Many of us are now beginning to create eBooks from InDesign—either for ourselves or for our clients. It feels a little like a being on a new frontier. We’re feeling our way along, trying things, living by our wits, gaining tips and hints where we can.
You’ll be happy to know that there are some new resources available on creating eBooks from InDesign—published or presented by scouts who have gone ahead and are bringing back information on this new territory. For example, there are two new eBooks (one also a printed book) you should definitely know about.
Rufus Deuchler’s How to Create an eBook with Adobe InDesign
Rufus Deuchler is a world-class designer who was recruited to be a Senior Worldwide Evangelist for Creative Solutions by Adobe. Now working independently, he has published this eBook available for Kindle from Amazon.com ($8) which just became available a couple days ago. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can read this on Kindle for Mac, Kindle for Windows, or Kindle on the iPhone or iPad!)
Rufus brings to the task a designer’s perspective and a deep knowledge of InDesign. So it’s strongest on how to use InDesign’s features to prepare a document for eBook publishing. For example, he has strong sections on creating hyperlinks and cross-references, how (and when) to use XML tagging to determine export order, graphic export formats, and what’s new in InDesign CS5 (the main focus of the book). He recommends an open source application called Sigil for editing the resulting ePub files. The eBook is very up-to-date and covers InDesign CS5 7.0.3. It discusses only InDesign, and not other ways of creating eBooks.
Elizabeth Castro’s EPUB: Straight to the Point. Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders.
Elizabeth Castro is an author of computer books on HTML, XHTML & CSS and other computer languages. She published an eBook in August available from her website (ePub, $20) and also as in Kindle format ($9.99) or paperback from Peachpit Press ($19.99) available from Amazon.com and other sources.
The strengths of Elizabeth’s eBook/book are that it provides a great deal of information about the CSS and XHTML which is exported by InDesign, and also how these can be modified. She provides sample InDesign and ePub files on her website which are helpful for viewing to see how she accomplishes various formatting tasks. She covers working in Microsoft Word as well as InDesign. She has a bias toward preparing ePub files for the iPad and the iBook application, and provides technical information about their requirements not available elsewhere. She gives instructions on using the Macintosh Terminal application for rezipping ePub files after modification.