1. Lusankaya

    Lusankaya New Member

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    Writing/Publishing Software for Non-Fiction /w many pictures

    Discussion in 'Software' started by Lusankaya, Aug 26, 2018.

    Hi everyone,

    I am currently writing a non-fiction book and plan to self-publish. It´s about Marketing and in order to explain my concepts and ideas properly, I want to include a lot of pictures, graphics, diagrams, etc.

    I use Microsoft Word for writing. Now I am searching for a software to create files in the common ebook-formats.

    After doing some research, I believe Scrivener is not a good choice, cause its capabilities to deal with pictures is very limited. Is that correct? I also thought about Adobe InDesign, but the subscription model they use makes is rather unattractive for me.
    Can anyone recommend a proper software for my purpose?

    Also what´s a good program to create decent graphics that don´t look too Powerpointish?

    Bonus Question: Is an ebook with pictures more expensive / difficult to publish to Amazon and similar stores?

    Thank you upfront for your help,
    Cheers
    Oliver
     
  2. Amontillado

    Amontillado Member

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    If I ever get something ready for publishing, I may treat myself to a copy of Vellum. I'm not convinced pandoc can't do just as good a job, though. It's just a matter of tasteful css files and correct format.

    You might find some of Vellum's online help worth a look, at least to get a start of an overview. Inline images are covered here (https://help.vellum.pub/inline-images), and there are some comments about file size limitations here (https://help.vellum.pub/file-size/).

    If I'm reading correctly, the file size for Amazon's Kindle store is computed based on one component of a .mobi file, not the total size.

    Another thing that may be helpful is to make an ebook. You may already have something that will write to epub format, like Scrivener or Apple Pages. If not, download and install pandoc, which is free (and handy, anyway).

    Pandoc is a command line tool, but it's really not hard. Here's a quick example, untested, but I think it will work:

    pandoc -s -f docx -t epub -o greatamericannovel.epub file1.docx file2.docx file3.docx

    In other words, create a complete file, not a fragment (-s) reading from docx format (-f) writing to epub (-t) and saving the output in greatamericannovel.epub (-o). The remaining things on the command line, file1.docx and friends, are the input files comprising your book.

    The epub file is just a zip file. I made an epub file with Ulysses, which I peeled open with unzip mybook.epub.

    There was an OPS directory, which had xhtml files for chapters, a file called navigation.xhtml for the table of contents, and a css directory with a single style sheet inside it called styles.css.

    I'm not an electronic publishing expert, and consider my advice a little shaky.

    No matter how I format my first ebook, I'll start by playing around with the innards of an epub file and the free Kindle previewer.
     
  3. Lusankaya

    Lusankaya New Member

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    Thanks for your input. Unfortunately I don't own a Mac, so Vellum is no option for me. But I will have a look into Pandoc.
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    You might look at Scribus. It's free: https://www.scribus.net
     
  5. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Senior Member

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    The open source cross platform ebook software is calibre. Not as polished as Vellum, with a lot of overhead stuff you have to do (it has an ebook library, and you need to go through that library even if you only want to convert formats), but then, it's a whole lot cheaper... ;)

    Though I do not know how well it handles pictures.

    And I think you should not dismiss Scrivener out of hand. Yes, it is clunky when it comes to pictures, but then, so are ebooks in general, and you want to go to ebook. As far as I looked into it, what Scrivener can do with pictures might work rather well with what ebooks can do with pictures.

    ETA: Oops, misread your post. I would recommend Scrivener if you look for something to write and organize. For ebook format conversion, it is really not good. If you want to have something to generate the various ebook-formats, really look into calibre.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  6. kriti

    kriti New Member

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    One of the best software for writing Non-fiction books is Scrivener. It is a Simple Method for writing a book and You Can Create a Table of Contents Right in Scrivener. You can also Import a Mind Map and Research Into Scrivener for Reference and You Can Move Your Work Around Easily in Scrivener.
     

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