I've used Calibre to add a cover to my ePub, because I want the reader to have it and not just see the micro image in their library. Have't tried composing yet.
I've done a lot of research into editing Calibre code and getting it to behave as you want it to, also in hand coding their internal TOC. If you need any advice, drop me a line and I'll help resolve any specific issues you may have (if I know how, that is).
MS Office and 'no-nonsense' don't belong in the same paragraph.
Sorry, that's the purpose of the comma, to separate two separate elements. I was referring to M$ Office AND the other 'writing only' tools currently popping up all over the place. I wasn't implying that M$ wasn't complicated, only that there are alternatives to also consider.
I'd rather use Notepad than MS Word.
Sorry, I understand your point, but I need something that supports Style Definitions, and Notepad just won't fly. OO and LO do, but since I worked in U.S. businesses for decades, I'm more familiar with Office. Hell, I can still hand code indexes, tying specific characters to specific pages in a document! Try that in Notepad. (Not that I do that in my fiction works either.)
@The Slim[e] Rhino 'D
The other thing is recognizing scene separators for the case that people use custom ones instead of *****
You're not the only one. In fact, while I use underscores ("_") in my html, I use graphic line separators in my original source documents. That's why I edit my html documents by hand (to remove both my crap and the crap that M$ inserts into html files).
Isn't that what the horizontal rule is for??
The horizontal rule has a particular look, it isn't as clean, and it tends to span too large of a space. I used to use it extensively, but never like the results, and have recently been stripping it out of ALL my documents! It produces a soft-focus, blurry line, rather than a clear distinction between sections. When I used it, I'd include 'width="xx%"' qualifiers.
@The Slim Rhino
I use custom markers in my Star Trek Stories that are meant to resemble the early Starfleet Logo (see "I grieve with thee" for reference). I've developed a logic for that, but it's a bit more tricky to code.
I'd do like SOL does, and simply delete anything you don't understand. SOL doesn't accept graphic section breaks only (only allowing graphics at the start of each chapter), so there's no point in including the graphics. If authors want to include it, they can edit your produced file. That's a reasonable solution, rather than trying to account for everything anyone might want to try.
If you need a bunch of special effects to carry your story you need to work on your writing skill.
No, we're writing for more than just SOL (which doesn't support it anyway). For a printed volume, graphics provide a nice contrast to text, and helps justify the higher cost of the books. Take a look at many published books, and you'll see a variety of graphics (especially in the hard-bound, or 6"x9" volumes, which is what many of us are publishing in).