
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  7. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    I just joined CreateSpace, and found that you can download pre-formatted templates for various book sizes using a MS Word format. It appears to have all the margins set for the size of book you want, but I haven't played with it enough to figure out how it does pagination.
    It also provides pre-formatted Word templates for covers. Haven't played with that either, but maybe others have.
    As for e-books, I've translated exactly one print book into an e-book format for the Amazon Kindle. IIRC, it involved converting the Word document into HTML and running the outcome through a conversion program they provide. The illustrations came out a bit wonky and I had to re-submit it. But that was about five years ago, and they may have streamlined the process somewhat.
     
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  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The CreateSpace templates work well. You might still run into the occasional error to correct when submitting, but if you use the correct template for the book size you've chosen, you should be in good shape.
     
  9. Brigid
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    Brigid New Member

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  10. Brigid
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    Brigid New Member

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    Thanks, BayView, I'll check Calibre out. Never heard of it.
     
  11. Brigid
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    Brigid New Member

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    Thanks for the link. I came from the translation industry. When I started, I noticed that everyone was praising Trados, a CAT. When you did not buy Trados (a lot more expensive than Scrivener) you were a nobody. All your skills were nothing worth. However, when you asked individual translators, they told you in confidence that there are much better and cheaper programs on the market. They just bought it because everyone told them that they MUST have it.
     
  12. Brigid
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    Brigid New Member

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    Thanks, will check out Sigil.
     
  13. Brigid
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    Brigid New Member

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    I work with Word on a daily basis. However, I end up with tons of open files. I rather would use a writer's software. But Scrivener makes me angry. It is like they dangle a carrot before you and ask you to search it before they let you bite in it. There is a lot of space on the Scrivener menu bar. Why couldn't the designer put an icon for all the goodies up there like any other decent software? Because just like with Trados, a CAT, there is a campaign that makes people buy that stuff nevertheless, despite the bugs.

    I only will buy Scrivener with a decent interface.
     
  14. Brigid
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    Brigid New Member

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    Thanks for the tip with the CreateSpace templates.
     
  15. Brigid
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    Brigid New Member

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    Thanks for letting me come here and whine. I will check this out. I work a lot with converted translated files (Word or others) and the layouts are often a nightmare. With my fiction, I don't want to run in this. I would like to write it already in a format that I can easily convert either in published books or e-books.
     
  16. Brigid
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    Brigid New Member

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    Scrivener is not on this top ten review website. Can you believe it? What happened?
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    That's because the reviews are for creative writing software - software that helps you develop a story or come up with writing ideas, etc., as opposed to tools used to write. Scrivener is a tool for writers, but it does not take you through brainstorming, story structure, story development, etc.
     
  18. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If you look at what are basically tools, here: http://ebooks-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

    you will see it :)

    Based on their rankings, you might want to look at Creatavist.
     
  19. Paul Daniels
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    Paul Daniels Member

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  20. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    I use Scrivener all the time now. Can't imagine going back to using Word.

    It has a lot of features and I can see what you mean about some of them seeming hidden, but really you get as much out if it as you put in.
     
  21. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    Maybe I'm missing something, but when I tried to use their templates, I was forced to use their fonts, colors, and so on. And I had to fill in the title in the separate box. That wasn't an option...it was mandatory, and not being able to skip that step stopped me cold. What I'd like to do is submit one JPEG, properly sized, to be both the front cover and the spine; the JPEG already has the text that I want, including size, font, and color, superimposed on the picture.
     
  22. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I mean the templates for the interior of the book. I've never tried to use their cover design templates. I'm pretty sure you can use their templates for the interior of the book and still prepare the cover separately.
     
  23. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    Ah. I believe you're right about that.

    As for covers, I'm buying the basic version of Serif PagePlus, which their web site assures me has what it takes. I'll let you know.
     
  24. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's also great for managing your ebook library. And it's one of the few non-graphics-, non-video-related programs that come in a 64-bit version. This is one of my go-to apps.
     

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