There are two main formats of eBook, the industry-wide standard ePub and the Amazon propriety format for Kindle. We produce both as standard in each conversion.

EPUB

The industry standard, utilised by all popular devices and tablets except Amazon/Kindle. All our eBooks are provided as ePub 3, which provides the greatest formatting potential. ePubs can be read on all general e-readers (except Kindles) as well as tablet computers and smart phones including: iPads, iPhones, Kobos, and on Android tablets, for which we recommend the Gitden reader.

Kindle

Amazon has a proprietary format for its Kindle devices. The KF8 (Kindle Format Eight) includes most of the features available in ePub 3, including embedded fonts, and floated blocks of text and images floated side by side. Drop caps, however are problematic, as the vertical position of the dropcap letter varies between different versions of Kindle device.

Kindle Devices

Kindles broadly fall into two types, e-ink series and the Kindle Fire series. The first, including those such as Voyager or Paperwhite, are black and white devices, ideal for reading out of doors, as the screen does not reflect, and have a battery life that lasts for days or even weeks. The Kindle Fire devices are rather more like regular tablets with a colour screen designed for playing movies, or browsing the web. The battery life is much shorter than on e-ink Kindles, and they are not suitable for reading in bright day light.

The Kindle Reader app is available for all computers and tablets, though the Kindle App for iPad does not seem to render some formatting very well.

PDFs

PDFs, which though widely supported, are not sold through the main online stores. PDFs are locked files where the pages do not resize or flow to adapt to the screen size of the device. Text is not live or searchable on eReader devices.

Fixed Layout eBooks

Fixed layout maintains the layout of the printed page, and provides the best opportunity to include animation; and for children’s books: audio narration with text highlighting along with the narration.

Unlike a PDF, fixed layout eBooks consist of live and searchable html text, with paragraphs and images positioned by measurements in the the style sheet. It should also be noted: that fixed layout will not open correctly on all devices, or on all reading software, for example Calibre will not render fixed layout eBooks.

eBook formatted as fixed layout

The following devices will render fixed layout eBooks correctly:

Apple: iBooks on an iPad or Mac desktop with OSX operating system.

Amazon: Kindle Fire or Kindle app on any tablet.

Kobo: Kobo Vox or Arc

Android tablet: Gitden Reader

B&N: Nook Tablet, HD, or HD+

Magnification

The pages of fixed layout eBooks can be enlarged by pinch and zoom on Apple IOS devices, on Kobo devices and on Android tablets with Gitden reader, but not as standard on Kindles. Amazon’s KF8 format only allows pinch and zoom on fixed layout eBooks with a setting for book type (comic) but where all links are disabled. There is also a form of magnification, where enlarged text or an image can pop-up in a new window, when clicking a link. This provides an attractive feature for children’s books.

Continue reading with the eBook formatting process.