Burning Slug Compiler
  • Paste the Book's Formatted Text Below
  • OR: Choose a Burning Slug (Markdown) Text File

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Settings & Styling
Formatting Help
Burning Slug v. 2.27 Cleveland © 2013,2014, 2015, 2016Legal/Credits
Formatting Your Book

10,000 foot view

A very short and simple Burning Slug book might look like this:

	# This is the first chapter

	It was a *dark* and **stormy** night.

	Suddenly, in the second paragraph, a shot rang out.

	# This is the second chapter

	This is the last line in my book.

Closer view

Write your book with a plain text editor. If your book is in word processor format (e.g., Microsoft Word), please copy and paste it into a plain text editor before formatting it and pasting it into Burning Slug. Word processor formatting is designed for text that will be printed on paper directly from the word processing program, not for use in an external system. The manual has some suggestions for plain text editors, if you don't already have one.

Text is emphasized (in the default style, italic) by surrounding it with asterisks, *like this*.

Text is made strong (in the default style, bold) by surrounding it with two asterisks, **like this**.

Indicate a new paragraph with a blank line.

Indicate a new chapter by prefixing the chapter title with a # character, as shown below:

	# This is the Title of My New Chapter

The chapter title should be on a line by itself, and the # character should be at the extreme left margin.

For more elaborate formatting (front and back matter, images, notes, references, styles, fonts, much more), see the manual.

Done
Images
  • Front Cover Image

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    The image should be in JPG format. The recommended minimum size for ebooks is 1536wx2500h. The recommended minimum size for print depends on the paper size and print resolution — see the manual.

  • Back Cover Image (optional)

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    The image should be in JPG format. The recommended minimum size for ebooks is 1536wx2500h. The recommended minimum size for print depends on the paper size and print resolution — see the manual.

  • Zip File of Interior Images
  • (ignore this if your book has no interior images)


     
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Image Help
Metadata
  • Metadata
Metadata is machine-readable data about your book. The most commonly used fields are here. You can also set these (and many other metadata values) using special tags within the text of your book. See the manual for details.

Note that any values you set in the book text will override anything you set here.
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Advanced Styling
  • CSS Styling
  • Zip file of custom styles/fonts (ebooks, optional — see manual):

     

  • Zip file of custom styles/fonts (website, optional — see manual):

     

  • Drop Caps/Lettrines
  • Font face (all formats): Font color: #
    Sample:
    ABC
  • PDF/Print Book Setttings
  • Units: Include cover image(s) in PDF
  • Font size: Font face:     See font samples
  • Chapter style:     See chapter samples     
  • Imposition:      Chapters begin on:
    • Trim Size

    • Margins
    • Autoset margins based on paper size (recommended)

Done
Restore default settings
Styling Help
Sample Books
If you wish, you can generate sample books that contain only selected chapters.

  • Sampling
  • Generate sample books
  • Parameters
  • Keep excluded material in table of contents
  • Replacement text for excluded material:
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Compile
All set!

Click Next to compile your book.

By clicking Next, you represent that you are the lawful copyright holder of the material you are compiling, or that you have acquired any necessary licenses or permissions from the lawful copyright holder(s).

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Styling Help
  • CSS Styling
  • Burning Slug lets you add your own custom style sheets, fonts, and so on. The style sheets, fonts, and other resources are put in zip files that you upload to Burning Slug. You can use different style sheets for your ebook and website if desired. If you're not using custom styles you can ignore these. Be aware that some ereaders don't support CSS styles, or offer only partial support. See the manual for details.

  • Drop caps/Lettrines
  • Some books use a large and ornate capital letter at the beginning of a chapter. These are known as "drop caps" or "lettrines". Here you can choose a drop cap font and font color. The font color is a hex triplet (as commonly used in web pages). Use 000 for black. If you need some help choosing a color, Colorpicker.com is a good resource. As with other CSS styles, not all platforms support drop caps (though an effort has been made to provide reasonable fallbacks on platforms that don't). To make a drop cap in your book, use code similar to {dropcap}A{undropcap}. That code will produce a large letter A. See the manual for details.

  • PDF Settings
  • Trim size: The book trim size is the size of the book after printing, trimming, and binding (i.e., the size of the actual page your reader will hold). Some printing processes require a bit of extra space on the spine side to account for binding. This is called the "gutter".

    Margins: The margins you need depend on how your book is going to be printed (or viewed on screen). In a bound book, you have two "inside" margins together in the center (spine) of the book. That means that the inner (spine) margins need to be smaller to avoid an unsightly appearance. In a book intended to be read on a screen, you may want to make the margins the same.

    Pagination: Burning Slug understands both inches and cm. You can choose either single-sided or two-sided printing (obviously your printer needs to be able to handle two-sided printing for the latter). For on-screen viewing, you may want to set this to single-sided. Printed books always start a new chapter on a right-hand page. For on-screen viewing, you may want to change this to "either".

    Font size: 11 or 12 is a good choice for most scenarios, but you can change it if needed.

    Include cover image(s): If your PDF is going to be printed and bound, the cover will probably be printed in a separate step (e.g., on a color printer, on different paper stock, etc.). If that's the case, turn this off. If the PDF is intended for on-screen reading, on the other hand, you probably do want to include the cover image(s).

    See the manual for details.
Done
Result!
  • Compilation Status
  • Download
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PDF/LATEX Help
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PDF Help
At the time of writing, Burning Slug does not produce PDFs directly (however, this is on the schedule for a future premium version). It produces an intermediate format called LATEX that needs to be processed on your own machine. LATEX software is free. For Mac OS X, you should install MacTEX. For Windows or Linux, you should install TEXLive.

Once you have a TEX system installed, extract all the files from the LATEX zip file (be sure you actually extract them; this won't work from a Windows compressed folder), then load the "YourBook'sName.tex" file into the TEXWorks application that comes with the TEX distribution. If the distribution is properly installed, you should be able to just double-click on the "YourBook'sName.tex" file. Set the system to use LuaLaTeX (not LuaTeX, pdfTeX, or any of the other options), then click the Typeset ("run") button. When it finishes, click the Typeset button a second time. TEXWorks needs to scan through the file twice to build (e.g.) the table of contents.

There are many options you can set for the LATEX output (fonts, paper size, and much more). You can change these on the Settings & Styling sub-panel from the main Compiler Panel.

For more details, see the manual.

Done

Image Help

Cover Image Help

The cover image(s) are pretty straightforward. Just click the button and choose the desired JPG (or JPEG) image from your hard drive. While Burning Slug provides a default front cover image, you should make your own image for any book you intend to distribute. You can make your cover image using any image editor that can produce JPEG-format image files (in theory, ebook readers also support several other formats. In practice, that's not the way to bet. It's safest to stick with JPEG at present). For more information, see the manual.

You may also include an optional back cover image. This will be placed at the end of ebooks and used at the end of a PDF (if you've enabled cover images for the PDF output). It should have the same dimensions as the front cover image.

Interior Image Help

Burning Slug expects all of your interior images to be enclosed in a ZIP file. For full details, see the manual.

Done
Resource Help
Done

Interior Images

The interior images selector is used to upload any images that are inside your book (illustrations, photographs, other artwork). All your images need to be put in a zip file organized in a specific way. If your book doesn't have any interior images, just ignore this. For more information, see the manual.

Styling

Burning Slug lets you add your own custom style sheets, fonts, and so on. This is done similarly to the way internal images are handled — the style sheets and fonts are put in a zip file that you upload to Burning Slug. You can use different style sheets for your ebook and website. If you're not using custom styles you can ignore these. For more information, see the manual.

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