Among the different types of eBooks layout available, you have to make a conscious decision about the one which is compatible with your ebook. The layouts may appear similar to untrained eyes, but their distinctive properties prevent them from being switched around while you have made significant progress with your project. Your decision needs to be well thought-out because if you decide to retract, you have to start with layout from scratch again. Some software allows setting up of layout for individual chapters or pages uniquely. You need to understand the specialties of each layout type and the context in which it is to be used.
As the name suggests, in a fixed layout ebook, you get the opportunity to describe precise setting of elements on each page to make them appear the way you have predetermined. Fixed locations won’t change or be warped. Elements can be overlapped or juxtaposed, but while zooming in and out, the layout would behave like a static photo. The entire page would transcend the screen when zoomed out and your reader would have to scroll horizontally or vertically to glance through remaining page.
Fixed layout is the ideal choice when the ebook would be read through laptop or PC or if LMS does not allow mobile access. The layout works great for magazines, storybooks, comics, journals etc.
This layout is responsive i.e. it adapts intuitively to the dimensions of the e-reader’s screen and your reader only has to scroll through pages. The layout is content focused and you have to set content order for every chapter and the content will spontaneously flow in that order only. The benefit is that font size can be adjusted by the reader based on screen dimension or reading preference. The interactive matter along with layout would intuitively adapt to reader’s preference by extending page’s length and wrapping around. This is particularly convenient for small screens when reading blogs and news.
Reflowable layout epub is perfect for short stories and novels when read through smartphone or mobile handhelds.
Using Both Layouts Concurrently
If you are vacillating between the choices of reflowable vs. fixed layout, you may take comfort from the fact that both layouts can be used simultaneously in the same book to enhance reader’s experience. Reflowable layout is convenient for readers but fixed layout may be required for placing pages with rich design with interactive elements extending horizontally like a timeline. For that purpose, fixed layout would be used and then the ebook would switch over to reflowable layout. Another typical use of both layouts together is for annotating images placed together before and after.
Choosing the Strategic Platform for Publishing EBook
Often, when you want to create interactive eBooks, you are undecided about the platform or device for which you should publish your ebook to expand your outreach and get optimum niche readers. You are ready with your content, clear about the flow of undercurrent, certain about mobi or epub file format, but confused about the right platform. This ambivalence often takes its toll on the profitability and distribution of ebook.
Your publishing dilemma would be eliminated to a great extent by the indicators about compatible devices or platforms provided below.
- Ebook can be published as webapp which would be integrated in the website. Readers visiting the site would click on ebook and start reading
- Ebook is dedicated for viewing on mobile devices and as such would be deployed as a mobile app in all prominent app stores like Google Play, iOS App Store, Mi Store etc. where the icon of the book with its name would be visible in app menu
- Ebooks meant for viewing on desktop would not require separate epub readers to be independently installed; they can be distributed by email, pen drive etc. or stored on hard disk.
- Interactive ebooks are meant for publication in learning management system or LMSs of educational institutions and would be embedded with LMS component.
- Ebook is to be published as EPUB file on all popular and major ebook stores like B&N Nook, Amazon’s Kindle, iBooks of Apple etc. and can be distributed independently
Branding of Reader Interface
When you choose an ebook platform for publishing your ebook which has inbuilt reader, such as Kindle or Nook, you are restricted from altering anything within the interface of reader. However, if you have made up your mind to get the ebook published as an app for mobile, web or desktop; you can exercise full authority to shape or brand the reader in the way you think optimally corresponding to your theme.
Branding of reader interface is an essential requirement of companies that want to incorporate their trademarks within the ebook. This can be possible if you have created your own customized reader within the publishing platform you feel suitable to your needs. The appearance, feel and theme of the reader interface would then be in sync with the experience you want to offer to your targeted readers. In contrast, if you are not targeting any particular niche audience and want to create an ebook available for masses, you need not take the trouble of reader synthesis and can rely on external ebook reader.
Updating the Content
As an author, you know that certain edits may be required in the published content even after release. The updates after being incorporated in the ebook may be reflected variedly dependent on the publishing platform. Ebook published as web app can be edited straightaway whereas those published on mobile appstore or LMS may take some time and formalities for completing the edit.