New lynda.com title: InDesign to EPUB, Kindle, and the iPad
Do you ever wonder (or are you currently struggling with) how you can convert your trade books, journals, whitepapers, instruction manuals and such from a “designed for print/PDF” InDesign format to a digital eBook for the iPad bookstore, the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook, and other devices? Then I think you’ll love this.
Last month I completed recording a new lynda.com video tutorial title (two, actually) which I’d been planning (read: researching and revising, sweating buckets over) for over a year. InDesign to EPUB, Kindle, and the iPad was the most difficult title I have done to date because the field is changing so rapidly! Every week or two there would be new publishing venues (e.g., Google eBooks), new software programs (Sigil), new rules (we’re looking at you, Apple). I kept having to revise my outline and push back the recording date at the lynda.com studios.
Finally in January of this year I took the advice of my lynda.com producer, the ever-patient Kirk Werner, and simply applied a temporary stoppage on further research. It nearly killed me to turn off the flow of new info! But that was the only way I could actually sit down and develop the final course and its sample files. In February I went in and recorded two versions of the title, one for InDesign CS5 users and one for InDesign CS4 users. Here’s a sample video lesson from the CS5 title, on creating chapter breaks from your InDesign file.
The full titles are here:
I hand-picked the free sample movies on the lynda.com site, so even if you don’t have a lynda.com subscription, you should be able to learn a few things. Or, use our lynda.com free 1-week trial for full access to all the movies.
From Creating to Selling
As usual, I like to start from the beginning, the questions I hear all the time from experienced designers and publishers: What’s an eBook, exactly? What’s the difference between a PDF and an EPUB? What format are Kindle books? How do I buy these things, how do I read them, how do I proof them without buying every device?
Then I go through prepping the InDesign file, including where to get and how to use free InDesign scripts that make the process easier (such as a custom FindChangeByList4EPUB script I built, which you get with the sample files). Then onto exporting to EPUB format and tweaking and testing it — all that fun nitty-gritty stuff like how to create drop caps and pull-quotes, what software to use on Macs and PCs for editing EPUB files, what are some different approaches to creating Kindle books, how can you check to make sure your EPUB file passes validation checks.
Finally, I dive into the topics that I’ve been curious about myself , but haven’t seen covered yet anywhere else: Getting an ISBN. Creating publisher accounts on the Apple iBookstore, the Kindle store, and other resellers so you can upload your books and sell them there. How much do they pay and what if you’re not in the U.S.? Selling eBooks on your web site or blog with ecommerce services that specialize in digital goods.