Verku provides authors a free, ruby-based production toolchain for self-published paper and electronic books using Markdown and the LaTeX document preparation system. The code base borrows heavily from Kitabu, while replacing Prince as the PDF generator. Use of Prince as recommended in Kitabu appears to me to violate the Prince license, and Prince itself is too expensive.
What Does Verku Provide?
- Write using Markdown
- Paper Support: Book-quality PDF output (6"x9") using LaTeX's Memoir class, suitable for publishing via Createspace.
- Electronic Support: HTML, Epub and Mobi output (using kindlegen).
- Table of Contents automatically generated from chapter titles
To install Verku, you’ll need a working Ruby 1.9+ installation.
$ gem install verku
How to Use Verku
To create a new Verku project, execute the following on the command line:
$ verku new mybook
This command creates a directory mybook with the following structure:
mybook ├── _verku.yml ├── _images │ ├── cover.jpg │ └── logo.png ├── _templates │ ├── epub │ │ ├── cover.erb │ │ ├── cover.png │ │ ├── page.erb │ │ └── user.css │ └── html │ ├── layout.css │ ├── layout.erb │ ├── syntax.css │ └── user.css ├── builds ├── docs └── research other supporting documentation └── text └── 01_Chapter └──01_Welcome.tex
The _verku.yml file holds the project's metadata. Update the relevant fields.
Now it's time to write your e-book. All your book content will be placed on the text directory. Verku requires you to separate your book into chapters. A chapter is nothing but a directory that holds lots of text files. The e-book will be generated using every folder/file alphabetically. So be sure to use a sequential numbering as the name.
Chapter breaks rely on the use of Markdown headings, not directory/file structure.
When you're ready to view your progress, the commands below will compile the book into the output/ directory in the appropriate format:
Compile into: PDF, HTML, Epub, Mobi
$ verku compile
Compile into a specific format:
$ verku compile --only [pdf|html|epub|mobi]
When compiling into HTML, Epub or Mobi, Verku generates the Table of Contents (TOC) based on the h2-h6 tags. The h1 tag is discarded because it's meant to be the book title.
To print the TOC, you need to print a variable called +toc+, using the eRb tag.
<%= toc %>
To create valid Mobi for Kindle, you need an appropriate cover image. Verku looks for image/cover.jpg, and compiles it into the Epub and Mobi files. Refer to the Kindle documentation for the cover requirements.
Verku needs the following dependencies satisfied:
- xelatex, available on via MacTeX (Mac) and MiKTex (Windows, unconfirmed).
- LaTex to HTML conversion done within the gem itself.
- HTML to EPUB via Merovex-EeePub. Install it directly from Github
- EPUB to Mobi via Kindlegen
- Patience - This was developed for my own writing purposes, and is likely incomplete as of this writing.
- Ben Wilson http://merovex.com
(The MIT License)
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS', WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.