Resources

  • SumoMe

The following resources will help you create your ePUB files.

#eprdctn Hour: Wednesdays at 11 on Twitter!

Here’s a list of upcoming sessions. All take place at 11AM (EDT) at #eprdctn. Click here to sign up to lead a session.

 

2016

January 6, Job intake, change orders: How do you track the chaos? led by Keith Snyder @noteon

January 13, Direct to Kindle ebook tips, led by Tina Henderson and Laura Brady @tinahender and@LauraB7

February 10, The worker is worth the wages — Ebook pricing, hosted by @brightwing

#eprdctn Hour Session History

Here are Storify editions of past #eprdctn hours. Check back here if you’ve missed a week or two, or if you need to find a resource mentioned during the hour.

June 10, 2015, Laura Brady (@LauraB7) led a discussion on the eprdctn job market: https://storify.com/LauraB7/the-eprdctn-job-market

June 17, Joshua Tallent (@jtallent) talked about selling direct to consumers, and #eprdctn solutions that make it less painful. Here’s Danielle Mulhall’s (@bookophile) compilation:  https://storify.com/bookophile/eprdctn-hour.

On June 24, Kevin Callahan (@BNGOBooks) led a discussion on Letting Go: when to move on from seemingly unsolvable issues, with side trips discussing contracts and #eprdctn on Instagramhttps://storify.com/KevinBNGO/let-go-and-other-things-eprdtn-hour-june-24

Iris Febres (@ePubPupil) took over on July 1, explaining her approach to Storyboarding, and how to get away from a fixed-layout mindset and go with the (re)flow: https://storify.com/KevinBNGO/storyboarding-ebooks

July 8 brought Tzviya Siegman (@TzviyaSiegman) talking about EPUB Standards and why everyone should be involved in development and implementation: https://storify.com/LauraB7/standards-why-you-should-care-and-how-to-get-invol

On July 15, Colleen Cunningham (@BookDesignGirl), ebook developer and CMS workflow manager at F&W Media, talked about HTML5 and semantic markup in EPUB3. Lots of real examples, markup:  https://storify.com/KevinBNGO/epub3-what-markup-works-and-where

July 29 brought two perspectives on animations in ebooks: @DianeBurns and @Kris_Vetter. Great material: https://storify.com/KevinBNGO/animation-in-ebooks-indesign-and-css3-approaches

On August 5, @JustinPutney of @ajarproductions talked and asked questions about what we want in interactivity for ebooks. Read it here:  https://storify.com/BookDesignGirl/interactivity-in-ebooks

On August 12, Laura Brady(@LauraB7) mapped out the coming year in #eprdctn-related conferences, including the Indesign and Photoshop conferences in November in Denver, and PePcon in San Diego next Spring. https://storify.com/LauraB7/mapping-out-the-eprdctn-conference-season

On August 19, Tina Henderson (@tinahender) shared great insight and some hacks for iBooks Author projects. Even if you don’t work on that platform, this is worth a read.  https://storify.com/BookDesignGirl/ibooks-author-hacks

On August 26, Keith Snyder (@noteon) finished the August sessions with a chat about receiving and making client changes: how should they be submitted? How are they billed? It was a lively, informative discussion: https://storify.com/BookDesignGirl/receiving-and-making-client-changes. Thanks to Colleen Cunningham for the Storify.

September 2 brought Laura Brady (@LauraB7), Damian Gibbs (@damiangct) talking about user experience design to ebooks, including discussions of internal publishing decision-making (is it affordable?). Here’s the Storify summary.

On September 9, Stephen Ingle (@WordCoSteve) of WordCo Indexing led a spirited discussion of indexing workflow, ebook index philosophy, and best practices. Read all about it here: https://storify.com/LauraB7/indexing-for-ebooks

September 16 saw an old favorite: Dumb Question Amnesty. No real dumb questions, just some hand-holding, empathy, and problem-solving. https://storify.com/KevinBNGO/dumb-question-amnesty

India Amos (@indiamos) led a discussion on September 23 about documentation: why, how, and where to do it: https://storify.com/LauraB7/eprdctn-documentation-habits#sthash.xVouL0Ho.dpuf

The XML workflow discussion on September 30 brought up many good points, with discussions of XML-provided flexibility, authoring tools, and gaining editorial buy-in. https://storify.com/KevinBNGO/xml-workflow

October 7 brought an #eprdctn roundtable discussion.

On October 28, Ken Jones (@CircularFlo) was back to demo some interactive quizzes and games for fixed-layout ebooks. https://storify.com/LauraB7/interactive-quizzes-puzzles-and-games-in-fixed-lay

Naomi Kennedy (@naomikennedy) talked about her big-publishing-house QA experience on November 24.

Professional development was the topic on December 9.

December 16 saw a return of Dumb Question Amnesty. Good chat all hour.

February 3, 2016 brought a thorough discussion of metadata: what should be in the EPUB, what’s ONIX, what will EPUB3.1 bring? Read about it here.

EPUB Resources

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) develops and maintains the EPUB® standard format for reflowable digital books and other digital publications that are interoperable between disparate reading devices and applications. It is responsible for the EPUB specification. The IDPF approved the ePUB 3 specification in September 2011.

EPUB 2.0.1 specification

EPUB 3.0 specification

The IDPF now hosts the EPUB Validator for ePUB 2.0(1) and EPUB3 based on the EpubCheck. It allows you to validate your ePUB file online.

ePUB Validator

You can also download EpubCheck 4 locally and run it from your command line or terminal, which you will need to do for any ePUBs over 10MB or large batches of ePUBs.

EpubCheck

 

3rd Party EPUB Resources

eBook Architects has a list of resources for creating ePUBs and other eBook formats: eBook Architects eBook Resources

eBook Architects are also the creator of FlightDeck, a validation tool. You can learn more about FlightDeck in our review.

 

Retailer Resources

iBooks

iBooks’ documentation is only available to users with an iTunes Connect account. Once logged in, you can click on “Deliver Your Content.” Then scroll to the bottom and find the link labeled “iBooks Store Asset Guide 5.2.” Example EPUB files are also available in the same area.

Kindle

Kindle has a number of resources for ebook developers. We recommend the following as a starting point:

  • Kindle Publishing Guidelines lists requirements and recommendations when creating your book
  • Kindlegen is the Kindle tool that creates a .mobi file from EPUB, Word Doc, and other text formats.
  • The Kindle Previewer is a desktop app that allows you to quickly preview your file on a number of device emulators. Don’t expect these emulators to be 100% accurate, but it is a great starting place.

We also have a roundup on creating .mobi file from EPUB file.

Kobo

Kobo’s specification and recommendation document is available on Github.

Google Play

Google Play Books has a decent amount of content here. It’s largely aimed at the retail side of the ebook process, but you can find numerous recommendations and resources in those articles as well.

 

InDesign to ePUB Resources

Anne-Marie Concepcion has a series of videos on creating ePUB files from InDesign on Lynda.com.

InDesign CC: EPUB Fundamentals

Creating a Fixed Layout EPUB

InDesign CS6 to EPUB, Kindle, and the iPad

InDesign CS5.5 to ePUB, Kindle, and iPad (InDesign CS5.5 to ePUB, Kindle, and iPad DVD-ROM is also available from lynda.com.)

InDesign CS4 to ePUB, Kindle, and iPad

InDesign CS5 to ePUB, Kindle, and iPad

 

In this video from MAX 2011, Colin Fleming gives step-by-step instructions on how to take your content from creation to publication to distribution on the Sony Reader, Kindle, and iPad. It is the fourth video down on the page.

Creating eBooks for Distribution on Digital Devices

 

Elizabeth Castro’s ePUB: Straight to the Point is an invaluable resource form converting books from InDesign to ePUB. Liz has also written three Miniguides to go along with the book: Fixed Layout ePUBs for iPad and iPhone; Audio and Video in ePUB; and Read Aloud ePUB for iBooks. I recommend buying the ePUB of this book even if you prefer to read a print edition since the ePUB is DRM free and you can open it to see Liz’s actual coding.

ePUB: Straight to the Point

ePUB: Straight to the Point print edition from Amazon

 

EPUB Creation Tools

Calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. It has a cornucopia of features divided into the following main categories: Library Management; E-book conversion; Syncing to e-book reader devices; Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form; Comprehensive e-book viewer; Content server for online access to your book collection.

Sigil is a multi-platform WYSIWYG ebook editor. It is designed to edit books in ePub format. It is no longer in active development so it’s not recommended to start using Sigil today.

Sigil

 

Vook is in the process of transforming itself from a maker of enhance eBooks with video embedded in them to an ePUB creation platform. Currently in beta.

Vook

 

PressBooks is a new book publishing platform, built on WordPress, that will make it easy to collaborate with an editorial team, and to generate clean, well-formatted books in multiple outputs: .epub, print-ready PDF, InDesign-ready XML, and of course HTML. PressBooks is brought to you by the people behind Book Oven. Currently in alpha.

CircularFLO is a new software product that converts Adobe InDesign books to fixed layout EPUBs suitable for the Apple iBookstore in a single click.

CircularFLO

 

CSS Resources

 Webkit CSS Properties

 

Font Resources

Unicode 6.0 Character Code Charts

 A List of eBook Readers and Their Font Choices

 

Index

The single most helpful post I have come across for adding links to indexes is this one from Liz Castro’s blog Pigs, Gourds, and Wikis. You need to know a little GREP/RegEx to adapt it, but it works like a charm to create a linked index.

Creating an Index for ePUB with InDesign and GREP

HTML5

This is a great overview of the HTML5 specification with examples of how tags should be applied.

HTML 5: A technical specification for Web developers

 

XML Editors for ePUB

oXygen XML Editor

XMLSpy

 

 

BBEdit

TextWrangler

Dreamweaver

 

 

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