EPUB and its derivative Amazon MOBI format are the lifeblood of electronic readers and ebook software. Mastering the details of getting a good workflow and a consistent result requires arcane knowledge and remarkable patience. Joining host Glenn Fleishman of The Magazine on this episode to discuss perfecting EPUBs are Tonya Engst of TidBITS Publishing; Michael E. Cohen, an ebook guru; and Serenity Caldwell of Macworld magazine.
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Let's define the format
- What is EPUB?
Are all EPUBs created equal?
- Fixed Layout EPUBs
- Flowing EPUBs
- Everything flows in one direct
- Think of it as a collection of web pages
Could be tricky for users used to PDF?
EPUB is designed for portable readers
- Limited resolution
- Limited size
- Good for novels
- Bad for photo journals
Glenn's blast from the past
Can't you just choose Export? Cue laughter. Watch Serenity's talk at the Çingleton Deux conference in 2012.
Ebooks are an immersive experience
- 24 years of internet publishing
- 11 years of Ebooks
TidBITS' blast from the past
- Microsoft Word and PDF
- Apple's Pages
- Uses NisusWriter Pro
- Supports automation
- Gets converted to Markdown
- Leanpub uses Markdown to create EPUB and MOBI
Markdown is becoming more and more useful across the web.
You can create content in Markdown or use Scrivener to convert
Keep it simple, stupid
Rule of thumb: Fork as late in the process as possible
- Leanpub and Take Control
- Side effect: made books easier to write
- Even previously worked with Automator
- Apple's Book Proofer
- Started with PDF
- Indesign's EPUB export
- Pages EPUB support
- Finally, Indesign with CS 5.5
- Building CSS style sheet
KF8 file format works with almost all devices
- iPad currently only device supported
- Pages is being improved and could provide an answer in the future
More apps and services
- Vellum has great text but no images
This whole process is in the adolescent stage
Working with ebookstores
- Starting out
- Numbers tapering off
- Pushing out new books
- Pushing out updates
The Metadata Problem
Reader expectations, demands and deliverables
A look back at lessons learned
- Time savers
- Pitfalls to avoid