eBook production and conversion
Alongside my book formatting and cover design services I also offer eBook production and conversion. Usually new works will be prepared simultaneously for print and digital as the processes involved share a lot of commonality. Existing works can be converted from virtually any format.
In recent years more and more books are being read on electronic devices of one sort or another, smartphones, tablet, netbook, laptop and desktop computers as well as the increasingly popular dedicated eBook readers from the likes of Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble, BeBook and Bookeen. Some of the advantages of ebooks are:-
Ease of purchase -
In many cases books can be bought online direct from the reading device which will then download the content straight into its internal library.
Ebooks are also finding favour with holidaymakers, students and anyone who would otherwise have to carry lots of bulky, weighty printed works around with them. A typical reading device is about the size and weight of a small paperback and can store hundreds of books that are easily accessible, annotable, searchable and bookmarkable.
Another advantage is that the text is resizable and the font face can be changed, which in many cases can eliminate the need for reading glasses. For the benefit of the severely visually impaired (and anyone who likes being read to) many devices feature built-in text to speech software.
Ebook production and distribution typically uses a third of the materials and an eightieth of the water of the dead tree equivalent.
Although the printed word will always be with us there are signs that its centuries old dominance is coming to an end - Amazon recently announced that its sales of eBooks had surpassed traditional book sales as more readers are discovering the advantages of the new formats.
For authors and publishers the attraction is low cost worldwide exposure and distribution with minimal delivery costs and none of the problems associated with conventional publication methods. Ebooks also have many of the advantages of HTML and it is possible to embed hyperlinks to the author's other works, website, print ordering, merchandise etc. Multimedia objects such as video and sound clips can also be embedded into the text. Some eBook retail websites offer automated translation services, opening previously inacessible markets.
There are many different eBook formats but in reality there are only three important ones, which between them cover all current electronic reading platforms. They are :-
epub (OEBPS) -
The standard format laid down by the IDPF (International Digital Publishing Forum), the 'global trade and standards organization dedicated to the development and promotion of electronic publishing and content consumption.' Designed from the outset for electronic publishing epub has the advantage of scalable and reflowable text allowing it to be easily read on any size screen. This is the format used by most electronic reading devices, including Apple, Sony, Android, Bookeen and Microsoft Windows based devices, but not the Kindle.
pdf (Portable Document Format) -
Adobe's ubiquitous format was originally designed for page description and so is somewhat inflexible and has limited reflow and text size options making it generally unsuitable for use on small displays. Pdf is supported by all current reading devices.
Amazon's proprietary format for its Kindle series of eInk reading devices and apps has many of the features of epub but limited cross platform support. The popularity of Kindle makes this an important format.
Some sample eBooks produced by David Stockman.
To buy full versions of these books please use the links contained within these samples.