Burning Slug
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Burning Slug is a rapid ebook formatting and production system.

We we say “rapid”, we mean rapid.

To see just how fast Burning Slug can be, keep clicking Next. :-)

This is version 2.27 Cleveland. What's new in this version?

  • Works with plain text...just paste in your text and go!
  • Ebooks, website, and print-ready PDF from the same manuscript.
  • Use simple Markdown-like formatting for chapter breaks, bold, italic, etc..
  • Produces standard ebooks (EPUB for iBooks, Nook, and others — easy to convert to Kindle format).
  • Produces LATEX code to generate high-quality PDFs for print.
  • Produces stand-alone websites.
Burning Slug v. 2.27 Cleveland © 2013-2016 Legal/Credits
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Burning Slug? What?
A. This is where the name comes from.

Q. Is it really free to use?
A. Yep. The basic edition is free. If you find the software useful, please buy a manual. Future editions may include premium features for subscribers.

Q. Does Burning Slug produce well-formed ebook files?
A. Yep. Unless you've added something weird (e.g., unsupported raw HTML), or left something out (e.g., forgot to upload the images for a book that has images), Burning Slug books should pass the EPUB Validator with flying colors.


What's New in this Version?

2.27 Cleveland:

Conditional compilation for different versions. You can use {kindle}...{unkindle}, {ibooks}...{unibooks}, {epub}...{unepub}, {print}...{unprint}, and {web}...{unweb} to enclose material that should only appear in the Kindle, iBooks, plain vanilla EPUB, print, and web editions, respectively. Special editions will be generated for Kindle and iBooks if necessary (using custom styles/fonts in iBooks also requires a custom edition). A new %%compact-toc metadata directive has been added that lets you specify a compact Table of Contents format for ebooks. This is useful if you don't want a full-length Table of Contents to eat into your sample size (the former workaround was to place the ToC at the end of the book, however Amazon is now requiring that it be at the front). This can be combined with conditional compilation, so you could do something like: {kindle} %%compact-toc {unkindle} if you want to generate the compact ToC format for only the Kindle version.

2.26 Redoubt:

Considerable improvement of poetry formatting. The ebook version now matches the typeset PDF version more closely. Also, a bug related to poems that contain internal blank lines has been fixed.

MathJax (used to render LaTeX for ebooks) was occasionally interfering with some aspects of the user interface, so it has been banished to an iframe jail.

2.25 Spurr:

Support for box outlines around arbitrary blocks of text using {box}{unbox},{roundbox}{unroundbox},{greybox}{ungreybox}, and {roundgreybox}{unroundgreybox}

Single box.

Round box.

Grey box.

Round grey box.

Support for hanging indent (used in some bibliographic styles, e.g. APA). Use {hang}{unhang} to produce results similar to:

Bukowski, C. (1979). Play the piano drunk like a percussion instrument until the fingers begin to bleed a bit. Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press. Hobbes, T. (1657). Stigmai ageōmetrias, agroichias, antipoliteas, amatheias, or, Markes of the absurd geometry, rural language, Scottish church-politicks, and barbarismes of John Wallis, professor of geometry and doctor of divinity. London: Printed for Andrew Crooke. Kirgo, G. (1960). How to write ten different best sellers now -in your spare time-and become the first author on your block, unless there’s an author already living on your block, in which case you’ll become the second author on your block, and that’s okay, too, and other stories. New York: Simon and Schuster. Rakoff, D. (2013). Don’t get too comfortable: the indignities of coach class, the torments of low thread count, the never- ending quest for artisanal olive oil, and other first world problems (Unabridged. ed.). New York: Anchor Books.

The SVG parser in Internet Explorer 10 is seriously broken, which makes the LaTeX image generation in 2.2 not work in IE. Thus IE is once again off the supported browser list. It will return if Microsoft fixes it or I discover a workaround (note that this doesn't affect viewing generated sites in IE, only generating them).

2.2 Novarupta:

Support for basic LaTeX equations in ebooks has been added. Simple LaTeX equations can be rendered by surrounding the LaTeX code with {tex} and {untex}. The LaTeX is rendered directly in PDF books (of course) and is rendered to images for ebooks. This allows you to do things like:

\frac {-b \pm \sqrt {b^2 - 4ac}} {2a}


\int_0^\infty e^{-x^2} dx=\frac{\sqrt{\pi}}{2}

Code listings in ebooks now have captions at the top, to be consistent with the paper/PDF output. Code listings in both ebooks and PDF are now surrounded by a small border, to more effectively set off the code from the surrounding text.

2.01 Pavlof :

Generation of sample books that contain only specific chapters. This is done right in the UI. No manuscript changes are required.

Superscript and subscript are now supported, with {sup}/{unsup} and {sub}/{unsub} tags, respectively.

Tables, code listings, illustrations, poems, etc. can now have symbolic names. You can refer to them by name in the text, and have that name substituted with the appropriate reference in the compiled book. No more tedious manual renumbering of illustrations! See the manual for details.

The text itself can have named labels and label references in it. That makes it possible to use Burning Slug to produce programmed learning materials or books similar to the old-school "Choose Your Own Adventure"® series. Label references are automatically substituted with hyperlinks (in ebooks) or "Turn to page XXX" instructions (in printed books) that take the reader to the correct location. See the manual for details.

Numerous predefined macros such as {title}, {author}, etc. that will be replaced with the appropriate information when the book is compiled. You can also define your own macros that will be substituted with any text you choose. See the manual for details.

Syntax coloring and line numbering for computer source code. Approximately 100 different computer languages are supported. Note that coloring only has a visible effect in ebooks and web sites, as code listings in print books are typically printed in black and white. The line numbering, however, works in both print and electronic forms. This lets you do things like:

50: function foo(bar){
51:     alert("baz");
52: }

See the manual for details.