InDesign CS4-to-ePub: Best Practices

Matthew LeBlancBy Matthew LeBlanc, Mgr of Production and Prepress, Adams Media

The following tips are offered in conjunction with Matthew LeBlanc’s “Modifying and optimizing a traditional print workflow” presentation during the eBook 101: Designing for Kindle and ePub WEBcast.

[Download the PDF handout.]

  • Do not use soft returns – they will register as hard returns in an ePub file
  • All text must be styled with paragraph and character styles – create as many style sheets as needed in your InDesign file
  • Replace multiple returns with space attached to a paragraph styles – multiple returns register as no additional space in an ePub file
  • Text must be threaded in the correct order and art must be anchored – unthreaded text and unanchored objects are pushed to the end of the file
  • Convert tables to lists – tables are not supported in all portable reading devices at this time
  • Do not include the index from the printed book – page numbers will change across portable reading devices
  • Include as much in the ePub TOC menu as possible – chapter numbers and titles and subheads all help the reader navigate quickly
  • Delete page references from the galleys and replace with hyperlinks to chapters
  • Break up the InDesign file according to section starts – this reduces the ePub file size and enables sections to start on new pages
  • Metadata should include keywords that make your title easily accessible to reader searches
  • Download and read eBooks yourself – learn from the quality and format of eBooks already on the market
  • If a title is design-driven and art-heavy, consider releasing a PDF eBook instead
  • Keep researching and learning – the technology is changing fast and will hopefully only make it easier to produce ePub files
  • Test your eBook on as many devices as possible

[slideshare id=3217374&doc=dbw-ebook101-100216-100218085013-phpapp01]

View the full presentation, with audio, here.

Matthew LeBlanc is Manager of Production and Prepress, Adams Media. For over 20 years, Adams Media has built its reputation on providing practical and meaningful content that purposefully inspires, informs and impacts the lives of its readers, in accessible and innovatively designed formats, from authors who are recognized experts in their fields. Their imprints include Everything, Cup of Comfort and Platinum Press, and a variety best-selling self-help titles including Why Men Love Bitches; Mean Chicks, Cliques and Dirty Tricks; Knock ‘Em Dead; and Closing Techniques.

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