Choosing eBook Format for eBook Self Publishing
Since the January Apple in the Guggenheim event we have had an extra eBook Format to use to go alongside the standard ePub. You will want o cover all bases anyway so when you are eBook self publishing you will want to have you book in the Kindle format as well as the ePub. Now you can decide if you want to have the extra features available with the iBooks eTextbook format too.You do get better tools for putting the book together with the lovely wee app called iBooks Author. The readers also get looked after too with, I think, a better reading experience.
Is it necessary to throw the kitchen sink at it?
It may be that your book is just about all text, one or two inline images and that’s it. In this case you can perhaps save yourself some work by only going with the standard ebook format. So how will you put that together? Which tool will you use for this? There is the Adobe InDesign application but it is rather expensive and we don’t fancy doing the manual hand coding way and sorting it into a special zip file. So that leaves us with Pages from Apple and personally I have not really found that to always be satisfactory, as Pages was not originally designed for creating ePub book. It can be done though if you are careful with how you do it.
Ebooks from Pages for standard Ebook readers
Sony eBook readers will read the standard eBook format and you have the iPad as ebook reader. The Kindle is different again and you can get apps to convert ePubs to .mobi format. The on the iPad you can swing either way by using either Kindle for iPad or the iBooks App. I have read quite a few Kindle books on my iPad and I like the reading experience. iBooks is good too though.
Getting started with Pages to make an eBook
Get your hands on the sample document and opening it up to save it as a template is a good start. You can then easily replace the content with your own, but still use the paragraph styles that you find in the sample doc. It is important to use these styles so that the book is constructed correctly when you export to ePub out of Pages.
Or you can have a new empty Word Processing type document open and import the styles in from the sample. I show how to do this in the video, make sure you enable the option to replace duplicates. Be sure also, to review the document before you export so that the proper paragraph styles are applied to the chapters, titles, headings and subheadings. It might get a bit messy if you don’t do that.
The Pages app will create you table of contents automatically and you can have extra items appear in the table of contents if you see that they are in the correct style. You have to go to the document inspector and look at the TOC, select all of the paragraph styles you want in the TOC and click on Update. So you have to check a few things in Pages, so that you don’t get any surprises. Make sure that the shapes, images or other objects are set to be inline and you should be good to go.
Ebook templates for iBooks Author
There is only six that come with the application and you can modify those to personalise the final look of your book. On the other hand you can now buy or get for free extra eBook templates to use when you are self publishing ebooks. There are even some available in the Mac App Store. I have tried a couple of these out and it is quite useful for saving time to have some of the job done for you. It is easy as pie to change images for ones of your own, to ensure originality of look for your self published eBook.
Straightforward no nonsense ebook self publishing
Your reader will be able to download ebooks to iPad that you have created that are in the props eBook format that are ebook textbooks. iBooks will be able to read the format and present these to the readership, no trouble at all. You will certainly test the eBook format as you go anyway, using your iPad.
Conclusion – which ebooks format to use
You want maximum coverage so I would say all of them, but it really depends on the book. If it is mostly text then the standard ePub format you get out of Pages will be fine. If you want to have more images and design then there is the PDF format which will go anywhere. You can utilise iBooks Author for the eBook Textbooks as per the Apple specification, but they will strictly be for the iPad. I showed another simple method in the video which converts html files to ePub. It is quick and simple but I think not very good value to buy. Better off to use Pages and do the job properly. You can use Markdown to write your text then copy and paste into your eBook app of choice.
Have you done any eBook Self Publishing?
Self publishing ebooks is now in the hands of the writer and author. Let us know in the comments of the post what your experiences have been like when you download eBooks to iPad for reading or using for study. Which ebook format do you prefer to work with?
I think that eBooks on iPad is the way of the future as the iPad as ebook reader works brilliantly. You can have iTunes eBooks and eBook format of other eBook readers with the click of a few buttons. There is no excuse now for writers to leave dusty manuscripts languishing or festering in drawers. Get self publishing ebooks for yourself and take charge of the promotion of your book. Works of note will rise to the top and find an audience.