Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the InDesign-to-EPUB workflow, part of InDesign CC: EPUB Fundamentals.
First of all, this is the old method, which is to start in InDesign, proof the EPUB in Adobe Digital Editions, and then tear it apart and edit all of the interior files, then proof it in a final actual eReader, validate it, and upload it. Adobe is trying their best to eliminate the central step of having to edit the EPUB file, and they're doing a pretty good job of it. So here is the new workflow. First of all, you start with InDesign and you prepare the InDesign file for optimum EPUB export and we're going to be talking about that in detail in the next chapter.
You might need to do stuff with the styles, do stuff with the layout, and so on. Then you export it to EPUB and you preview it, and give it a rough proof in ADE, the program that we've been looking at so far. Now, if it doesn't look right or you forgot to do something or an image is wrong, or a caption's in the wrong place, then instead of editing the EPUB file, you go back to InDesign, and you change some of the settings there. You add an object style, you change a paragraph style, you move something to the left or to the right, then you export to EPUB again and preview it again.
Once the rough proof looks right, once you know that the formatting and the images and the table of contents are basic, basically correct, when you've got all the content in there you want in there and nothing more, then you validate it. This is a little program that exists on the web or that you can download to your Mac or your PC that checks the components, the innards, of that EPUB file and makes sure that they comply to the rules in the IDPF standard for EPUB 2 or EPUB 3.
And if they don't, if something is missing in the manifest, if a image is the wrong format, something like that, then it'll spit it out and say error, and then you will correct it. And you correct it back in InDesign because InDesign can export a perfectly valid EPUB 2 or EPUB 3 file. One thing that might make it invalid is if you forgot, for example, to include the title of the book in file info, which is available under the File menu in Indesign. We'll be talking about that too.
So if it had an error because it was missing a title, or missing a publisher name, then you'd go back to InDesign, fill that out, export to EPUB, and validate it again. Once you know that you have all the content there that's basically formatted right and it's valid, then you up the ante and you start proofing on the actual devices that your customers will be using or the actual software that your customers will be using. So, ADE is convenient because it's a desktop app, it's right there, you can set it as the default EPUB reader to make sure that the table of contents is right and that chapters are appearing in the right order, and so on.
But ADE doesn't give you a 100% fidelity view of what this book is going to look like on a Nook or on a Kindle or on an iPad, so you really need to start assembling a test bed of devices that you can proof your EPUB on these devices, at least get yourself an iPad. Kindle has software that will let you preview it, getting very close to 100% fidelity on the desktop, called Kindle Previewer. And when the new Mac OS comes out, called Mavericks, right now it's not out, during this recording, but they say that you'll be able to proof in iBooks.
iBooks will be an app on the Macintosh, so you can proof it in iBooks right there. I don't know how 100% true it will be to iBooks on an iPad or an iPhone though, so you really need to proof your files on the actual device, and again, if you have an indent that's going wonky or a drop caps not working right, you back to InDesign, edit it, reexport to EPUB, and check it there. Finally you do one last final validation check, because iBooks and other devices can open up EPUBs that aren't quite valid, so you always want to do one last validation check, before you upload it to the resellers, like the Nook store or the Apple iBook store, or you convert it for Kindle.
And there you can just sit back baby and wait for the millions of dollars to come your way because now you have a beautiful EPUB that works on all your customers' devices and is valid and that is the new InDesign to eBook workflow.
- Understanding the difference between an ebook and EPUB
- Creating an EPUB workspace in InDesign
- Managing the sequence of content
- Creating a table of contents for navigation
- Adding metadata
- Cleaning up text formatting
- Optimizing images for EPUB export
- Previewing and validating EPUB files
- Converting EPUBs to Kindle MOBI format