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Remove section separator # but keep blank line


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I've read several replies in the forums about removing the section separator character, the #, and replacing it with a blank line.

When I do this, I get the following XML generated for an ePub export:

 <p class="sectionSeparator center"></p>

Which does NOT result in a blank line in the book itself.


Is there a way to actually do this?


I would simply like my sections to be separated by a blank line in the eBook, ePub or Mobi format.






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I've worked around this by editing the XHTML files and actually adding an &NBSP; which seems to work fine in all the viewers.


It's not a great solution, but since I had to edit the CSS file as well to pick up a blockquote like style it will be OK.


Draft2Digital handles this in their converter correctly, so I actually have to remove the # from the manuscript before uploading it there now since I don't want the "#" marks in my book.

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I create my own professional interior designs using Adobe InDesign (which is the layout tool of choice in publishing at the moment). I love Storyist and rely on it heavily for pre-production and composing but if you want to create a final book that looks like anything you'd find on the shelf at a bookstore (or the eBook equivalent) Storyist is not a layout tool. using InDesign, you can create "non-breaking" spaces that show up in the XHTML as forcing a blank line.


I've not heard of Draft2Digital but it appears to be an "outsourcing" service to basically do what I do using InDesign. I can't comment to its quality, but I think the idea is quite goodI'm a strong proponent of outsourcing tasks that you don't have the knowledge or tools to do yourself. And even though I do my own interior designs, I hire editors, proofreader's, cover artists, etc. So if you don't have the time/interest/money to invest in learning a professional layout application, if you're happy with Draft2Digital it sounds like a solid choice. However, from reading their FAQ it seems they have a "one size fits all" layout for CreateSpace, whereas if you did your own layout you could select your own header and footer, your own chapter beginning style (for example,the first phrase of each chapter is in small caps).


Also keep in mind if you're willing to put in the effort of submitting all your own work, you can keep 100% of your royalties.



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Couldn't you just follow the instructions but replace # with a couple of spaces? That would generate what appears to be a blank line in the output file.


Like Orren, I use Storyist for everything up to the final output, which I set in InDesign. The output is light years above any word-processing program or even a cheap page layout setup like Pages. But InDesign is not cheap. At the moment, it's available through Adobe's Creative Cloud, which will set you back $30-50/month. And if you stop paying, there goes access to your documents. (I use the last "ownable" version, CS6, which I think is no longer available. You might find a copy on eBay, but expect to pay hundreds of dollars. Anything cheaper is probably an upgrade, which requires you to produce the original serial number.) If you have an academic affiliation, you can get a discount. Otherwise, Adobe is pitching itself to the commercial market and prices accordingly.


If you like the idea of InDesign and don't mind coughing up the monthly fee, you might try downloading the demo, if Adobe still provides one. It lasts 30 days—calendar days, not usage days. If you don't, you might see what you can do with Pages or Word. You won't have the control over things like line spacing that InDesign offers, but you should at least be able to avoid the rookiest of rookie mistakes (running heads on your chapter openers, for example). Joel Friedlander's excellent blog, The Book Designer, has advice on typesetting for self-published authors. (He also says nice things about Storyist.)



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I've been using Storyist for a while now and it seems to me that the program wasn't really meant for publishing e-Pubs, or really publishing at all. I think Storyist is really meant (and geared to) novelists and scriptwriters that want to write a manuscript in the appropriate standard submission format that can be submitted to an agent or publisher to be published. I do think it's awesome that a program like InDesign is there for those that want to really spiff up their publication. I know Scrivener (another program I use) has a template for e-Pubs, but it looks very "meh." I just thought I'd throw in my two cents. Anyway, have fun creating!

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You can change the # into a blank, however when it renders, iBooks does not display a blank line. The XML looks like this:

    <p class="sectionSeparator center">  </p>

but it's skipped...


You would have to make it look like this:

    <p class="sectionSeparator center"> </p>

In order to render the blank line.



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Thanks for the recommendations and sharing your approaches.


I am certainly capable of submitting my books to each outlet by my self, with more than 30 years in IT there's not much that daunts me technically.


What I liked about Draft2Digital was their approach that let's me deal with changes through one source. If I have an update, they will blast it out to all of the places I've chosen to use at one, rather than me having to do it 5 or more times.


Now that I've finished the writing and am working on the art I am playing with options.

They also supply free ISBN numbers for everthing through them, so I don't have to buy a 10-pack myself.


I don't plan on using an ISBN for Kindle or Google Play as it's not required, but I would like to have at least one so I can get into the book directories, etc.


The limitations in their CreateSpace formatting may be a problem. Right now they include printed table of contents without any option to suppress it, and that's not good for my book with simply numbered chapters. Support has engaged with me and they are looking at options.


They roll up all the payments into a once a month payout, bank transfer overseas (I'm an American living in Malaysia) and that's also attractive.


I'm going to look at all of the individual ebook store options and see how much work it is to manually manage them myself before I make the final call.



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