Book designers often dread converting books to ebooks — the process of changing a greyscale printed book to various full-color ebooks: downloadable PDFs, ePUB FXL and Reflow, & Kindle books of various flavors from e-ink to large Fire tablet. It often seems a bit like wizard work requiring incantations, lots of smoke, and mirrors. Sad to say, on the Kindle end of things, that’s fairly accurate.
Yet things are not as they seem, as InDesign CC has come to the rescue for most of the process. This new book, which I released in September, 2016, shows a relatively simple process of conversion from print to downloadable color PDF to ePUB FXL (fixed layout) and/or Reflowable to Kindle Text book (Print Replica) and the normal reflowable Kindle book.
The key, as usual, is knowledge. This book explains the concepts and shares openly the actual requirements of the various suppliers and distributors. All ebooks have limitations, but now you’ll begin to see them as opportunities for creativity.
Converting books to ebooks is necessary
Most of fiction and a great deal of non-fiction books now sell over 50% of purchases as ebooks. More than that, most of the marketing is now done with ebooks. Print books have simply priced themselves out of the market. Traditional publishers have tried to do the same with ebooks—but the 21st century reader knows that those prices are simply driven by greed. There are thousands of excellent authors working outside that old system of gatekeepers, agents, and editor-driven production.
This is not software tutorials, but a process
You never will be able to automatically repurpose a document for print, PDF, ePUB FXL, ePUB Reflowable, and Kindle book with excellence. Automation can only produce average quality. But you can quickly redesign your styles.
This book will show you how these books are put together. It will explain the format limitations. Then it will talk about what is possible and give you the freedom to add excellent typography within those parameters.
The book covers the creation of:
- Downloadable PDFs: These are also the basis of Kindle’s Textbook, or Print Replica, version
- Fixed layout ePUB FXLs: How they differ from PDFs, plus who accepts them & who does not
- Reflowable ePUBs: with embedded fonts or not, what does not work, and what you can do
- Kindle Textbooks & KF8: and Amazon’s new KFX format with Enhanced Typography
This book will tell you, who already know how to produce an excellent book design for print, how to convert that design to a downloadable color PDF, a Kindle Textbook (Print Replica), an ePUB FXL version, a reflowable version with embedded fonts, another without fonts, and a dumbed down Kindle version for those things Kindle can’t handle yet. Converting books to ebooks has become the norm.
The design portion is up to you. This book is written to provide solutions to those irritating ebook production problems, so you can design more freely.This book will teach you how to get things under control. It will enable you to produce excellent, easily readable, comfortable books for your readers to enjoy.
The book is in the process of being released in all the formats and versions discussed (except for an ePUB FXL version). It will be up and available a Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iBookstore, Kobo, Scribd, and many more. Direct links will be available on a page under Publishing at the top of the blog pages and posts.