Join Kevin Callahan for an in-depth discussion in this video Good candidates for fixed-layout ebooks, part of Creating Fixed-Layout Ebooks for the Kindle.
- Publishers and designers love their print designs, and they want to use them in all their published editions. But, is every print a good layout a good candidate for the fixed layout treatment? Let's take a look at some simple examples and see how they work and talk about some decisions that need to be made. We're looking here at a picture book, which is your typical candidate for fixed layout treatment, and we're looking at it in iBooks on an iPhone. Now, we're looking at it in iBook on an iPhone, because sales these days of iPhones, or smartphones in general, are fast app pacing tablets.
So, chances are, a lot more books are being read on an iPhone on a smaller screen than on the big tablets. So, we're zoomed in here on a piece of text in iBooks on the iPhone and to find out where we are on the page, we have to zoom out and see where we are. Then, we have to zoom back in, then zoom over there to see the next bunch of text and zoom down there to look at the illustration. And then we go to the next page, we swipe over, and then we zoom back in. Now, this doesn't present the cleanest reading experience to me, because my big problem is: where is the rest of the page? Where is the context? When you're reading a picture book, in particular, you want to know where one piece of text is leading and where the next piece of text is picking up from.
Which you can do from the flat view, but then the text is really small, and if you're a small child trying to read this, then you really do want to zoom in on it, but then you lose the context of where the rest of the page goes. Now, let's look at the same book on a Kindle fixed layout platform on Kindle for the iPhone. So, we're picking up here on Kindle for the iPhone on the same spread, and you can see the spread is flat. You can see where all the text is. When you want to start seeing the text expanded, you double-tap on it, and the spread remains flat. You swipe once, and you get to the next pop-up, and then you keep swiping, and things keep popping up.
And you don't really lose anything. You lose a little piece of that chicken over there on the top right because the pop-up has to cover part of the illustration, but, largely, everything remains in-tact. You go to the next spread, and everything remains in-tact, and you know where you are while you're reading. This is a much more pleasurable reading experience to me, and if a lot of your sales are going through Amazon for this kind of fixed layout treatment, then I think your readers will enjoy reading this book.
- What is a fixed-layout ebook?
- Good candidates for fixed layout
- Comparing the Kindle format to EPUB3
- Managing fonts
- Inserting images
- Using the Kindle Previewer
- Exporting InDesign documents for Kindle formatting
- Working with the Kindle fixed-layout template
- Using media queries