HarperCollins Uses Sigil, the Open Source Epub Editor

There are a number of different ways to work with Epub, whether you’re creating the file with Scrivener, InDesign, calibre, or if you’re editing the EPub file with oXygen, XMLSpy,  Sigil, etc.

One reader over at MobileRead Forums noticed something when he took apart the latest Epub he’d bought. It looks like someone at the US branch of HC is using Sigil to create and work on Epub ebook files. The title in question is The Washington Trilogy, a political thriller.

Now, he had to take apart the ebook because while there’s no obvious mention of Sigil, it is referenced in the metadata. Curiously enough, there’s no other tools mentioned, not InDesign or anything. That leads me to think that Sigil was used to create the ebook as well as edit it.

I can understand  why. Sigil is a pretty nice tool for both editing Epub and converting to it. That’s why I use the app, and that’s probably why the reader was using it. I’m sure he wanted to fix the layout so it looked best on his preferred ereader.


MobileRead Forums


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Timothy Wilhoit8 May, 2012

    I saw the thread…it’s interesting that HC chose to use Sigil. I’m not terribly surprised they would use it…as you say, Sigil is a very useful tool. Do you imagine they used plastic or PayPal when they clicked that “Donate” button? :/

    No, I’m not holding my breath on that one.

  2. Noah8 May, 2012

    I really, really doubt the use of Sigil at HC is commonplace. It’s a neat tool but it’s incredibly simplistic and does some pretty ridiculous things to ePub files, like overriding global styles and using pixel values over ems. It also makes your file incredibly hard to edit again anywhere other than Sigil.

    It was probably used here for a quick fix like a typo or something. The moment you change anything at all in a file it’ll tag it as being edited by Sigil in the OPF.

    Then again, who knows what HC is doing if something like what happened with Stephenson’s “Readme” could slip through the cracks.

  3. Darwin Lopena8 May, 2012

    We’re using Sigil for quite sometime now and we’re very satisfied… What’s more nice about it is that you can feedback any bugs or any annoying stuff and they will fix it on the next release very quickly…

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    […] HarperCollins Uses Sigil, from The Digital Reader. Interesting if true. […]


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