ePUBs and Readium

Last week I posted about formatting an ebook using Calibre and Sigil, and said I would post an update if I figured out why my ebook didn’t work in Readium. Well, here’s that post.

Readium only supports ePUB 3. Calibre and Sigil generate and edit ePUB 2. From what I’ve researched, all ePUB compatible eReaders support ePUB 2 and some support ePUB 3. That means it’s on the safer side to go with ePUB 2.

How does one convert an ePUB 2 to ePUB 3? From looking around, it’s not quite as easy as hitting a convert button in Calibre. This seems to be the most descriptive To-Do list I’ve found out there: Flipping the switch from ePUB2 to 3.

Right now, it looks like more hassle than I’m willing to go through just to make it work in one eReader which isn’t backward compatible. FireFox has an ePUB reader which does read my file fine, so I’m not going to fret too much. I have looked at what it might take to make some of these changes. An .epub file format is .zip in disguise, so it can be extracted and manually edited through something like Notepad++, but it isn’t as fun.

On a different note, I updated my CSS, cleaned the styles, renamed some of the styles, and change my approach to small caps. If anyone would like to look at my CSS, I’ve linked it here: stylesheet.

Instead of using the HTML tag small, I’ve gone with a span classed with a font-variant of small-caps. The benefits? I don’t have to start my tag after the first letter of the section I want to make small caps, and I don’t have to convert all my lowercase letters to uppercase ones. There is a slight variation, where capital letters are bigger than the ones that are originally lowercased, but the change isn’t so disruptive that I’d go the longer route.

The unfortunate disadvantage: small caps aren’t working in Adobe Digital Editions, which is the desktop ePUB reader I use most often. From what I’ve seen online, there have been complaints about ADE not supporting it. So is the trade-off worth it? Not sure yet.

I left the calibre1 style alone. I’m not fully educated in ePUB mechanics yet, and from the looks of it, that style only belongs to a div which seems its only purpose is to act as a page break (thus indicating the end of a chapter). I don’t know why styling would be needed for an empty div, but until I learn more, I figure I won’t mess with it.

Though I’m always tweaking something here and there based on feedback, if anyone wants the latest eBook copy of Thanmir War (not guaranteed to stay the same before the final version), feel free to email me at loni@lonitownsend.com.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

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