Or why are you so stoked about Jutoh?
This is partially a blathering celebration of the eBook creation tool Jutoh. But it’s also a practical discussion of some of the technical aspects of how to create a manuscript when your primary concern is to generate an eBook.
Jutoh — that’s from England, right?
The tool I prefer, Jutoh, is very clever about importing a document and turning it into a book. Some of its cleverness works very well with techniques for writing a book. So these are the technical considerations to make when writing a book.
What writing tool should you use?
I have tried quite a few in my day, and what I always look for is something to help me organize my thoughts. That is the most significant problem to solve. The least significant problem is the formatting you must do later on. But if your manuscript is a hot, steaming mess of incoherence, the formatting won’t help.
If you use Microsoft Word…
Teach yourself about styles. Use a style called “Title” for the title. Use a style called “Hearing 1” for the beginning of each chapter. Use a style called “Body Text”, “Normal,” or “Default” for your composition. But just one of those — not all three.
The nice thing about book manuscripts is that it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.
To help you with organization, use the “Document Navigator” tool. It will list all the styles called Heading 1 in a list that allows you to go to that part of the book.
Don’t use any forced page breaks, or sections, or anything else. Just worry about the composition and your chapters.
If you use Libre Office Writer…
Same thing as with Word. Use a style for the chapters, and “Body Text” for the composition. Keep it simple.
If you want to use a bunch of text files….
I created a book earlier this year with a series of text files. I kept the text files on Dropbox in their own folder, and used a simple text editor (WriteBox) to focus on each file. (Each file was a chapter.)
The first line of each file was the name of the chapter. I really enjoyed working that way.
If you want more of a writer’s tool, I recommend “Writer’s Cafe”….
Writer’s Cafe is a tool created by the guy who created Jutoh, and it is Scrivener-like in the tools it provides to help you organize topics, gather together notes and references, and work on the composition. It takes more work to learn its features, but it pays off.
I can’t comment on Scrivener….
But I’ve heard it’s awesome. Let me know what you find out about it if you pursue it.
Fast Forward to 15,000 words
Fifteen Large is, to me, the minimum for an eBook. Less that that you can probably just distribute a PDF.
Jutoh is the tool I use to create eBooks. If you have an MS Word or Libre Office Writer document, and tell Jutoh to import that document, it will look for Heading 1 as chapter breaks. You can tell it other styles to look for, but this keeps it very simple. Everything in between becomes the text of the chapter.
You can also tell Jutoh to look in a folder for a bunch of text files. It will assume that the first line of every file is the chapter title, and will create your book from there.
If you used Writer’s Cafe, I don’t think it has a direct integration, but you can export the file to a Libre Office document, and then use the import mentioned above.
That’s it. The rest of the work is now Jutoh related, but it’s so much fun working with Jutoh that it’s not really work.
If you keep your manuscript simple, then creating an eBook can be fun.
Any more questions? Just ask.