Fixed Layout Ebook

Please refer to your quote for which of the following products your project entails.

ePub—fixed layout
There is no standard in fixed layout ePub; rather each vendor has its own specifications. We generally base our fixed layout epub projects on the Apple iOS requirements, then test on other platforms and vendors to look for problems. In theory, a fixed layout epub designed for Apple specifications will also function on Android devices (in certain ebook reading software), as well as on Kobo devices and reading software.

Mobi—fixed layout (also called KF8)
Amazon’s fixed page design format is primarily intended for its Kindle Fire range (full-colour tablets). Until 2016, one limitation compared to fixed layout ePub is the lack of zooming. In 2016 we started working with Amazon's new Kindle Text Book format. To read more about this and what it means for you, visit the blog article "Zoom Zoom Kindle Fixed Layout!"

iBooks (Multi-touch)
Apple’s proprietary fixed layout format, created in “Apple iBooks Author” available only on Apple computers and distributable only through Apple iBooks.

Portable Document Format is a file format that has been around for many years and is readable by most devices, including handheld ebook readers, tablets, mobile phones and computers. This is one option if your work contains fancy formatting, charts or images, which are difficult to render in eBook formats. PDFs are relatively easy to generate from other formats including Word documents and book layout files (InDesign, Publisher, Pagemaker etc.).

With PDF ebooks, you need to bear in mind that the text and images in a PDF that is readable when printed on an A4 page may not be large enough when viewed on the smaller screen of an e-reading device.

If Australian eBook Publisher is designing a PDF eBook for you, we will optimise the reading/viewing for an eBook device screen. This is usually a different size and layout to what you would use for a printed book or booklet, however we could reach a happy medium like landscape A5, for example.

Why not just have PDF eBooks?
You cannot sell PDFs through Amazon or Apple and most other ebook vendors. Although these devices usually do open PDFs, the features required in books for sale are not handled ideally in PDF. The format is owned by Adobe so it is also not an open industry format like ePub. For the history of ePub do a Google search or look on Wikipedia.

Some people are happy to read PDFs on their computer, print them out or spend the necessary time saving them to their eBook devices. As stated above, PDF is a great eBook format when you need to include fancy formatting and want your images to stay put exactly in relation to your text. However, one reason why e-reading devices have gone in the direction of eg. ePub, mobi etc. is because those formats are flexible to the screen size and text size—they allow reflowing. Sometimes web pages are like this. Depending on how wide your screen is or how you size the window, the text on the page will fit into a wider or narrower column so you can still see it all without having to scroll left/right. Left/right scrolling on eBook readers is even more pesky than on computers and interrupts reading.

PDF also does not allow the DRM (Digital Rights Management) that ePub and other formats allow. So, your decision about which format to use depends on your needs and your book.

Also, if you really need to have a fixed layout design, but you also want to distribute on Apple and Amazon, there are fixed layout ePub and Mobi options.

What does fixed layout mean? It has a fixed page design, giving the designer complete control over what is on the screen at any given time. It is often ideal for conversion of printed books that are image-heavy, design-rich or contain highly complex layout with tables, side boxes, etc. Fonts and text styles are maintained regardless of whether these can usually be coded using HTML or XML (website languages).

At time of quoting we need to see the entirety of a pre-existing book design so we can quote to perform a fixed layout ebook conversion.

Or if you are looking for a design team to create your fixed layout ebook from scratch, please ask us about our print and ebook “Book Design” service.

If you would like to preview a fixed layout ebook we have worked on please download the sample of any of the “Bromley Bear” children’s books from Apple iBooks. For more information about fixed ebooks versus reflowing ebooks see this YouTube tutorial.

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