Standard Reflowing Ebook Design

Ebook design differs from ebook conversion in that we apply our special book design knowledge and experience to your book. Rather than purely trying to honour the spacing and formatting from the original we approach the project with a more detailed DESIGN perspective. We call this service the “Ebook Designer’s Touch

Ebook Designer’s Touch
There are two approaches to ebook production. The first is conversion whereby we take what we are given and convert it to ePub and Mobi aiming to make it look as close as possible to the original supplied file. If it had poor spacing, boring fonts, no design aspects at all, then so will the resulting ePub and Mobi. This is the most cost effective however if you want your book to look beautiful and professional (especially that critical first chapter which people get to download as a sample when they’re deciding to buy or not) then you need a book designer’s touch.

My team and I are experienced book designers—for print and ebook formats. If we are starting from a Word document and are asked to design it for print, we will make decisions about colours, fonts, leading, kerning, spacing, paragraphing, alignment, design of bullets, numbered lists, tables and headings, pull quotes, quote marks, indentation, dropcaps or small caps on the start of chapters, divider lines and, of course, all kinds of graphics.

These items are critical in print book design, and with ebooks, they are also valuable to make an ebook look more exciting and professional as well. This is especially important for non-fiction and if you are hoping to build an author platform for yourself, using the ebook to ensure your business is viewed in the right light. Matching to your brand, whether that is YOU as author, or a business, may also be important. We have to charge more for this, so need to know before quoting.

Understanding Reflowing Ebook
An ebook is similar to a web-page, both in the way that it is coded (behind the scenes) and in the way it will reflow to fit the screen it is on. Try resizing a website browser window to see the text move around.

There is no set page or position on a page. Widows and orphans cannot be controlled in ebooks. The exact position of headings, images and sections of text can only be controlled in limited ways such as inserting page breaks before headings. All text-based elements will move and change depending on the size of the text each person has their device or reading software set to. Most people reading ebooks are used to these idiosyncrasies with ebooks. Indeed, they are part of what make ebooks so wonderful and flexible to use and read on a huge variety of devices.

It is important to avoid using columns in the standard reflowing ebook formats. Columns are only achievable by using tables and this is likely to make it hard to read, especially on smaller devices that break up the tables. If column layout is important for your book you may need to consider a Fixed Layout eBook instead.

The positioning of images is a craft that depends on your book’s unique needs. We are experienced with print book design and website design. Ebooks fall somewhere between these two. Usually we insert images inline taking up an entire paragraph and centred. It is not ideal to have two or more images side by side—consider how this would function on small devices like iPhones. Likewise, it is possible, but not ideal, to wrap text around images or position them to the left of sections of text. It is impossible to perfectly control the outcome on all devices when having images positioned next to text. This is because all your different devices have different resolutions and the human reader uses different text settings. If text wrap is important in your ebook you should do one of two things, either:

  1. Be prepared to be flexible with us and work towards achieving the best outcome possible within the limitations of the formats you have chosen.
  2. Consider fixed layout if you want to control exact positioning on page and relation to text for all devices. But remember fixed layout will limit your distribution possibilities and there is no universal standard to follow, making it complicated to ensure it works on different devices.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just take a look at some similar ebooks on your device. Approach your ebook with an open mind and trust the team at Australian eBook Publisher to keep your project’s best interests in mind.

To get an idea of some of our work on reflowing ebooks please download the free samples or purchase a copy of any of the following:

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Customer Feedback

"I have really appreciated your support with my book, Amanda. I'm sure your other clients are of the same opinion. Quality professionalism is never in over supply, neither is generosity of spirit. You have both."—Henry Grossek, radio announcer and author of Game On: Building the Education Revolution

"Thank you, Australian eBook Publisher. I am delighted with the quality of the print edition of my novel, Beast-speaker. The service that Amanda and her team provide is exceptional: friendly, helpful and everything is delivered within the promised time-frame. The print on demand package is easy and affordable, and I highly recommend it to anyone considering publishing with Australian eBook Publisher."—W. A. Noble, author of Beast-speaker

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