Learn about how ebooks are created by people on their own computers, using Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, and other third-party services.
- [Instructor] Now that we've seen all the different formats that an ebook can take, how do you create that. Well that's actually what this course is about. It's an overview of how you create these different formats. But I'm going to summarize it even more in this one single video. So let's start out with the program that most people use to actually write a book which is Microsoft Word. Can you save a word document as an epub as an ebook? No you cannot. You can't do a save as and you can't export it. Which is surprising. What you can do is you can export it to a pdf which I'll be talking about in an entire chapter about pdf ebooks.
You just click acrobat in the word ribbon whether it's Mac or Windows and then you choose create PDF. And I'll go into this in more detail later. You can also export to pdf in basically any program known to man. So, PDF eBooks are very simple to create. What if you want to create the reflowable epub which most people think of as the standard kind of ebook. Then you need to move to a different program. For example, Adobe Indesign which is the ubiquitous page layout program used by most publishers, can export to both reflowable and fixed layout epub.
So here we have our English Cottage Gardens book open and if I wanted to export this to a epub, I'd just go to the file menu, go down to export, and here I can choose either reflowable or fixed layout epub. Pretty cool. You can do the same thing with the main competition to Indesign which is Cork Express. That program can also export to epub. As can Apple's Pages App. Apple's Pages app is an interesting program.
They just turned it into a completely free program for any Macintosh or IOS user earlier this year. It used to only come installed on new computers and otherwise, you had to purchase it. Now it's free and you can download it from the app store. Pages is kind of like a page layout program as well as a word processing program. And it wasn't until recently that they even included an epub export ability as well as an epub template which we have open right here.
So here I could actually just go ahead and type over this and format my book and add pages and so on. I can copy paste or import word documents into here and then when I'm done, go to the file menu, choose export to, epub, which is kind of neat. Another Apple only program that is free is ibooks author. I'm going to come back to this in a few seconds to talk about ibooks author owned proprietary format that ibooks but a lot of people don't know that ibooks, the most recent versions, can also create reflowable epubs.
Here, I've opened up one of the many templates that are available to create reflowable epubs in ibooks author and then when I'm done adding pages and so on, I can just go to the file menu, choose export and create an epub. It's pretty cool. And while I'm here in ibooks author, let me close this and mention that ibooks author is actually meant to create what they call multitouch ebooks. That's what Apple calls them. Very interactive kind of ebooks and it has its own special extension that ibook and I have an entire chapter in this title talking about how to work with the program.
But if you want to create one of these multitouch ebooks that are only available for apple IOS devices, then it's pretty simple and that the only program that can create them is ibooks author. So you would do it from here or you could export to ibooks or more frequently, you'd just click the publish button up here and you can jumpstart and get your book right up in the ibook store right from the program. Which is kind of cool now let's talk about the kindle format. How do you create a book for the kindle bookstore? Well Amazon tries to make it really easy.
In the chapter talking about working with kindle ebooks I'll go into this in more detail. But essentially, you start out by creating a free account on amazon kindle direct publishing or KDP as everybody calls it. You can use your existing Amazon account or create a new one just for this purpose and when you log in, then you can click create a kindle ebook. And here you'll enter information like who's the author and what's the title and so on. But in the help files that it comes with, it explains that you could upload either a regular reflowable epub or even a simple website that you've saved out from word if you'd like.
So you can even not do anything else other than create a word document, save it in special format and upload it to KDP. I would say though that most professional ebook developers and designers start out by creating an epub, a reflowable epub. And then they run it through a free utility that you can download from the Amazon website called Kindle previewer. So here, I'm running Kindle previewer and I've opened up our friendly ebook and what you're looking at is what this epub would look like if it were on a kindle.
That is, if it were converted to a mobi file. Once you have it open in kindle previewer, you can go to the file menu, choose export. And it will offer to convert this file to a mobi and export it right to your desktop. So you don't really need to create a mobi because as I said, amazon will convert an epub or a word file for you but most people want to do it on their own to make sure that everything came out right. And then they upload the mobi file. Finally, if you don't want to do any of this work yourself. You just want to write the book and have somebody else do it, you can hire a third party ebook developer or designer.
Or you can use a number of online services. For example, smashwords is well known in that it gives you a guideline of how to create a word document using special headings and so on. And then you upload your word document and it will publish it to all of these places. It'll do the conversion for you. Similar service is called draft to digitaL and also lulu.com so all these people are mainly for self-publishing authors. But they do a pretty good job.
Then if you want to do either reflowable or fixed layout, I recommend that you check out blurb.com which is a wonderful service where you can upload your manuscripts or your indesign files or pdfs and they will take care of converting them to epub either fixed layout or reflowable right from here. To sum up, to create a pdf is really simple. Any program can do that. To create a multi touch booK from ibooks authors, pretty simple, you just need a Mac running ibooks and then you publish it right from there.
It's when you want to create a reflowable or fixed layout epub that you have to choose one of the solutions that I've shown right here. And luckily, there are a lot of solutions that run the gammet from free to not so free but lots of bells and whistles.
- Finding, downloading, and reading free ebooks
- Choosing the right format for your ebook
- Building reflowable EPUBs and fixed-layout EPUBs
- Using tools like Word, Sigil, calibre, Jutoh, Pages, PubCoder, and InDesign
- Adding animation and interactivity such as clickable buttons
- Creating ebooks for the Kindle
- Learning the pros and cons of PDF ebooks
- Creating reflowable and multitouch ebooks with iBooks Author