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tools: epub 2/2

 Why study ebooks if this medium offers such poor design possibilities?
  • 1. creativity is, among others, making the most of scarce means – and – part of design is  carefully reducing a “too much”. We have forgotten “medium-scarcity” nowadays using our powerful machines, but we are reminded of this using ebooks on “primitive” platforms like e-readers.
  • 2. you have to offer design for many platforms, some of them are rich, some poor, a designer is a professional who can make the most of all platforms rich or poor.

EBook on the Kindle:

After making an epub we want to see it also in our KINDLE on the MAC (or WINDOWS).
For the kindle you do not need .EPUB format but .MOBI format.

Two ways to get it there:
1: (try way 2!)
Using Kindlegen (terminal window program)
or having an account at, you can upload the mobi file and have it sold.

easier is using Calibre:
choose a file and then export and take the EPUB format. The find the mobi file and use OPEN WITH Kindle (You have to have a Kindle app on your computer)

By the way: you can open a PDF in an e-reader, compare the difference in reading effect with a MOBI or EPUB

More about Jutoh:

Video is only possible in epub3 and on devices capable of playing video’s:

Tryout other ways (EPUB3):

in Epub 3 (like HTML 5) you can add “media”, sound, video
but on older e-readers these media won’t show up, and since epub is about “all” devices, we stick to the basics.

Research question: what is a well designed ebook?

Knowing the limitations of ebooks, knowing that an ebook is text and images only,  how can a designer still make the most of it?
start doing research: (using search words like) “well designed ebooks”, look for examples, compare these.

compare ebooks with well designed PDF examples, fitted for a screen (landscape format, text in a few columns, background template design for pages)

most blogs look like “pre ebooks” look at the design of blogs for inspiration

research partial solution to try out:
what I found were ebooks downloadable as pdf’s. This gave me the idea: why not combine pages, as images and pages with this uncontrollable HTML text?

examples with business in mind:

covers:(realism is a policy of Apple for App designers, making from a high tech device like a tablet, just a cheap imitation of a poorly designed book shelf…:-)

why you need a cover: look at the tablet way to present the books in a kind of realistic book shelf idea:

the research we do in this class is pratical:
  • searching (on the web) for opinions, examples 
  • discuss the examples found for effectivity, design, content
  • practice with our own designs using these examples.
Challenge in class:

Make your collaboration with journalists in e-book! 


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