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eBook File Formats
GD Deckard
Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 5:58 PM

Ebooks are available in many different formats, including the widely supported ePub standard. You can read ePub ebooks on Apple iPad, Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Reader, and Kobo eReader models; Amazon’s Kindle, however, does not natively support ePub, which means that you have to convert the ePub files you own to a format that your Kindle accepts. Fortunately, an elegant, free conversion tool called Calibre can help you out.

(Please feel free post any other info on eBook file formats that might be of use to members
GD Deckard
Posted: Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:00 PM

ebooks have problems with fonts, footnotes and typos
Computer Act!ve 11 Feb 2012

We ask why ebooks readers have no embedded fonts or easily accessible footnotes and how typographical errors appear that are not in the original book.

Tim Gordon
Posted: Monday, April 30, 2012 11:10 AM
Joined: 5/28/2011
Posts: 23

Calibri is pretty good for a quick convert. I like Sigil if I'm going to make the presentation a little bit better, but it definitely takes more work to get it all set up correctly
Mimi Speike
Posted: Monday, May 7, 2012 7:51 AM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

I know nothing about e-book file formats.

I'd especially like to know why the files are not pdfs, readable (I imagine) on anything, that would allow footnotes, which I am thinking of using as a comic device.

Pdfs would also permit sidebars, boxed text, and additional quirky methods of organizing information, making for a more intriguing visual presentation.

Maybe some of the formats do this. I own no e-books. I haven't a clue.

GD Deckard
Posted: Monday, May 7, 2012 10:41 AM
Hi Mimi,
It could be worth your time to research, even if you have a publisher handling everything. Best I can tell (I am a novice also) ebooks are still new enough that different ebook readers are not always compatable with all file formats. Some publishers like to use file formats that work on their readers, but not necessisarily on their competitors' readers. Maybe you can expand your market by knowing what file formats reach what segment. You might also want to know if all readers can display your text the way you want to organize the information.

Does anybody know a good source on this?

Mimi Speike
Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 2:26 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

I've started to do some research. E-book file formats permit text reflow to accommodate the different configurations of the various e-readers. PDFs do not. If you have a small screen, you must zoom in to make small type readable, and then pan horizontally. Annoying, for sure.

So how do the many books with charts, illustrations, footnotes etc. make the leap to e-books? 

I work for a compositor, serving publishers, building the files that are sent to printers. I guess this is why I am seeing endnotes at the end of chapters, instead of the traditional (and more useful) page by page footnotes. Interesting.

Is a designed book with, say, wraparound type, possible in this brave new world of publishing? I am a graphic artist. My work uses visuals to organize and enhance the message. The question is of vital concern to me.

This is a fine kettle of fish!

Hey! How are children's books turned into e-books? Can anybody tell me that?

Maybe they're not. Maybe the parent/kid side-by-side snuggling, tactile, page-turning experience cannot be rendered obsolete quite so easily. It may well be the last domino to fall.

Mimi Speike
Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 8:02 AM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

Update: Thanks, GD. I just read the article at computeractive that you mention above. This is bad news, for me and my artsy-fartsy proclivities. I can only hope that by the time I'm ready to roll, a few years down the road, some of these problems will have been dealt with. 

The path open to me at present would be to e-publish a plain text, sell it cheaply, or give it away, and hope readers are beguiled enough to spring for a hard copy with my full vision.

I'll say it again: This is a fine kettle of fish!

GD Deckard
Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 1:04 PM
Forge ahead! Ebook readers are evolving rapidly. Apple is working with (I think) Kindle to publish a line of full graphic, interactive textbooks.

It won't be long, until the book will read itself to us singing & dancing & humming background music. Your book is a book of the future, but don't wait.
Mimi Speike
Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 2:55 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

Ha! Leave it to Apple to be in the forefront! The spirit of Steve Jobs lives on.