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Ebook Authoring

Module 3: Writing EPUBs with MS Word

As the world's most pervasive word processor, MS Word is the tool most authors use for general purpose writing. Although MS Word does not currently contain built-in support for authoring an ePub, most of the leading ePub tools contain options for importing content from Word. Depending on your publication strategy, here are some workflows you could use:

  1. iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch). If you are planning to write a flowing ePub for publication in the Apple iBookstore and your content is already authored in Word, you can use Pages to import the Word document and apply the Pages ePub styles from Apple's ePub template.
  2. iPad Multi-Touch. iBooks Author is the Macintosh app used to create multi-touch iPad eBooks. iBooks Author, however, does not have an option for importing documents from Word. In order to bring MS Word content into iBooks Author, you will need to import it chapter by chapter using the Insert-->Chapter from Pages or Word tool, or you can copy-and-paste text from page to page. Your course textbook, Publishing with iBooks Author, covers this at the beginning of Chapter 3, Text.
  3. Kindle. If you are planning to publish an ePub for distribution on Amazon's Kindle, follow the MS Word formatting guidelines in the Simplified Guide for Building a KF8 Book from MS Word.
  4. Nook. If the Nook is your targeted platform, follow the MS Word formatting guidelines in the Barnes & Noble Pubit ePub Formatting Guide.
  5. IDPF EPUB. If you want to make an IDPF compliant ePub, import your MS Word document into Sigil or Calibre, which are freely available open source ePub editing tools. It is also possible to author your entire book using these tools. Tutorials are in the Sigil User Guide and the Calibre User Manual.