How to create and edit an EPUB book

How to create and edit an EPUB book

EPUB is one of the most popular eBook formats that's compatible with multiple types of devices, such as smartphones, computers, tablets, and e-readers. In one of our previous articles, we told you how to open EPUB files on Windows. In this guide, I will show you how to make an eBook file from scratch as well as how to use one of the best EPUB editors to modify your EPUB files.

Tutorial assets

You will need to download the following software to follow along with this tutorial.

Create an EPUB book

Many eBook distributors allow you to upload a Microsoft Word document for publishing it as an eBook afterwards. However, the conversion tools they use for transforming the original upload material into eBooks aren't always as efficient as you'd expect them to be. The original layout of your text document might not be preserved. This is why using an eBook creator instead of working with word processors seems a better choice as no quality is lost when publishing on eBook sharing websites. A good example comes from Sigil, a WYSIWYG EPUB book editor that's compatible with various platforms and provides you with multiple features, like the ability to create eBooks, to change the font of your text, or to generate the Table of Contents for your new electronic book.

Sigil is an open-source application. You can install third-party plugins to get access to extra features, like the ability to clean up EPUB files, insert style notes, optimize images, etc.

Here's what you need to do in order to create an EPUB file from scratch by using the Sigil app:

Step 1

Download and install the app from the homepage of the developer. Launch it on your PC.

Step 2

Click the button New Document button as shown in the screenshot. You can then start adding text content like you'd normally do from your default rich text editor. The app lets you use formatting options, insert images, and so much more.

Using Sigil To Create EPUB BooksUsing Sigil To Create EPUB Books

Edit EPUB cover

Almost everyone judges books by their covers. This is why it's important to include an appealing cover to your EPUB file. If you're not happy with the end results after you add cover images to EPUB files, you can use a third-party app like calibre to modify them. Here's what you need to do in order to edit EPUB covers:

Step 1

Download and install calibre on your Windows PC. Launch the app and import your EPUB file.

Step 2

Head to Edit Metadata menu. You can import another cover image from your local directories, choose which metadata to display and where it should be located on the cover, alter aspects of the cover's appearance such as fonts, borders, colors, and margins, etc.

Edit EPUB Cover In CalibreEdit EPUB Cover In calibre

Edit EPUB metadata

Besides altering the appearance of your EPUB cover, you might also need to modify the document's metadata. Simply type the "GitHub benchen71 EPUB-metadata-editor" keyword in the search bar of your default web browser and you will immediately get access to the homepage of a free eBook metadata editor developed by Ben Chenoweth. This EPUB metadata viewer and editor is very simple to handle and provides you with useful features. Here's what you need to do in order to use this program for editing EPUB metadata on your computer:

Step 1

Download and install the program on your PC. Launch the app and import your EPUB file.

Step 2

Make the necessary alterations. You can change the title of your eBook, modify the description of your document, choose a different publication date, etc.

Editing eBook Metadata With EPubMetadataEditorEditing eBook Metadata With EPubMetadataEditor

Print EPUB book

Some people might want to actually put their hands on the eBooks they've created. One way to achieve that goal is to print the EPUB files. Personally, I prefer using the calibre and Microsoft Word programs to complete this task and make sure no quality is lost in the process. Here's what you need to do in order to print EPUB files from your Windows PC:

Step 1

Download, install, and launch the calibre app on your PC. Import your EPUB file.

Step 2

Convert the eBook to the HTMLZ format. Basically, you will convert your EPUB file into a full web page that will be located on your local drive. An archive file will be generated to a destination folder of your choice.

Step 3

Extract the contents of your archive and open the Index.HTML file in the Microsoft Word app. It's best you open the HTML file in the aforementioned app instead of your default web browser because this way you will be able to modify page arrangements and other document options if needed. Then, all you need to do is to print the document.

Conclusion

As you can see, it's not difficult to create and edit EPUB format files. The aforementioned eBook software is very simple to handle and you can easily complete the needed tasks with just a few clicks. But, if you ask me, calibre is the best there when it comes to working with EPUB files.

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