Common Tools Used to Create the Most Popular eBook Formats

As the demand for digital books continues to increase, new programs are being created to meet this rising demand.  ePubs, short for Electronic Publications,  are “the distribution and interchange format standard for digital publications and documents based on Web Standards“, created by the International Digital Publishing Forum.

iBooks Author is an app that ODEE and the Book Launch initiative uses widely, due to its many interactive features and ease of use for both the author and the reader.  Alongside iBooks we encourage authors to develop alternative formats, and programs are available as resources to those who wish to use them. One of these tools is Calibre, “a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books,” which allows authors to create ebooks in many formats.

Screenshot of a gray, blue and red book page with embedded video and fixed layout, created in Apple's iBooks Author app.

Example of a book created with iBooks Author for iPad and Mac.

Adobe InDesign is another great tool we use to create digital books. When using InDesign, authors have the opportunity to use tools within the program that vary the layout, which may not be available in programs such as Word or Pages. For example, in InDesign, authors are able to create various shapes and lines, adjust and manipulate photographs, and create repeating design elements from scratch. Check out this video to view all the actions possible with InDesign.

Another option to be considered is creating a digital book accessible via kindle through Amazon’s Kindle Publishing Program.  This program allows for authors to create their own books in a digital format, leaving the publishing to the Kindle Publishing Program on Amazon after submittal.

Don’t forget one of the most important aspects of these digital books is that they can be accessed in a multitude of devices, based on which program the author chooses. Some of the many include Android, iPhone, Nook, iPad, Kindle, Sony readers, Windows 7 and 8 Touch, and Mac and PC computers.

Be sure to continue checking our blog and the ODEE Resource Center for more information on digital books and resources!

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