Friday, February 18, 2011

A gaggle of links about making iBooks

Or should it be a labyrinth of links? Anyway, in rummaging around the ‘net for info about making various ebooks, oodles of good articles keep popping up. The first three are by Terry White, Adobe’s Creative Suite Evangelist:

Creating iBooks (EPUBS) by Terry White for LAYERS magazine.
This step-by-step tutorial uses InDesign CS5.

Creating My 1st iBook for the iPad with Adobe InDesign CS5
This is an older post, but there’s quite a bit of info, including a video tutorial with some of the same info as the link above. If you don’t have an iPad yet, you can read it on your computer with the free Digital Editions reader.
The InDesign template for the book is available to download, and a link to a PDF with very specific info about putting your iBook for sale in the iBookstore.

What Do You Want To Publish To Tablet Devices (iPad)?
Believe it or not, in this recent post Adobe is asking what kind of documents you want to publish, so give them your feedback. The comments already on there are very interesting.

From Blurb:
How to Make an iPad Photo Book by Ben Clemens
As the article notes up front, this tutorial requires “light” coding skills…can’t comment at this point because I haven’t tried it personally. The sample book of photos could easily be a picture book, of course. This tutorial doesn’t cover putting text in the EPUB. They promise that an easier solution will be forthcoming from Blurb.

From Liz Castro’s blog, Pigs, Gourds, and Wikis:
Fixed Layout EPUBs for iPad and iPhone
Translation for children’s book folk: How to make full-bleed picture books for the iBookstore (which was not an option until recently.) Liz Castro has written a miniguide on this topic that is a companion to the more comprehensive EPUB Straight to the Point. Like the previous link, the miniguide is full of coding which I’m optimistically hoping to figure out, since I bought a copy.

Why do I want to know this? I’d like to reissue an OP book of mine about sea turtles called Tracks in the Sand. Below is one spread:
I wrote a longer post about converting this book on I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids.) One funny thing about iBooks is that there is a fake gutter shadow in the app, so you have to take that into consideration. The blue line in the image is to remind me of that while resizing the artwork to fit into the overall shape of the iPad. I didn’t want to letterbox the artwork if possible…so far, so good. If and when I figure out iBooks, I’ll write about the details. (Keep your fingers crossed for me!)


  1. Thanks for posting these, Loreen. I haven't looked at all of them yet, but I'm grateful to have them all in one place. It's getting hard to keep up with it all!

  2. Extremely hard to keep up with it all. Thanks for compiling.

    I have an idiot techie question: to create an ePub file, do you need to have InDesign?

    -- Laura

  3. Hi Laura,

    You don't need InDesign, it's just that a lot of people already have books set up in InDesign or like to use it. The Blurb tut above uses a coding approach, for example. Also, Scrivener can export in EPUB, here is my post mentioning that. Somebody needs to try all this stuff... I’m working on my little project, but can’t test it all. :)

  4. Thanks. I tried to use Scrivener for writing, but it didn't work for me. Might be worth it for the exporting capabilities, however.

    -- Laura

  5. Loreen, excellent post and so helpful. Thank you. Elizabeth W.

  6. Great post, thanks Loreen, from a fellow author/illustrator in the throes of "how the heck do I reformat my picture book for this platform and all these devices."I'm tweeting! Or twittering! I don't know what I'm doing exactly, as a "baby bird tweeter" right out of the nest, but I am beginning to realize the power of social media.

  7. I'm a little late to this party BUT I'm reading an ebook I just downloaded from the generous and clever Pat Flynn, over at He has a podcast too, which I highly recommend. When you sign up for his email list you get access to his free ebook, "eBooks the Smart Way: A Complete Guide to Publishing, Marketing, and Automating a Killer eBook".

    If my recommendation isn't enough, on the first page he talks about how he made over $203,219.04 via passive income his first year after getting laid off.