Creating an ebook using Sigil

1. Download Sigil if you don't own it already (it's free!).

2. Download and open our Sigil ebook template.

This template is basic, but should be enough to get you going. We've set up a cover image, title section, and the first few chapters.

Sigil breaks an ebook into a series of resources - xhtml files, images, and folders. It's a bit technical, but we'll work it out together, quick-smart!

3. Split your manuscript into chapters

Paste your entire manuscript into Sigil (you can also export directly into Sigil from Word - see the "Further Reading" below for more information about this). At the end of chapters (or significant sections, if your work doesn't have chapters), select "Insert Chapter Break" from the "Insert" menu. This will split the chapter into two, at the point where your cursor is placed. You'll be able to see the new chapter listed as a file in the "Book Browser" window.

4. Add images (optional)

Select "Insert" -> "Image" from the menu bar wherever in the document you'd like to include your image.

5. Add a cover image

Place the cursor at the very beginning of the first file in the "Text" folder (in the template, we've conveniently called it "Cover.xhtml". Select "Insert" -> "Image" from the menu bar (you can delete the default cover image we left in for you). In the "Images" folder in the "Book Browser", your image will appear listed. Right click the image in the list and selected "Add Semantics" -> "Cover Image". This will explicitly set the image as your book's cover.

6. Create a Table of Contents

To create a Table of Contents, you need to apply styles to your document. Select all the chapter headings in your document and apply the style "Heading 3", and select all sub-section headers and apply the style "Heading 4". Near the beginning of your document, in the file we've called "Title.xhtml", add in your book's title and your author name. Apply "Heading 1" to your book title and "Heading 2" to your author name. Now click "Generate TOC from headings" in the "Table of Contents" pane (which appears to the right of the Sigil window by default). A table of contents should appear in the "Table of Contents" pane - make sure this looks right.

7. Add metadata (book title, author name, book language etc)

To add and edit your book's metadata, select "Tools" -> "Meta Editor…" from the menu bar. Add your book's title, author name, and language in the window that appears. You can also add more information that tells readers about your book by clicking "Add Basic". Some important pieces of metadata you might want to include could be "Publisher" (the name of your book's publisher), "Description" (a brief description of your book), and "Date of publication". The more metadata you add, the better we can classify your book.

8. Save your book

By default, Sigil saves your files in ePub format. Once you're happy with your file, click "Save". The file will be an ePub ready to upload to Tomely.

9. Preview your ebook

Before uploading your ebook to Tomely, it could be a good idea to open it up on your ereader of choice to ensure it looks and works as it should. If you're using an iPad or iPhone, you can email the ePub file to yourself to view it in iBooks. You can also download Kitabu, an ebook reader for the Mac, for free on the Mac App Store to preview your book. In particular, double-check that the cover image and table of contents are appearing properly.

10. Set up a publisher account with Tomely and sell your ebook.

Further reading: