Learn about how a fixed-layout EPUB is a design replica and doesn't reflow. Fixed-layouts have thumbnail navigation as well as tables of contents. They can have animation, interactive buttons, and a narration or read-aloud feature.
- [Narrator] For certain kinds of eBooks, the reflowable EPUB format just won't cut it. You want to have complete control over the design and layout of every page and every spread. Normally, you can only get that with a PDF. But, you can also get that with a fixed-layout EPUB. For example, a lot of kids' books are in fixed-layout format. I'll double click Little Red Hen here, and you can see that the picture, which is right below the text, will stay there even if I resize the page.
It just shrinks or gets larger as I resize the page. There are no controls in iBooks to change the type size. Another example of a fixed-layout eBook is this one for English Cottage Gardens. Remember, this was an InDesign file and we've been working with it as a reflowable EPUB. But just for fun, I exported it to fixed-layout EPUB, since that's easy to do in InDesign, for you to see what it looks like. So, it looks almost exactly the same as reflowable, except it's a little hard to read.
The type is kind of small. And if I come up here to increase the type size, that's not possible. When I first started working with eBooks, I thought this was a magnifying glass, but it's not. It's a search. Now, this type is still live type, it's not a picture and I can select it. The way that InDesign creates its fixed-layout EPUBs, text selection is a little awkward, but it does work. This kind of book, one that's so text-heavy, is not really an option for fixed-layout EPUBs because people will find it very difficult to read.
But that kids' book will work well, and also things like brochures. So here is Leaf & Mortar brochure that's been created in either iBooks Author or InDesign. But it's fixed-layout. Oh, that looks like it must be InDesign, there you go. But it also has some animation and interactivity in it, which is an option that you can do with fixed-layout. So as I click here, you see that there are some buttons and I can jump back to the beginning from these buttons down here, and there's lots of other fun stuff that I'll talk about later on in this chapter that you can add to fixed-layout.
And as long as the EPUB conforms to all these rules, then it will be a valid EPUB, and that means, then, that you could upload it to the iBooks Store or the Kobo Store or some other eBook reader that supports fixed-layout EPUBs. And because it's valid, that means it should work just fine, and because it's an EPUB, that means you can sell it. Remember, you can't sell a PDF in the eBook stores. You can distribute, but you can't sell. I showed in a previous video how you can validate a reflowable EPUB, and you would do the same thing with a fixed-layout EPUB.
So if I grab one of these EPUBs that I've been working with, like the Little Red Hen kids' book, and I drag and drop it on top of EPUB Checker -- that's the app that I talked about for validating EPUBs -- it's putting it through its paces, and it says no errors or warnings. It's a happy green, this EPUB is valid. In many ways, then, the fixed-layout EPUB format is the best of both worlds. You can maintain the design integrity, like you can with a PDF, and yet it's a valid EPUB, meaning that you can sell it and distribute it at most eBook resellers.
- 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