2: The Ins and Outs of EPUB

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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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Show notes

Let's define the format

Are all EPUBs created equal?

  • Fixed Layout EPUBs
  • Flowing EPUBs

EPUB's directionality:

  • 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

TidBITS Publishing

  • 24 years of internet publishing
  • 11 years of Ebooks

TidBITS' blast from the past

  • Microsoft Word and PDF
  • Apple's Pages

TidBITS workflow

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

Michael's workflow

Macworld's workflow

  • Started with PDF
  • Indesign's EPUB export
  • Pages EPUB support
  • Finally, Indesign with CS 5.5
  • Building CSS style sheet

Kindle Previewer

KF8 file format works with almost all devices

iBooks Author

  • 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
  • Advice
Posted on June 4, 2014 and filed under Podcasts, Publishing, EPUB, Ebooks.