5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 4, 2013 9:49 AM by Sandee Cohen

    Digital Graphic Novel, is InDesign right for me?

    Damicoa27

      I am planning on scanning illustrations and putting them together on my Mac Pro with retina and distributing it digitally as a PDF as well as EPUB and putting it on the iBooks store. I looked at iBooks Author but it only works for books for iPad. I want it to be able to be read on any device. I read somewhere InDesign is good for digital publishing but I've never used it. I have InDesign CS4 but I have never used it. I have experience with photoshop, dreamweaver and flash. Would it be difficult to pick up? All I want to do is scan the images, clean them up with photoshop and then organize them however I need them to be (varying shapes and numbers of panels in grids per page, graphic novel style) and be able to distribute it in PDF and EPUB format. Another important question is will the panels (pictures of the illustrations I import) be able to stay in the formation per page that I organize them or will iBooks and the PDF transfers reorganize everything and put all the pictures in a line in the PDF or put one picture per page in the iBooks version. Help would be greatly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Digital Graphic Novel, is InDesign right for me?
          Sandee Cohen Adobe Community Professional

          There are a few things here that make using your copy of InDesign problematic.

           

          First, there is no export from CS 6 to ePub, regardless of the format. You'd have to upgrade to CS6 which may be a full purchase, not a discount. (Bob Levine probably knows this better than i do.)

           

          If you do upgrade to CS6 and thn export as an ePub, if you upload it to iBooks, anyone buying it will only be able to read it on Apple iOS devices. This is because while the format of the ePub is the same, Apple adds a DRM (digital rights management) that prohibits the digital file from being used on any non-iOS device.

           

          You could, however, export as a regular ePub for the Barnes and Noble Nook, but that digital file will only be able to be read via a B&N device. Same problem with DRM. There are places that sell ePubs without DRM, but they aren't the "big players."

           

          There is a plug-in to export as a Kindle from InDesign CS6 or CC

           

          Next, you won't be able to sell the PDF version via iBooks. That you could sell on Amazon, but not any Apple iOS.

           

          Next, if you create the ePub using iBooks Author, you can, as you found out, only sell that digital file via iBooks. That's a fact of life with Apple.

           

          If it was me, and I was really interested in becoming a publisher, I'd go the PDF to Amazon route. Upgrade to CS6 (or better still get a subscription to InDesign CC or the Creative Cloud). Export for iBooks, Nook, and Kindle from InDesign.

          • 2. Re: Digital Graphic Novel, is InDesign right for me?
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            I believe CS4 did have an export to EPUB but it was very, very poor.

             

            There is no upgrade pricing from CS4 to anything except Creative Cloud.

             

            My adivce is to sign up for the one month trial of Creative Cloud and explore the software. You'll have access to everything for a full month. If you like it, continue on a month to month basis or sign up for a year for only $29.99/month.

            • 3. Re: Digital Graphic Novel, is InDesign right for me?
              Sandee Cohen Adobe Community Professional

              Now that you mention it, I vaguely remember it. But it was so bad I never looked at it.

              Bob Levine wrote:

               

              I believe CS4 did have an export to EPUB but it was very, very poor.

               

              • 4. Re: Digital Graphic Novel, is InDesign right for me?
                Damicoa27 Level 1

                Thank you so much for your help but I have two more questions, I understand Apple and Barnes and Noble use DRMs. Would it be hard to export my work several different ways to get it on multiple online stores or should I just aim for one?

                 

                Also the most important question, during any of the exportations to PDF or EPUB for iBooks, Nook, or Amazon would the organization of my panels be ruined, rearranged in any way? because that is very important as you can imagine for a graphic novel. So what I put on each page with InDesign needs to stay like that and if an outlet like Nook would have to change the organization of my panels then that would be a deal breaker for using Nook.

                • 5. Re: Digital Graphic Novel, is InDesign right for me?
                  Sandee Cohen Adobe Community Professional

                  Your panels are most definitely going to be rearranged if they are individual images. They might be three-up side-by-side in one layout, and one-by-one in another.

                   

                  It isn't that the Nook would change the layout. It's that the tablets are different sizes, and the users can orient the tablet portrait or landscape.

                   

                  There is something called a Fixed Layout ePub but it is way beyond my expertise. And not easy to create

                   

                  There are plenty of resources and communities on the web who help with these types of ePubs. You're not the first person to want to do one.

                   

                  You might want to do a search to find them.