I'm converting a print book to an ebook and I'm hoping somebody here can answer a couple of basic questions.
The workflow I'm using is to export from ID as an epub, then import into Calibre and convert to Mobi.
You can embed fonts into an epub, but ID refuses to embed one of my fonts, and one only. The error message doesn't help much: "Some fonts were not embedded. Futura-Bold" According to FontBook Futura bold is "embeddable". Anybody have any idea why that font won't get embedded?
Second, it looks like Kindle ignores embedded fonts, anyway. (As does Adobe Digital Editions.) So I'm curious whether there's a description anywhere of what Kindle does font-wise -- which font attributes it respects and which it ignores. Would an iBook ignore fonts, as well?
And finally -- is there a place to go with questions like this? I feel like I'm reinventing the wheel.
Thanks to any and all for any light anybody can shed.
I'm also learning to create eBooks. The sources I've read suggest that, at this point in time, attempting to embed fonts in EPUB files or in Mobi files doesn't work, or require tedious workarounds that will probably only work for one device.
I've also been told that a good place to ask is on the MobileRead forums where a lot of the most knowledgeable people hang out. Most people here are just learning about creating eBooks.
Thanks very much. I'll check it out.
What I've learned so far from experimenting:
1. fonts, embedded or not, are not displayed on Kindle
2. italic text has to be treated as a character style in ID for it to show up on Kindle. Just putting a word in italics doesn't work.
3. Composite images (say, placed jpegs with ID callouts) get completely munged in the conversion to epub. You have to export the grouped image as a jpeg and then place the jpeg into the ID file. Size matters. Kindle will scale images smaller. So if you make the image the correct size, it will look good on the Kindle and also on the Kindle Mac app.
This lack of control feels like web design, circa 1992.
It's actually web design circa 2011. The real problem is InDesign's insistence on applying classes to everything instead of generating clean HTML and allowing the user to create decent CSS.
Until that changes (and even if it does) you just need to get in there and edit the code.
I was referring to complex layouts. Maybe it's the tools, but things that would be easy with PS and Dreamweaver seem awfully hard. The fact that you have no control over fonts is just one of many issues. And yes, ID gives you very few options. Maybe I'm crazy, but I've done a very careful layout in ID and it seems like the program ought to give me a lot more control over how that gets onto a mobile device.
Do not bother embedding fonts. It's too problematic at this point.
In my experience, using Calibre to convert EPUB to MOBI for uploading to the Kindle store is not the way to go. Calibre does great for personal ebook libraries and converting, but if you're going to upload to Amazon, they really really hate Calibre and warn against it on their site. Instead, use KindleGen, or if you're starting with InDesign, use their InDesign > Kindle plugins.
I cover everything we're discussing here in detail in my Lynda.com video tutorials that came out last month, "InDesign to EPUB, Kindle, and the iPad."
CS5 version: http://www.lynda.com/tutorial/75445
CS4 version: http://www.lynda.com/tutorial/75446
This will give you a week's full access to lynda.com: http://bit.ly/fGjw4z if you don't have a subscription.
Note that Kindle updated their InDesign plugins a couple weeks ago, and they also updated KindleGen to 1.2: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000234621
If I may slightly piggy-back on this discussion:
AnneMarie – if you're producing say a simple one column book with 20 chapters, each with a chapter heading and a picture, would you recommend creating one complete file (including the text the TOC and the cover pic) in InDesign CS5 for exporting to ePub or Kindle or would you recommend one file for each chapter TOC and cover and then compile them in the InDesign Book facility before exporting to ePub or Kindle?
I also can thoroughly recommend AnneMarie's Lynda.com tutorials.
What Bob said. If you've already got it set up as one ID file, keep it that way. You won't get anything special breaking it up into multiple files & reassamebling ti in a Book fie, as far I've been able to tell.
OTOH if it's set up as a book file, no big reason to compile it into one single INDD file, either.
AnneMarie -- I just finished your tutorial. Watched the whole thing over a period of a few days. Great job! Terrific, super-helpful. And, as I guess everybody here knows -- you are a helluva good teacher. I say this as somebody who has taught motion picture editing for years and who is creating a book about it.
Which brings me to some questions.
First -- images. I've got hundreds of screenshots with callouts. They are grouped and they are inline. But, as discussed, they callouts get separated on export. The only thing I can think of is to export as a jpeg and then place the jpeg. Or maybe I could use Layout Zone, which I think, would force ID to create the jpegs for me, when the file is exported. The images are roughly the right size now -- about 3.5" wide on the printed page. When ID exports them at 72 ppi, they look way too small in the Kindle. The reason is that the Kindle screen is 167 ppi. 4.5" at 72 ppi is more like 2" at 167 ppi. You can barely see these things.
I've done a lot of experimentation and it seems like the best answer is to export the jpegs at 150 ppi, then place them, then export to epub and select original images in export options. (I have CS4.) Such images look good, partly because Kindle will scale them if they're too big for the screen. Does this make sense? Or am I shooting myself in the foot somehow?
Second, file names. There are 25 chapters in this book. All the filenames have spaces in them. If I change the filenames now, all chapter-to-chapter cross references are going to break, because they rely on pathnames. I'll have to update over 100 cross references by hand. Can I live with the chapter names? Is there a way to change them and automatically update the cross-references?
Third, the index. You mentioned in the tutorial that indexes get dumped. My index has a good 600-700 items in it. I can't really imagine recreating every entry as a cross reference. Is there anything I can do? Do readers expect an index in an ebook?
Thanks again for a terrific tutorial -- and thanks to anybody here who can help with these questions,
My best answers:
(1) What I'm finding is picking about 150 ppi for images is good for iPad or Kindle-like devices because it's close to their natural resolution.
(2) I'd bite the bullet and fix the filenames to ditch the spaces, and manually fix the cross-references. That way, if and when you update it, it will be correct.
(3) Ditch the index. In the Kindle and the iPad, you can search for any terms you need. I can't ever remember seeing an index in an eBook. Indexes are an artifact of printed books where you can't do a search.
Thanks for responding.
1) -- good. I'm glad I'm not alone on this one. I was worried because you can't do this in CS5. Which makes no sense to me. It would seem like you ought to have a lot MORE options for images, not less.
2) -- I just did a very quick check and it seems like ID substitutes %20 for spaces. Which might work. But more to the point, if this didn't work, could I do a global search and replace on the XHTML files? That might be easier than fixing the cross references in ID. (Adobe really ought to make the path/file names in Cross References editable.)
3) -- Yes, that's what I thought. In any event, I ain't creating a 700 item index by hand, so this is the result. (But Adobe ought to fix this, too!)
InDesign CS5.5 lets you set several resolution options for images, including 150 ppi. Furthermore, you can set it for each individual image so it doesn't have to be the same for all images. (One of many improvements for EPUB production in 5.5.)
That's a big improvement. All it needs to do after that is automatically convert a grouped image into a single jpeg for the epub. (I'm frankly a little dumbfounded that it won't do this. It seems like all the many graphics tools are pointless if the stuff you create won't end up in the epub.)
If it did both of those things, it would save me a good week of 8-hour days. And I'd think about upgrading.
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