Attempt #1: InDesign CS5
I've been making a living as a graphic designer for something like 15 years now -- print-oriented, got into it by way of proofreading, and I've been a one-woman prepress department. Naturally, in generating the layout for the print version of Disciple, Part I, I took it to InDesign and threw it down. No fuss, no muss.
Online, I went looking for how to export InDesign files to EPUB (the format used by non-Kindle readers.) I quickly found that while Adobe did put together a pile of helpful PDFs and web pages at some point, very few of them are still available and you tend to get dumped onto the "You need to buy CS6!" page.
After six hours of tweaking options and slogging through the results, I had an EPUB that made my Nook reader sprain its brain every time it tried to open the file. I might have been able to fix the files, but my butt-cheeks were beginning to ache.
Attempt #2: HTML from scratch
I kept Guido Henkel's excellent guide to creating an EPUB from scratch open and used jEdit (which was probably overkill) to create an HTML file with a simple, embedded CSS.
Calibre kindly added all the metadata and the cover art, then output it as an EPUB that looks lovely in my Nook reader. Next up: MOBI conversion, which Calibre will do too.
|Clear winner: build it from scratch.|
Photo by Pablo Medina,
free at sxc.hu
If you're comfortable with basic HTML coding -- I didn't use anything more complicated than style and span commands -- you can do this. Guido's guide includes a sample CSS that you can copy/paste and then tweak to your liking. Calibre does all the heavy lifting. The whole thing was quite painless.
Needless to say, I'm rather disappointed in InDesign. But I'm over another hurdle and closer to publishing Disciple.