Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Ebook vs EPUB, part of InDesign CC 2018: EPUB.
- [Instructor] Let's talk about the difference between an ebook and an EPUB. Because I find a lot of people get those terms confused. Now if you're pretty sure that you know what an EPUB is, you don't need to watch this video, you can skip ahead but I like to start at the very beginning and make sure that we're all at the same level. This course is about how to convert an InDesign file to a particular kind of ebook called an EPUB. Now an ebook in general is any kind of book that you can read on a screen, it's digital, right.
It may never have existed as a print version, it could just be digital or it could be a digital version of a famous print book. Not every ebook is an EPUB. An EPUB is a particular type of ebook like how a jpeg is a particular type of digital image. Right, there's lots of different kinds of images, gifs and jpegs and tifs and eps's but a jpeg is a particular kind of image. An EPUB is a particular kind of ebook. I have other courses in the library that talk about this in a bit more depth and especially the Ebook Foundations course that I did goes into the different kinds of ebooks that are available, reflowable EPUBs, fixed-layout EPUBs, Ebooks for the Kindle, PDF ebooks, iBooks Author ebooks.
Now the one that we are focusing on in this course are mainly reflowable EPUBs. That's kind of the standard bearer of ebooks these days. Let's see how a particular InDesign publication might look in these different formats. Here we have a book that we're going to be looking at a lot. It's just a few chapters from a book called English Cottage Gardens, let me center that on the screen, with a short Table of Contents and some text. Now all these fonts are coming from Typekit so if you're opening up the file, you might need to sync these fonts with Typekit first in order for you to see this.
But it's your typical kind of book, here's what it looks like in the pages panel. Now I have this book already open in different formats. So for example, let's jump to Acrobat. This is a format that we're all familiar with, PDF. You just export to PDF from InDesign and here we have the same book. Looks beautiful, it's a print replica, a design replica of what the book looked like in InDesign. All the text is selectable, you could search for text if you wanted to, you could print this out and it would look exactly like this.
What wouldn't work very well is this PDF viewed on a small screen because if I change the size of the window you see the type just gets smaller, it doesn't reflow and if you've ever tried to read a PDF on a smart phone or small tablet, you know what I'm talking about. So I love PDFs and I do distribute PDFs as ebooks of a sort but they're not the kind that I know that people are going to be looking at very closely in mobile devices. For that kind of ebook, you want something that's reflowable.
Now I have that up and running in iBooks. If you're on Windows, you can use Adobe Digital Editions to view these reflowable EPUBs and I have another video later in this title that talks about how to view ebooks on Windows but here on my Mac running iBooks, which unfortunately only runs on Macintosh I can show ya that I have the same book and let me go back to the Table of Contents. Here's the same book as a reflowable EPUB.
Enlarge this screen and just like a PDF, I can select text, I can come up here and I can search for text, I can go to the Table of Contents, I can move back and forth just by tapping these buttons. Cover got a little messed up there but that's not an issue for this particular video. And it looks good, it's the same fonts that we were using in InDesign, the Typekit fonts. What is nice here is that if I resize the window then the type reflows to fit so see the line endings change, the type size itself does not change but the line endings change.
It's like water filling in a vessel of a different size. That's what I think of as reflowable. Another feature of reflowable EPUBs is that you can change the type size. So up here if I tap, I can make the type size smaller to fit more text. I can switch to different fonts, original is the font that I embedded when I created this EPUB. EPUBs are the kind of things that people have in mind when you talk about ebooks. "Oh, like what I get on the kindle." "Oh, like what I get in the iBooks store." Yes, now there's another type of EPUB called a fixed-layout EPUB.
This is the same book exported as a fixed-layout EPUB. A fixed-layout EPUB is like a PDF and an EPUB combined. The book looks about the same, there's a little bit of redraw when we switch pages. I can select text but we're getting this weird spacing in between the letters, still I can select it and copy it. I can search, the type does not change size like a PDF. However, because it's officially an EPUB, it can be sold anywhere that EPUBs can be sold which makes a big difference.
You can't sell an EPUB on the iBooks store or the Kindle store but you can sell a fixed-layout EPUB. And again, I have a couple courses in this library on creating fixed-layout EPUBs which are perfect for kids books and picture books and things like that. From InDesign or really from any app. We've looked at a few. Let's look at another one. Here is the same book in my Kindle reader and this is the Kindle app running on my Macintosh but the idea is, this is how the Kindle would interpret this book.
Again, we have the cover messed up. But there is the Table of Contents that's linked to the actual chapters. The Kindle is not using the embedded fonts. Sometimes it has a problem with that, so it's using its default device fonts and we'll be talking a lot more about converting your EPUBs to Kindles later on in this title. But you see there is a number of formats that you can export or create from your InDesign publication and the one that we're focusing on is the reflowable EPUB which is a published standard of specifications that we'll look at in more detail later on in this title.
- Fixed-layout vs. reflowable EPUB
- EPUB workflow, from manuscript to final upload
- Preparing the InDesign file for EPUB conversion
- Using styles for text formatting
- Mapping styles to HTML and CSS tags
- Adding a TOC
- Embedding fonts
- Optimizing images
- EPUB export options
- Previewing and testing EPUB files
- Converting EPUBs to Kindle format