Electronic Publishing Comparing iBooks, EPUBs, PDF and Appsby Stephan Beauchesne, Nice Oak Apps
What’s EPUB?• Open standard format for digital publications• Text flows when user changes font size• Depending on e-reader device, users can bookmark pages, highlight sections and take notes• Only accepts images and videos (not all e-readers can handle videos, though)• No multi-touch features or HTML widgets available
What’s a PDF?• Digital version of a printed document• Fixed layout, but design is only limited by your creativity• User can zoom-in/out whole page, not just the font size• Depending on device, limited ability to search, bookmark and take notes, but users cannot share notes• Universal compatibility is biggest advantage
What’s an iBook?• Multi-touch reader experience• Layout and design is only limited by your creativity• Enhance your publications with embedded presentations, pop-ups, interactive images, 3D images and image galleries• Include powerful HTML widgets for an even more dynamic and interactive publication• Publication can be developed with fixed portrait or landscape layout, or with portrait and text flow• Uses a special version of EPUB that only works on iPads
When to consider an App?• Your content is NOT typically read from cover to cover• The need for a table of content is not important, and a menu-driven interface is preferred• You need the highest level of interactive features possible• An app only works on the device it‘s designed for. Different versions need to be developed for different devices and operating systems• Most likely the most expensive option and generally not suitable for publications
Conclusions• If interactivity is key: iBooks• If compatibility is most important factor: PDF (universal file format)• If there’s no interactivity in your publication, but e- reader features are still important: EPUB (but reading experience varies depending on device)• If complete flexibility of design and features is important: App (but most expensive and time- consuming)
Recommendations Two possible e-publishing paths
Recommended path 1Cost-efficient and wide reader reach using 2 file formats 1. Develop main publication as iBook 2. Create a duplicate iBook file 3. In the duplicate file, replace interactive features with static images and text (as sidebars or appendices, for example) 4. Create PDF from duplicate iBook file (basically a “save as...” process).
Recommended path 2 Widest reader reach using 3 file formats1. Develop main publication as EPUB2. Convert EPUB content to iBook format3. Add interactive features and HTML widgets as needed to create an enhanced version of your publication4. Create PDF from either EPUB or iBook version (basically a “save as...” process)
Nice Oak AppsE-publishing and Apps development Stephan Beauchesne, President email@example.com 202-642-4065 http:niceoak.com iBook and iPad are trademarks of Apple, Inc.