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21 May 2014
I confess I don't wear every hat that some indie authors do.

For example I seek help with editing and proofing my work and I paid for my cover design with: and very happy I am with it too.

Even then there are still many hats I do have to wear:

Author, Salesmen, Marketing, Web-design, SEO, Accounts - yes I have budgets and tax returns to consider, Content producer (you are reading this blog after all) and Public Relations are just some of the different hats I can think of that I, like man other indie authors, have to wear.

On top of this you have various IT skills, just being more than competent with Word is consider a skill in most work places.  But on top of that I use Scrivener, various programs designed to help me manage my twitter accounts, website design software, etc.  But on top of all that I now get to add programmer.

Okay so I'm not about to write the next Angry Birds and I must confess I already have basic program skills from my day job but still today I found myself editing ePub errors generated by the latest edition of George and the Dragon.

I've tried several times lately to upload this new document to the Google Play website and every time I have been seeing the following error:

Error: Unable to sanitize epub

Not the most helpful of errors - but then I don't think I've ever seen a software error that is.  In fact I spend my life trying to devise ways to remove them completely from the software I provide support for in my day job.

Google as always is your friend in these matters and I soon found out I had errors in the file that need to be fixed.

At first I tried to fix them in Sigil, I've not used Sigil before but it has a built in ePub checked that highlighted a couple of errors.  After a little head scratching I worked out how to resolve them.  But this still lead me to a file that could not be sanitized.

I then referred back to Google and did a search for an ePub checker.  I settled on using this site:

This highlighted new errors - it returns something that looks like this (although I removed some of the errors to stop them driving you insane):

ERROR: index_split_039.html(87,32): attribute "value" not allowed here; expected attribute "dir", "id", "lang", "style", "title" or "xml:lang"

ERROR: toc.ncx(140,73): assertion failed: identical playOrder values for navPoint/navTarget/pageTarget that do not refer to same target

Even to someone who has a clue, albeit a small one, that's pretty intimidating.  Still I worked my way through them.  Fixed them, create new errors in the process and finally had a document that came up Green in the checker.  Not only that but it has uploaded to Google Play without complaint.

As an aside but slightly related I have pet peeve as they are called.  If you click on any of the links I provide in my blogs they should always open in a new window.  That way you don't close my blog and can come back to it should you wish.  This is not hard to do when I create the link there's a little check box that reads:

'Open this link in a new window'

In word press you have to set the link to _blank.

Neither are difficult and  I think it's a much better way of setting your links up if you don't want to loose someone when they click on a link and leave your site for pastures new.


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