Electric Book Works Web, mobile and print publications

Simple-ebook structure

Sometimes making ebooks is not the same as making an exact PDF copy of your print edition. And it shouldn’t be – the medium is different and that changes things. Here are EBW’s recommendations for structuring simple ebooks.

Order of ebook parts

Many items (such as lists of abbreviations) are in preliminary pages only so that readers see that they’re there at all before they start reading. However, ebook reading software usually includes clickable navigation panels or contents lists that provide this signalling effect. … Read more

Checking ebooks

Check on different systemsWhen checking a new ebook (especially one from a new contractor), we always recommend using at least two different platforms (also referred to as systems or engines). For instance, Digital Editions on a PC, the EPUBReader addon in Firefox, and iBooks on an iPhone all have different epub-rendering engines, and will give you a sense of the range of reading experiences users will have. (For example, Adobe Digital Editions has poor support for styled capitalization, where iBooks ignores many of the designer’s sans-serif font preferences.) … Read more

Changing content in print and ebook editions

Removing content from ebook editionsFor some books, publishers are obliged to remove material owned by others (such as images or tables under a license that only covers the print edition or specific territories). Before converting print books to ebook formats, it is useful for an editor to page quickly through the book and provide a list of figures to exclude from the ebook version, replaced with a simple notice saying ’Figure removed due to licensing restrictions’. To save time, only do this for titles in lists where this happen often (e.g. popular science, art). … Read more

Changes to ebook parts

Imprint pageCopyright notices vary from publisher to publisher. In the short to medium term, the only thing to remove is any reference to printing and any wording that applies only to physical products (e.g. references to photocopying can be rephrased generically as reproduction). In the long term, a more comprehensive revision of a company’s copyright notice could be undertaken to suit the nature of digital products and the evolving ethics of copying (e.g. copying for personal backup use is a contentious area). … Read more

4 May 2010
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