The electronic book landscape is rapidly evolving. Learn the common file types, builder applications, and tools for reading ebooks.
- [Instructor] Let's take a minute to talk about the Electronic Book Landscape, and there are core players, electronic book files, applications to build an electronic book with, and the devices or apps that people use to read an electronic book on. Electronic books are distributed as downloadable files. There are several files to choose from, but you can think of them as these basic types. Plain text documents, which may only contain the text of a book. PDF documents, that contain the text, and can be beautifully crafted with custom typography, graphics, and even some interactive media elements, such as audio and video.
ePub documents that have a .epub file extension come in two flavors, flowable and fixed layouts. Flowable ePubs are similar to text documents in that a reader can change the size and even the face of the font that the text is being displayed in. When this happens, the text on the book automatically reflows to fit the available space on the page. Fixed layout ePubs are more like PDFs in that the designer of the book has more precise control over where every element will appear on a page.
However, for these types of ePubs, the reader cannot change the size or the face of the font that they prefer to read in. Kindle books are a special kind of ePub that was created by Amazon. It's most similar to the flowable ePubs. An iBook that has a .ibook file extension is a special type of ePub that Apple created to give readers and designers the best of both worlds. Designers can precisely control the layout of the page, creating beautifully designed books, and readers can choose to override the settings and convert their book into a format that allows for different sized fonts, and some may argue, a better reading experience.
iBooks can also contain a wide variety of interactive elements, such as embedded media, keynote presentations, 3D objects, and custom HTML5 widgets. To create these eBooks, you need an application to build them with. iBooks Author, Pages, and Adobe InDesign are all examples of applications you can use on your Mac to create electronic books with. All three can create ePubs and PDFs, but only iBooks Author can create electronic books in the iBooks format.
That brings us to the electronic book readers. Book readers can be in the form of a dedicated hardware eReader, or software applications. Nearly all eReaders can read a reflowable ePub, but only a handful can read fixed layout ePubs. Macs and IOS devices, such as iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touch's can run an app called iBooks. With the iBooks app, you can read PDFs, both kinds of ePubs and iBooks.
Each eBook reader displays each type of electronic book slightly differently. For instance, a flowable ePub that was created with pages on a Mac when it's read with the iBook's app, will have that classic page turn animation of a real book, but it cannot contain any interactive elements such as a keynote file, whereas iBooks and ePubs created with iBooks Author can contain interactive widgets, but they don't get that page turn animation.
For the rest of this course, we'll be using iBooks Author to create an electronic book in the iBooks format that can be read with the iBooks application running on a Mac or an IOS device.
- Installing iBooks Author
- Choosing a template
- Creating a book cover
- Inserting chapters, sections, and pages
- Adding interactive content
- Previewing, publishing, and sharing your book