March 28th, 2012
Although I continue to harbor reservations about the ability of human readers to change the look of ebooks on their e-reading devices, time has come for me to jump into ebook-making with both feet. To be sure, it gnaws at me that the typefaces I use in my print books will not make it to their e-versions, but it really is time.
So right now, in between projects and/or pieces of projects, I am beefing up my skills by extending my knowledge. First in my learning parade is Anne-Marie Concepcion’s DVD from Lynda.com, Adobe InDesign CS5.5 to EPUB, Kindle, and iPad. This is a fairly painless way, I am finding, to take a step-by-step tour of what you need to do to turn InDy CS5.5 files into epubs.
Of course, as often happens, one thing leads to another and I realize that I need to get up to snuff with CSS, so that I can tweak CSS definitions to adjust how ebook pages will look. The text recommended to me for CSS is HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites. I think, too, that I should brush up on my HTML. So that leads me to something lighter, a series that I had some fun with learning basic HTML years ago, Sams Teach Yourself HTML5 and CSS3 in 24 Hours. But all isn’t right enough with the world to end there. I remain stuck on the thought of how much I hate that all my design choices can be altered on an e-reader. Some ongoing discussion on Twitter and great suggestions from fellow tweeters, under the #eprdctn hashtag, led me to a number of great looking open source typefaces at The League of Moveable Type. I think their Fanwood, Linden Hill, Prociono, Clover, and Sorts Mill Goudy might be very nice text faces. Raleway, League Gothic, and Junction might just lend themselves to some great display work.
That’s how, after all this time, I am really preparing to plunge into the design and layout of ebooks. Any other suggestions most welcome.