As you may recall, I recently switched to GitBook.io as my primary publishing platform. Alas, my GitBook.io experiment didn’t last long. Everything worked smoothly until I encountered a rather serious issue: for some reason, EPUB, MOBI, and PDF files generated by the service didn’t include any images. I duly submitted a bug report and tried to contact the developers via Twitter, but I got no response.
This is not the end of the world, of course, but it’s a good reason to find a better and more reliable alternative. I did some research, considered the available options, and decided to go the DIY way. To that end, I hacked my own tool based on BASC eBookGenerator that compiles ebooks in the EPUB format from Markdown-formatted pages and accompanying source files like images, stylesheets, and fonts. Since the tool uses Markdown-formatted text files, switching back from GitBook wasn’t all that laborious and time-consuming. As a bonus, the tool produces much cleaner (read less validation errors) EPUB files than GitBook.io.
While at it, I tried to convert the EPUB file to the MOBI format using Amazon’s own KindleGen utility for Linux. But it managed to produce a ~59MB file out of the 35.7MB original. As always, Calibre saved the day: the bundled ebook-convert command-line utility generated a MOBI file weighing a meager ~9,5MB.
In the process of switching to the new tool set, I did some cleanup and fixed a few issues and typos, which amounted to the minor 4.0.11 release of the book.
Readers who already purchased the book will receive the new version free of charge. If you haven’t received your copy, please send your order confirmation as proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll email you the download instructions.