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.
January 6, Job intake, change orders: How do you track the chaos? led by Keith Snyder @noteon
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 Instagram! https://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.
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.
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.
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.
3rd Party EPUB Resources
eBook Architects has a list of resources for creating ePUBs and other eBook formats: eBook Architects eBook Resources
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 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’s specification and recommendation document is available on Github.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a great overview of the HTML5 specification with examples of how tags should be applied.
XML Editors for ePUB