Electric Book Works Web, mobile and print publications

Changing content in print and ebook editions

Removing content from ebook editions

For 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).

Note: We think removing content is a real pity. If you can avoid it, do; but sadly we’re often stuck with historical licensing baggage.

Adding content to ebook editions

At a minimum: All websites mentioned should be made into clickable links to web addresses, and email addresses should be made into mailto: links. On the title page and copyright notice, the names of the publisher and authors should become clickable links pointing to the relevant parties’ websites.

(We are not covering here the many small value adds that can be bundled with ebooks, such as video interviews with the author, alternative versions, extra text, or trailers for other books. Unless you’re already comfortable with the technical side of these kind of enhancements, this should form part of a your medium- to long-term plan.)

4 May 2010
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