Fixed layout ebooks

Let’s not lose what makes your book special

Beautiful books need different treatment

If your book is something out of the ordinary, full of rich imagery and illustrative layouts, you can’t rely on the usual ebook conversion process. Standard reflowable ebooks adapt cleverly to the viewer’s device and settings, but only work well for text-based books. If you’ve written a recipe book, picture book, or graphic novel, any variation in screen or setting could throw your design into chaos. To preserve your visual story, you need our fixed layout design service.

The full reading experience on larger screens

We can make the digital version of your book look exactly the same as your printed pages, allowing a reader to ‘turn the pages’ and get the full experience, just as they would with a physical copy. We’ll protect it from unexpected conversion issues and format it so it’s ready for you to upload and sell through all the major ebook retailers.

Help readers to enjoy your book everywhere

Modern readers love having the option to own digital copies of their favourite books. What could be more convenient than having your go-to recipe book on your ipad, or your child’s picture book collection on their tablet? If you need some extra help working through the listing process, our our ebook publishing service can do all the hard work for you.

We’re affordable and we’re fast

Fixed layout ebooks can be created from $280 USD and we have a typical turnaround of 5 working days. Volume discounts and express turnaround are typically both available upon request. Take a look at how much will my job be for more details.

So let's get started …

Whatever stage your book is at, send us what you’ve got and we can go from there, or read on for more details. Don’t have a manuscript yet? That’s fine too! Just give us a call instead.

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Your questions answered

what is fixed layout?

There are a couple of ways to create a fixed layout ebook. The way we do it is to export each page of the book and cover as an image and then combine them all in a single file. The other way to do it is to export the book file from InDesign but this method comes with a number of issues.

image pages

Each page of your print pdf is turned into an image. The cover is also turned into an image. These images are then combined to form a fixed layout ebook. So unlike with a reflowable ebook, you can't enlarge the text, or change the font, or zoom in. Everything about each page is absolutely fixed and identical to your print book. And the good thing is, for a children's book or a recipe book, that's exactly the way you want it! You don't want the reader to have flexibility to control the layout of a book that you so carefully designed in print. You want it to look precisely the way you intended.

InDesign export

Now there is another way to create a fixed layout ebook. In theory it is possible to do this in a way that makes all the text in the file fully searchable and selectable. You may read about this online. In reality, we would not recommend this method as it causes a number of problems. Firstly, the font used for any text in the ebook needs to be embedded and licensed. This can mean either paying hundreds of dollars to license a font family or swapping for a free-font and changing the appearance of the whole book. Then there are additional issues with curving text, special symbols, wraps and tiny text as well. Creating the fixed layout ebook as a set of image pages just avoids all these issues.

any other considerations?

There are a few other considerations that it is important to be aware of when deciding if a fixed layout ebook is appropriate for your material. These include the quantity of text on the pages, the shape of the book pages and how you intend to sell the ebook.

text quantity

A children’s book in a large font will look great on a big tablet. A customer trying to read a textbook font on a smartphone, however, is likely to end up with a headache. Some devices do let customers zoom in to read smaller text but this really doesn't make for a pleasant reading experience. If your book contains lots of text chances are it's just not suited to fixed layout.

page shape

The aspect ratio of the pages in your print book will not be the same as an ebook device. There is likely to therefore be an empty white padding area above/below your pages when you view them on a small screen. Also, if your book is designed to span double-page spreads it is possible to adjust the settings so your ebook opens across a double page. Things like this just need to be taken into account.

limited retailers

There are currently two main formats of fixed layout ebook: epub fixed layout (for Apple), and KF8 fixed layout (for Kindle). Currently that means you can only really sell fixed layout ebooks through iBooks and Amazon.

what about my ebook cover?

The first page of your ebook will be an elastic cover image. Here we take the front cover image from your print book and style it so it expands to fit the screen appropriately on any small ereader device. If we have created your print book cover then we will have the cover file in the format required. If your cover was created elsewhere please provide it as a pdf and we will crop and include this accordingly.

The back cover is not typically included in an ebook file. Marketing information such as the book synopsis or author bio should instead be included as metadata when the book is submitted for distribution.

how can I review my ebook?

You cannot just double click an epub file and try to review it on your PC or in a browser. Not only are these filetypes not supported by most browsers but your readers won't be reading your ebook on their desktop computer so it is just not representative of their experience.

The best way to review your ebook and see how it will look on a range of devices is to use Amazon's Kindle Previewer software which is free to download and is a great way to see your ebook as it will look on a tablet, a phone or a Kindle device. See this page for tips on how to review your ebook.

what if I need changes?

Your ebook is a conversion of your print book. Any changes required will typically fall into one of these categories.

styling and edits

Your pages should look identical to your print version so if you spot anything to change then you will want to update this in the print book first. Our standard changes fee of $48 USD will apply to each file that requires correction.

errors

When your book is converted items are tagged with html it is theoretically possible for an error to creep in such as pages in the wrong sequence or something missing. If you spot something please just send us include an image of the issue—either as a screen capture or photo—and we will investigate for you.

what are your terms?

We do not have a written contract for you to sign. Instead we ask that you have read this know what you're buying section and accept our general terms and conditions which we have tried to make short and readable.

I love being able to change the font, color and text size when reading a book on my kindle. But what about a children's book with funky letters placed on top of an image? When converted to ebook it won't work if the text can be restyled, resized or moved. That's where fixed layout ebooks come in. A snapshot of your book pages, delivered in ebook format. Great for children's books, recipe books, art books and more.

TOM

WzW DESIGNER