I’m feeling a mite frustrated.
I’ve been trying to find the simplest, least-likely-to-fuck-up solution to creating .epub and .mobi files. They’re the files you download when you buy one of my ebooks. And the formats have been around for years, so you’d think it’d be simple. The retailers try to make it easy by letting us author types upload Word files. Problem is, Word files are complicated beasts, and they contain a lot of formatting under the hood where no one ever sees. Automatically turning one into an ebook is fraught with danger of weird formatting, like line-heights of 0.4mm, making everything all squished up and unreadable.
So, Word files are out.
I decided to try LaTeX. It’s very, very popular as a back-to-basics text editor. The concept is: write your text, add in tags as you go to let the program know where headers, italics and the like are supposed to go, then publish to whatever format you need, with whatever formatting choices you desire. Yup, great in theory. In practice, the formatting choices aren’t actually getting through to the end .epub file, which makes being able to set them mildly ridiculous.
Right now, I’m aiming at HTML. Plain, simple, HTML. If this screws up on conversion to .epub as well, I think I might just give up and join a monastery. That’s the one with all the sex-starved men, right?