Fixed Layout E-pub. Flock flies!

I’ve said a few times that I wouldn’t try to make a digital version of my picture poetry book ‘Flock‘, which is basically all double spread images, with even more images in the footers. Too hard, I said.

Some of the reasons are:

  • It’s daunting to try to tame all those images for digital presentation. This was the case for the Bear books, too.
  • It has to be done as ‘Fixed Format’ if the reader is to see it as intended. The usual e-pub document is ‘reflowable’, so a reader can make the text bigger or smaller – fitting more or less text on the screen as suits. if the text is intended to go with an image – a presentation relationship – reflowable format makes a mess of that. The reader doesn’t necessarily know what image should go with what text.
  • The text size is frozen. As per the point above, I usually use an 11 point Verdana font for my books. Digital versions do what they like with the font because they mean to make it bigger or smaller, or whatever. When I use fixed format, my 11 point Verdana may be too small for some readers and won’t work at all for a smart phone screen.
  • Some digital readers can’t show colour, which takes some of the steam out of the prsentation.

InDesign allows me to make a couple of different kinds of digital book, including fixed format, so I had to have a play. After a lot of messing about, I think I’ve gotten there. Flock flies.

I still wouldn’t bother with it on a smart phone screen, but I think it might be good for digital readers more generally.

This formatting caper becomes more straightforward, of course, the more you do it, but this experience has been like learning three different sets of rules for making the same book. Flock is a 6 x 9 inch format, which is my standard for poetry collections. I will have to master the 8.5 x 8.5 picture book format to be satisfied that it all works satisfactorily.

As it is, I may have a digital option open for Flock when I release it, rather than paper only.

Feels good!

Flock Image from Adobe Digital Editions Reader. Double page spread, Table of Contents and Page List – 19/08/2022

18 thoughts on “Fixed Layout E-pub. Flock flies!

  1. Bravo, Frank! Finding a good ‘average’ size for the font [in fixed format], one that most people will be able to read is tricky to say the least. Glad to see that Flock will spread its wings. đŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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