Designing an eBook

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PamelaOHastings
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Designing an eBook

Post by PamelaOHastings » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:43 pm

I am using InDesign 3 to do an eBook that will be sold as a .pdf...should the images be .tif's or .jpg's, RGB or CMYK? I'm thinking 300dpi tifs, but not sure about the colorway.

Thanks! Please help before I go too far.

Pamela Hastings

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Designing an eBook

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:34 pm

I think you have to find out what the output resolution will be. There's no point in dealing with very high resolution in InDesign if the output will be low resolution. That will just slow you down.

Pages might be good for testing e-book output, if you mean just an ordinary e-book with static images.
iBooks Author is a good way to test e-book output if you mean an enhanced e-book, with video, zoom, etc.

By analogy, you can embed images of any file size in Keynote. But as the output will be projected or presented on the web, you gain nothing by using huge images. And the resulting Keynote file can be humongous (technical term). For example, I did a demo for SMUG on typography and didn't pay any attention to embedded file sizes. The .key file ended up being 1.7 GB.

You might want to look at the final file size of books downloaded from iTunes Store that are similar to what you're planning.

I'd be interested to know about your project.
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"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Jay Cline
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Re: Designing an eBook

Post by Jay Cline » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:46 am

Your ebook publisher should offer standards on image size and resolution. eBooks images are likely RGB and 72 ppi (pixels per inch) as they are only meant to be viewed on a computer or tablet screen. http://indesignsecrets.com/image-resolu ... ishing.php

CMYK is only for printing on 4 color presses.

Are they giving you Indesign templates to use?
Some hints on creating ebook publications from early versions of Indesign.
http://indesignsecrets.com/creating-ebo ... design.php
Last edited by Jay Cline on Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Designing an eBook

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:23 am

eBooks images are likely RGB and 72 ppi (pixels per inch) as they are only meant to be viewed on a computer or tablet screen.
Or 144 ppi for retina displays.

A google search on "e-book design standards" turns up lots of lists and guidelines. Some may be idiosyncratic, but a little while reading might let you produce your own stylesheet.

I'd beware of bromides like "reading an e-book is not the same as reading a paper book." (They said that about the web, back when "text was dead.") Or "less text, more images."
Let your goals dictate what's in your book.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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PamelaOHastings
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Re: Designing an eBook

Post by PamelaOHastings » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:05 pm

Thank you all for responding. I am re-doing a static book, DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS, that I've published in print previously. There are color pictures on every page. Shipping the print version out of the country costs more than $25.00. My customers have been buying .pdf's of word documents with images.
I understand that I can create a .pdf and make it available on Drop Box after the customer pays. The end product would probably be viewed on a device or printed on a home computer. I'm expecting to end up with over 150 pages, since I'm combining a book and an online class.

PamelaOHastings
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Re: Designing an eBook

Post by PamelaOHastings » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:11 pm

Is there a person/place to learn more about eBook design?

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Jay Cline
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Re: Designing an eBook

Post by Jay Cline » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:37 pm

Do you want to create an eBook or just make a pdf from Indesign? How familiar are you with Indesign v.3?

I ask because you need to consider how much time and effort will be involved. Is a simple pdf all that's required by your readers?
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Designing an eBook

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:45 pm

PamelaOHastings wrote:Is there a person/place to learn more about eBook design?
That depends on how you want the e-book to be available.
You could give individuals a one-time link to Dropbox, but that would entail some time for each customer.
Amazon has ways of making e-books available, and once you jump through Amazon's hoops, all the work is done for you.
If you want to sell it on the iTunes store, there are some steps to go through.

Also, there's a thriving cottage industry in selling used books, often for just the cost of shipping. US Mail has a book rate that's very cheap. International shipping is going to be relatively expensive for a real book.

One or the other of us can probably help with most of this, or at least point you in the right direction.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Jay Cline
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Re: Designing an eBook

Post by Jay Cline » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:56 pm

Check with Peninsula College, they offered a course in eBook design last year.

http://classes.pencol.edu/All/MEDIA/155
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PamelaOHastings
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Re: Designing an eBook

Post by PamelaOHastings » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:03 am

Thank you both. My audience is very limited, although world-wide. I like working in InDesign 3...and selling the books individually through Drop Box is not a problem. I will keep an eye on Peninsula College for more eBook courses.
I have political objections to working with Amazon and prefer to be in charge of the whole process myself..and have the financial/time luxury to do so now.
Pamela

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