A 'plain-English' practical how to guide that will take you through from manuscript to eBook - whatever the destined reading device.
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My students are from all walks of life, with many differing ePublishing requirements. This keeps me up to date with the rapid changes in technology, which is challenging, and is fun to say the least!
There is a lot more to 'successful' ePublishing than the excitement generated by the hype, and my aim is to provide you with a thorough understanding of the eBook publishing process. By understanding the process you will be able to better apply your existing skills, and learn what you really need to do in order to prepare yourself to ePublish.
Ultimately, I aim to help you to successfully navigate this booming industry by identifying skills you already have, and learning how to apply them to your advantage.
I also help you to become familiar with some of the software products available for creating user-friendly electronic documents.
There are a wealth of tools available to help you create, design, promote, and sell your eBooks. We take a manuscript from word processor to eBook, and I provide you with several different methods by which to do this.
Where possible, I have included many samples, links, and information on free products, so your learning experience will not cost you an arm and a leg.
As we begin our journey into this exciting area, I guarantee that you will develop some very useful skills.
Section 4 - eBook Design
While it may be true that a picture paint's a thousand words, and you can tell a book by its cover, you certainly decide if you want to read a book based on it's cover image. However, the cover is only one design element to consider when you create eBooks. What if some of your readers are blind, color blind, or use a reading device that cannot see the pictures?
In preparing material for online reading, it is important to design content for accessibility because some people experience life from a different perspective. For example, they may have visual or auditory limitations, they may not be able to move, or they may have devices attached to their systems that can only access data successfully if it complies to certain accessibility standards.
What is eBook Design?
eBook design refers to the layout, appearance, and operation of text and none text elements. Digital content needs to be accessed by as many people as possible, and on as many platforms as possible. Paying attention to design reflects in your sales.
When designing graphics, you need to consider more than the appeal of the picture. Certain hardware limitations exist, and many desktop personal computer users have pocket devices and will want to read your eBook on this device as well, so your graphics need to be created in a way that makes them look attractive, or legible, even when reduced in size.
When creating text, you need to consider more than which font looks good, or if it is the best font possible for ease of reading by the majority of people. You also need to consider using alternative text to describe graphics, which will maximize readability of your eBook on digital reading systems. This is not so much of a concern if you do not intend to self-publish, but don't assume that the ePublisher will take care of this aspect for you either. Ask how they present their material in consideration of accessibility - the professionals will know what you are talking about.
Both Adobe and Microsoft have released eBook design, layout, and markup guides to help you produce legible eBooks for their own particular readers. You can glean information from this material regardless of your delivery mechanism. Sensible design not only creates a meaningful digital reading experience, it helps to keep that experience unobtrusive by minimizing constraints.