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Free Lynda.com Video: Creating Fixed-Layout EPUBs with InDesign CC

Need to get started in the world of digital publishing? There are so many choices, you might find your head spinning: apps, Publish Online, EPUB, PDF, HTML, XML, AEM, OMG, LOL, SMH, JK. And for my money, fixed-layout EPUBs are one of the coolest options. You get live text, rich layouts, and good support for interactivity on mobile devices. And if you want to get up to speed quickly with the details of fixed-layout EPUBs, then do not miss Anne-Marie Concepción’s course, Creating Fixed-Layout EPUBs with InDesign CC.

In the free movie below, Anne-Marie explores fixed-layout EPUBs on two devices with excellent support for the format, the Kobo and the iPad. Check it out!

Exploring fixed-layout EPUBs on the Kobo and the iPad


For Lynda.com members, if you are currently signed in to your account, you can also check out these videos from the series.

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Understanding the format’s unique features and challenges

Taking a look at the files inside a fixed-layout EPUB

Understanding how InDesign converts graphic content

Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of InDesignSecrets.com, InDesign Magazine, and CreativePro.com. Author of lynda.com courses on InDesign and Illustrator. Husband. Dad. Dog walker.
Mike Rankin

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3 Comments on “Free Lynda.com Video: Creating Fixed-Layout EPUBs with InDesign CC

  1. Children’s storybooks and cookbooks were mentioned in Anne-Marie’s video. Fixed-layout is also great for textbooks, since ID will generate a digital version that’s identical to print version, including page-breaks and illustration placement. Adobe’s Publish Online is also helpful for textbook publishers because it allows teachers to review a book for use without the bother, delay and expense of mailing them a printed copy. That’s the upside.

    The downside is the complexity of finding a decent fixed-layout ebook reader for every platform and retailer. That’s something the more tech-savvy teachers will be looking for. Apple’s iBooks runs only on its hardware. Amazon doesn’t “do” fixed-layout epub. Add various incompatiblities and DRM schemes to that mix, and you’ve got a mess that’s discussed in this Adobe forum:

    https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1690607

    Apple’s iBookstore isn’t helping matters. A student who buys a textbook to study on their iPad in fixed-layout and on their iPhone in reflowable is forced to buy it twice. I can’t imagine that it would be rocket science for Apple to allow two downloads from the same purchase. Apple has been great making iBooks give solid support to fixed-layout epub, but it needs to work on the retail side. Buying the same content twice makes no sense.

    Recently, some in publishig seem to be fretting that ebook sales are flat or even declining. One reason is that the market is a mess of incompatibilities. If I buy a book for X device, will I be able to read it on Y device? Maybe. Maybe not. Will I be able to read it ten years from now? Who knows. Readers are starting to realize those uncertainities.

  2. “Adobe’s Publish Online is also helpful for textbook publishers because it allows teachers to review a book for use without the bother, delay and expense of mailing them a printed copy.” As you can’t charge for content with Publish Online it means the students can download the books FoC as well!

  3. Dere: “As you can’t charge for content with Publish Online it means the students can download the books FoC as well!”

    True, but:

    1. It allows teachers to review the book without the publisher incuring perhaps a $10 or greater cost for each review. As soon as it’s out, I plan to publicize my latest nursing textbook: Embarrass Less: A Practical Guide for Doctors, Nurses, Students and Hospitals with a host of medical and nursing school professors. There’s no way I could afford to mail them copies.

    2. A problem that is easily corrected is no problem. In mere moments, I can delete that version or replace it with a sample of the book. In fact, in more public situations, I’ve been linking to the cover template instead of the content.

    https://indd.adobe.com/view/7a5eab3d-968e-4109-b1af-a949f96cc9c2

    For most authors and publishers, their books face far more problems with a lack of visibility than with theft. Besides, as textbooks, mine are relatively inexpensive. This one will probably be $14.95 print or $2.95-$4.95 digital. As Steve Jobs pointed out to clueless music company executives long ago, a lower price makes theft not worth the bother.

    I can understand why Adobe doesn’t want to create a ‘pay to visit or download’ portal to Publish Online. They offer online book retailing packages, and they’ve got the decency—unlike Jeff Bezos—not to compete with their corporate customers. I do wish, however, they would allow us to create an Adobe-managed, selective portal to what we’re hosting with them. I’d love to be able to offer a webpage that’d link to a selection of book samples. It’d be simpler than doing so via Behance.

    –Mike Perry, Inkling Books

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