E-book sales will likely get a boost from Apple's brand-new iPad, and you can benefit too. Here, we show you how to create a commercial e-book using Google Sigil.

E-book sales will likely get a boost from Apple's brand-new iPad, and you can benefit too. Here, we show you how to create a commercial e-book using Google Sigil. For instructions on creating an e-book using Serif's free version of PagePlus, see our alternative walkthrough.

Step 1. While PDF is the most widely compatible file format for e-books, ePub is more suitable for commercial publications. Google's free Sigil enables you to create ePub documents, letting you view and work with the extensible markup language (XML) code directly.

Google Sigil step 1

Step 2. Basic text formatting can be achieved in a word processor first, but the structural format must be defined within Sigil. Select the various sections of your document, such as chapter headings, and apply a format from the top-left menu. This generates the code that governs the appearance of that text on a reader device.

Google Sigil step 2

Step 3. Click the image icon in the top toolbar to select and import images stored on your local drive. You'll need to prepare the image's appearance and size in a photo editor first, since Sigil doesn't include any editing tools. Indeed, Sigil is dedicated purely to taking your content and preparing it for distribution as an e-book.

Google Sigil step 3

Step 4. Long text passages should be broken up into chapters. Click the Ch icon to insert the necessary code. In this case a horizontal rule (hr) is identified by Sigil according to a particular class, sigilChapterBreak, that will be interpreted by the program when it outputs your final file for distribution.

Google Sigil step 4

E-book sales will likely get a boost from Apple's brand-new iPad, and you can benefit too. Here, we show you how to create a commercial e-book using Google Sigil.

Step 5. A table of contents will make navigation easier for your readers. To create this table, click on Tools, TOC editor. Sigil keeps track of the headings you've inserted and uses them to generate the Contents list. Tick each of the items that you want to include. These will be added when you click Ok.

Google Sigil step 5

Step 6. Try to make use of Sigil's ability to generate metadata. Go to Tools and select Meta Editor. You will be asked for basic title and author details. Click More, Add Basic, then include the publisher, ISBN or other information. This data is stored within the file, enabling readers to search for and sort titles more easily.

Google Sigil step 6

Step 7. Click Save when you've finished your e-book. Sigil's native file format is useful if you need to edit the copy later; otherwise choose ePub. This format is widely supported by a number of devices, although special software is needed to view it on a PC.

Google Sigil step 7

Step 8. Your e-book can now be shared or sold online anywhere in the world. The various rights you have allowed users in the Meta Editor will determine whether readers can magnify text, click through the chapters and even print out only parts or the entire document.

Google Sigil step 8

Also see: How to: Create an e-book using Serif PagePlus

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