Tablet book design
We use two different formats for tablet book publishing; the app and the ePub. The app offers the ultimate in features but is more costly to produce and is purchased in the AppStore while the fixed layout ePub offers somewhat fewer features but includes the animated page turn and is downloaded from the more familiar iBooksStore (or Android equivalent). The text and image quality is stunning in either format, particularly with the ultra high resolution (Retina) displays found in modern tablets.
Fixed layout ebooks
Fixed layout ebooks
The standard format for digital books is is the familiar ePub. Until recently these have had very limited formatting capabilities as they were intended for text only publications. With the introduction of the “fixed format” ePub we have been able to impose a high degree of formatting and interactive features while still retaining the book format. It has “live” text that benefits from the device’s built-in features like search and hyperlinks.
Unlike the app format where two orientations of every page have to be created, when you rotate the screen to portrait view the ePub will automatically display a single page rather than a double page spread so it is a more economical format to produce. The fixed format ePub is created like the book app using Adobe Indesign and does require some additional processing. We use CircularFLO who offer a reliable and helpful service to designers and publishers. We have also used Apple’s proprietary iBooks Author but in our opinion this is an inferior product.
We have used our ePub skills to restore some wonderful but neglected cookery books to their rightful place as indispensable reference for anyone interested in food and cookery. Our sister company Cookery Classics is recreating these titles for the digital age using fixed format ePubs. Where practical we have repeated the layout of the original in order to give the digital version a period feel and this is particularly true of the Women’s Institute Library of Cookery.
If it isn’t possible to replicate the book layout exactly due to it’s text size or aspect ratio we have opted for recreating the spirit of the original so that it combines legibility with period style. For example using a tightly set contents page from the original it would be impossible to have large enough tappable hot spots for page links. For Cookery Classics to have a consistent identity (and work in a horizontal mode) we created new cover designs that are pastiches of the “hand-tooled” techniques used in the Victorian era.