Standard Ebooks

A Basic Standard Ebooks Source Folder

All Standard Ebooks source folders have the same basic structure. It looks a little like this:

A tree view of a new Standard Ebooks draft folder
  • dist/ is where our build script will put the finished ebook files. Right now it’s empty.

  • images/ contains the raw image files used in an ebook. For ebooks without illustrations, you’ll have the following three files:

    • images/cover.svg, the raw cover image complete with title and author.

    • images/titlepage.svg, the raw titlepage image.

    • images/cover.source.jpg, not pictured; the raw, high-resolution artwork we’ve picked as the cover image background, kept here for future reference but not actually used in the final epub file.

    • images/cover.jpg, not pictured; the scaled-down version of cover.source.jpg that will be referenced by cover.svg and included in the final epub file.

  • src/ contains the actual source of the epub. This is the folder that’ll be zipped up as the final epub file, and where the bulk of our work will happen.

    • src/META-INF/, src/META-INF/container.xml, and src/mimetype are required by the epub spec; don’t edit them.

    • src/epub/css/ contains the CSS files used in the epub.

      • src/epub/css/core.css is the common CSS file used across all Standard Ebooks; don’t edit it.

      • src/epub/css/local.css is the CSS file that contains styles for this specific ebook. This is the one you’ll be editing, if necessary. Not all ebooks need custom CSS—the less custom CSS, the better!

    • src/epub/images/ contains the images used in the final epub. Right now it contains the Standard Ebooks logo file used in the colophon; don’t edit the logo. Once you’ve finished the cover and titlepage images in ./images/, the build-images script will compile them and put them here.

    • src/epub/text/ is the meat and potatoes of the ebook! You’ll place the source XHTML files here, alongside the templates the draft script created for you:

      • src/epub/text/colophon.xhtml is the template for the Standard Ebooks colophon that appears at the end of every ebook. Usually you’ll edit this last, once you’ve finalized the cover page and metadata.

      • src/epub/text/titlepage.xhtml is the template for the titlepage. The only thing to edit here is the title and author in the titlepage alt attribute. Leave the rest alone.

      • src/epub/text/unlicense.xhtml is the Standard Ebooks public domain dedication. Don’t edit this at all.

    • src/epub/content.opf is the file that contains all of the epub’s metadata. You’ll be editing this heavily.

    • src/epub/onix.xml is a file containing accessibility information. Don’t edit this.