Fixing Smashwords Epub validation errors


Wow! I’ve just landed my clean HTML code with a load of epub validation errors!

Here’s what they mean:

tags! tags! tags!

First thing to do is to double (triple) check all your code is good. I found 1 closing div tag out and I got err’s. So check them all!.

1. img tag problems? Make sure there is no space between the last ” and the end of the closing tag. Eg:

 img src="#" alt="" height="100%" /> <-- bad
 img src="#" alt="" height="100%"/><-- good

Oddly, this only appeared to error on my first image of the page. So I recommend adjusting one and then running a validation check

2. em tags. Nope. Get rid of them. I had blockquotes too. In the end I got rid of them and added some font styles to replace the em tags, eg:

 div id="blockquote" style="text-align: center; font-size: 150%; font-style: italic;"

3. sup tags! Kill sups – add the following css:


Wait up a minute…

I’ve already managed to get my file to validate – Hooray?! I’m confused because many of the errors completely disappeared by making small changes. For example: errors appear to be created by blockquote and em tags (once corrected) vanished from the rest of file. I expected an inconsistency to be, erm, consistent. But no. em and sup tags are throughout my file, but the validator doesn’t care. Certain tags appear to cause issues: I’m looking at you em tag!

This place didn’t appear to be much help in figuring out what the errors meant. Ahh well, at least my file has passed validation. If the validator link above passes, then it is extremely likely that the Smashwords meatgrinder will too – as it is based on the same thing.

Done – Mark 🙂


dipping my fingers in eInk

I have me eReader… and now I need to blog about it. But I don’t want to talk about what it is, I want to talk about what it will be. 

The moment I switched it on, and saw the screen quality, was the moment I realised that all my printed books would slowly become obsolete. Remember the first time you converted, ripped or downloaded an Mp3? that feeling that everything from here on, is set to change – that’s the same feeling I had over this shiny brushed metal machine.

The reading surface is what I want to shout about. Not the technology from the brand, the screen, or ‘surface’ – which is probably a better name for it. It isn’t a screen, it doesn’t resemble anything I have ‘ever’ owned. Think about that. Or anything you have ever owned.

Consider your LCD watch, your laptop, your calculator, your microwave digital timer, your tv screen, your phone, your mp3 player and now consider that the screen on the eReader does not resemble any of those at all. This is new. New like the iPod touch. Its that new. Not ‘new’ as in recent, ‘new’ as in different, revolutionary and unprecedented.

Its a surface, not a screen. It isn’t backlit, it isn’t glossy, and this is the big one…. the brighter the day the better it works. You have to try one of these things to understand what I’m talking about. Every other electrical device you own, that has a screen of some sort, fails in sunlight. This thing excels. This is the very first digital electrical device I have ever owned that I want to take outside in the blinding summer (ok autumn) sunshine.

This surface (not this product) will replace books, it will make your book collection obsolete, publishers are right to be worried, paper now has a serious competitor and one day you will understand exactly why I am this certain.