Design and Production Techniques Where Both Print Book and eBook Are Required
The eBook uses the example of a Shakespeare Play with introductory text and images as well as some sample multimedia. The sample eBook is built 3 ways; as a Reflowable ePUB, a Fixed-Layout ePUB and a multi-touch eBook using iBooks Author.
Built with iBooks Author
Note: I recently had to change the title and subtitle to conform to title case rules with Apple. Title case rules should conform to those recommended in 'The Chicago Manual of Style'
“...the academic habit of relegating notes to the foot of the page or the end of the book is a mirror of Victorian social and domestic practice, in which the kitchen was kept out of sight and the servants were kept below stairs. If the notes are permitted to move around in the margins – as they were in Renaissance books – they can be present where needed and at the same time enrich the life of the page.”
In The Elements of Typographic Style, the notes are held in the side margins – thus putting the information near and even alongside the reference in the text. Robert Bringhurst doesn't need to bother with those little superscript numbers because the supplementary information is very much nearby for the reader.
Still, tradition dictates that in some books, there are footnotes and some there are endnotes (either at the end of the chapter or the end of the book). Putting notes in the side margins is nice if you can afford the space. Let's face it, book design and usability does not often win-out over commercial considerations. Robert Bringhurst's book is exceptional and – it is a beautiful thing. Lots of space for the text to breath.
How I dislike some books that give me less than a centimetre of margin.
Can software ever be perfect? Of course not. There will always be the desire for improvement and bug fixing.
Software tools that are most often never perfect are those that need to link up with each other across the vendor divide. We should not complain though. We should make the best of it, and do our best.
Apple have been generous in the latest version of iBooks Author by providing 2 ways that we can get out content from Adobe InDesign into the free 'multi-touch' authoring environment. But, neither of these 2 methods are perfect and we need to develop our skills of patience and perseverance in order to achieve our goals.
If you are an InDesign (CC 2014) user planning to export a fixed-layout ePUB and you have footnotes in your document, you might be dissapointed to notice that there is no option to make these footnotes become popup notes using the ePUB3 standard epub:type.
In the export to ePUB(reflowable) options we can select the popup type, but not for the fixed layout. Your footnotes will remain exactly where they are – on the page. Dissapointing no?
InDesign will expect the footnotes to be in the same XHTML file where they are referenced. There are some settings in InDesign, but nothing will help us convert them to invisible notes that are only seen in a popup. Is there a solution while we wait for Adobe to release another version of InDesign?
What fun to get the correct spacing for this particularly French punctuation in a reflowable eBook!
« Viva la France »
The Guillemet is used in more than just the French language, but a problem arises when needing to use in an eBook, becasue it is traditional to have a space between it and the word that is being quoted. This is not the case with the curly quotes used in the English language; they, in comparison, simply surround the word with no space.
Why can't we simply have an empty space, after the word and before the word?
3 reasons actually:
First of all typographic purists will know that this is no ordinary space; it is a thin space. Usually 1/8 of the normal word space.
The next problem is that we do not want to allow the Guillemet and the word to be broken over a line. An ordinary space allows the line to break there if needed—don't forget this is a reflowable eBook.
Finally, in a justified block of text, the spaces are fluid; the algorithm for text-align:justify will adjust the space between words, making our space inconsistent.
Is there a solution? And will it work in the ePub format for any or most devices?
You know an InDesign file is never finished, even if you do save it as 'Final version'!
Get real. You are going to want to go back to InDesign and re-export your ePub (reflowable), because someone noticed a typo or a badly captioned photo.
Can we, save ourselves a lot of bother by grabbing all those changes and slip them into the new version?
Here's how with InDesign CC (2014) — yes you gotta get the latest version.
Frankly, I am only dealing with re-flowable ePubs from InDesign. Not fixed-layout.
The page-break-after:avoid rule just doesn't do its job! Can we fix it? Yes we can.
You all know it to be true. The one really annoying thing about the re-flowable ePub, is that you are often seeing those sub-titles all on their own at the bottom of the page. Just like a lonely orphan.
You can see an example in the first image here.
CSS has some rules for paged-media that try to prevent a page breaking before or after elements. Try as I might, I simply cannot get this do as expected.
So is there a way to sort this out while we wait for the ereader software to be updated to solve this? Or do we really have to use the fixed-layout option. No!No! Please not that.