What it takes to create an ePub book

Well. As you might have gathered, I am trying to write a book. A series of books, as it happens, about a fantasy world called Erâth, in which a young boy named Brandyé comes to save all of creation from the forces of darkness.

Or something like that.

Anyway, I’m not very far along, but I like to pretend that my book is a “real” book, and since I don’t have a printing press, an eBook is a pretty nice alternative – it looks just like The Lord of the Rings (except they inexplicably used an unreadably small font), and even has a pretty cover made all for me by my iPad.

But, creating the ePub file was not so easy.

Oh sure, Pages has a pretty cool Export to ePub feature which actually works remarkably well. But it wasn’t working well for the chapter breaks and table of contents, so I set out to find a way to make it perfect. Here is what it took:

1. 24 hours of soul-crushing frustration.

2. 77 test ePub files that didn’t work.

3. 2 applications that didn’t work.

4. A 30-day trial of Adobe InDesign.

5. A crash course in Adobe InDesign.

6. 11 cups of tea.

7. 18 cups of coffee.

8. No sleep.

9. An iPad to look at all the awful books InDesign spat out.

10. An iPhone to play games on while the iPad was syncing.

11. Sonata Arctica’s “The Days of Grays”.

12. No sleep.

13. An obsessive-compulsive desire to make the damn thing work.

14. One single, final, readable eBook that ACTUALLY. BLOODY. WORKS.

And that’s all there is to it! Good luck!