How to add interactivity to your ebook content
17 September, 2018
Creating a digital book is no longer a daunting task considering the fact that you can avail of numerous online services to shape an interactive ebook the way you like. For a nominal fee, you can steer clear of challenging manual work by entrusting a strategic website partner. Right from ebook cover designing to tailoring the interaction quotient of content to ebook formatting for rendering it compatible with different readers and publishers; the entire spectrum of activities would be taken care of.
When planning about interactive ebook creation, you might wonder if the software or online platform used for creating interactivity would also allow writing the content in it. Yes, the ebook content can be drafted directly within the software. Alternately, you can get pre-written content imported from other sources in doc, pdf, epub, rtf or other compatible formats. If you feel uncomfortable in using the software, give vent to your ideas in whatever platform you feel convenient and then import it.
You can craft content for ebook readers and also simultaneously add interactive functionalities to the format.
This guide offers rich insights into proven techniques for creating interactive eBooks equipped with cutting edge features. The guide provided below is extensive and covers all important aspects for successfully publishing interactive eBooks with the view of distributing them on multiple platforms with relative ease. The guide would provide you actionable insights into preparing your content in adherence to eBook conditions, and selecting strategic tools for both online and offline tasks. Alongside this, we would try to offer satisfactory responses to the queries that writers often seek solutions to.
Translating your ideas into eBook content
It is not compulsory that everyone ebook author has to be a literary genius. If you are not confident about your linguistic proficiency or are running short of time, you may hire a ghostwriter or an editor. The ghostwriter would listen to your ideas carefully and then give readable shape to them in exchange of a fee. These literary experts won’t pester you to give credit to them as authors of ebook.
If you decide to hire a copy editor, you have to first prepare your manuscript and then share with him for editing, proofreading and elevating the style and language. Both freelancers and professional agencies offer ghostwriting and editing services.
Making up for lack of electronic book versions
If your hardcover book has already been published but you are not in possession of the electronic copy, then you may exercise any of two options. First, if the ebook had handful of images only which are not essential, you can get the book typed into word processor and then get the images scanned.
Second, if the number of images is more and book’s layout has to be retained, book scanning for the purpose of conversion into pdf format is the best choice. The pdf can be transformed into an interactive ebook with the help of software.
Adding assets into eBook
Ebook assets are audio-visual elements, multimedia content and interactive parts sprinkled throughout the content to make it more compelling. When thinking about how to make an ebook with pictures, it is not compulsory to collect the assets at the outset. You can introduce them during writing at strategic points or import altogether after completing the content.
You need not copy or upload all multimedia elements in the ebook as prospects of copyright violation and making the ebook too bulky are present. The way out is to provide links to websites or online locations where videos, pictures or sound bytes are present. Readers would hop to the site and then return back to ebook after assimilating the information. Alternately, videos and sounds can be embedded wherein ebook readers would feel as if multimedia is integrated in ebook but actually the feed is streamed from YouTube or other sites.
If copyright restrictions prevent you from including multimedia, embed it and then link to the parent site so that credit is given to original artists. Only few YouTube videos suffer from embedding related restrictions.
If size of your ebook is more, readers would need more bandwidth and time to download it which can prove frustrating for them. Also, readers’ perception about file size varies based on ebook’s genre. For a typical novel, file size of 10MB or more is considered cumbersome. Whereas, for a university reference book which has illustrations, videos, and interactive elements, 10MB is normal. Determine ebook size based on such expectations. Also, eBook publishing platforms may charge delivery fee for offshore sales of your ebook based on its size.
Managing large sized images
You need to carry out image optimization suitably without compromising on picture’s quality as Amazon and other publishers may impose limitations on integrated media. An example is Apple iBooks Store which rejects images that exceed the size of 5MB or used area of 4 megapixels. An ebook that is part of an online application should never use images shot straight from digital camera as size would be a constraint in downloading and ensuring optimum reading experience to users. Image optimization should inevitably be done
A number of tools are available online and offline to help you with image size optimization. Compressor.io is one such online tool which optimizes images and offers you snapshots of original and optimized versions. Image optimization can be done in batches with Tinyjpg tool. IrfanView is popular offline software which potentially optimizes scores of images in batches within moments.
Your interactive ebook design can take a new dimension with 3D images that offers readers 360 degrees motion view of any picture. The reader can visualize the image from various angles which would render the ebook more tantalizing. If 3D models are readily available with you, insert them straightaway. Else, secure 3D modeling services of a professional firm and add the gripping images to your ebook to amplify sales.
Managing video and audio sections of your eBook
If your ebook focuses on the growing popularity of videos and how they have eclipsed traditional radio and other media, you would need to insert a number of videos to make your point. Adding small sized video files within the ebook is acceptable but if the number and size of videos are more, the wisest way to showcase them all is to embed them. Sites like Vimeo, Dailymotion, Youtube etc. allows embedding of videos. You can also create your own professional videos by freelancers and host them on your site and embed the codes in the ebook.
Same applies for audio clips. Inserting MP3 files of smaller sizes are ok, but if they exceed in number and bytes, it is better to embed them from audio hosting sites such as Soundcloud.
Reputed interactive ebook creation sites offer support for text to speech mode so that readers can enjoy the book without poring over it. The backdrop music, voice tones, audio effects can be found online at Soundsnap and related sites.
The interactivity of your ebook can be enhanced with dynamic yet diminutive apps called widgets which offers readers host of additional options. With widgets, you can link to useful apps like calculators, allow readers to play games when boredom starts setting in, broadcast views in real time on social platforms, watch live videos or browse through image galleries. Before embedding relevant widgets in your ebook, you need to shortlist the ones you would like to include in your creation. Useful and popular widgets can be searched for at Bookry, Book Widgets and related places. After you have purchased and downloaded the ones that appealed to you, you have to go by the dictates for incorporating them as set down by the ebook creation platform. The process can be pulled off easily and quickly.