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Upcoming Events

Joshua speaks at and attends eBook and publishing events every year. You are welcome to chat with him anytime at these events, or you can set up a time to consult with him about your eBook needs in person. Please see our Consulting and Training page for more details, and contact Joshua to set up an appointment.

PepCon - The Print & ePublishing ConferencePepCon

June 15-18, 2014

Not speaking this year, just attending. Please let me know if you want to get a demo of FlightDeck!

aaupAssociation of American University Presses

June 22-24, 2014
New Orleans, LA

Advice for eBook Complexities and Quality Control
Creating EPUB files can be frustrating work. Sometimes the process works and you can push out a file with little or no hassle, but other times you can spend hours banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why that table just won’t behave.

In this workshop, we will talk about some of the most frustrating and confusing aspects of eBook development. You will walk away with solid, practical information about:

  • When your eBook design might need to deviate from the print design, and when it can be the same.
  • Handling images in eBook files, including advice on file type, size, dimensions, and more.
  • Designing tables to look good and function properly across devices.
  • Working with foreign languages, and getting special characters to behave on different systems.
  • When to consider fixed layout and iBooks Author as opposed to (or in addition to) reflowable eBooks.
  • Workflow adjustments you can make for digital-first and digital-only books.
  • Considerations when choosing between EPUB 2 and EPUB 3, and advice on converting to Kindle Format 8.
  • Quality Control steps and tools that actually work.

Come prepared to learn about the deeper side of eBook production.

fbFirebrand Community Conference

September 22-24, 2014
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Join us for the 5th Firebrand Community Conference! There’s not another event like this one: a practical, close-knit gathering of publishing professionals and influencers who are interested in publishing operations, technology trends, and best practices. Joshua will be doing three sessions:

Bootcamp on eBook QA and EPUB 3
This two-part, 5-hour bootcamp will tackle two of the most frustrating and confusing areas every publisher is struggling with: eBook Quality Assurance and EPUB 3 implementation.

eBook Architects FlightDeck: Going the last mile with high-quality eBooks
This session will cover the ins and outs of using the FlightDeck tool, and will give you an opportunity to hear about features we are planning to add in the future.

Panel Discussion: Strategies for the Move to EPUB 3
This panel discussion will cover the high-level strategic questions and issues. The panel will include publishers, retailers, and others who are involved in EPUB 3 development.



Is it a good idea to put my Table of contents at the end of my eBook?

Some people do this to increase the size of the free samples automatically generated by the eBook retailers. However, the Kindle and other devices will re-set the “last read location” to the end of the book if you have your Table of Contents there, so we normally recommend against that practice.

What is the difference between HTML5 and XHTML5?

HTML5 is the latest version of the HTML standard used on the Web and in eBooks. XHTML5 is a stricter and cleaner version of HTML5, with rules from XML imposed on the code. For example, when a tag is opened it has to be closed, and all of the tags have to be properly nested. XHTML5 allows the code to be more easily interpreted by the display engine, and it keeps the code more consistent and easier to edit.

I have heard you can’t use color in eBooks. Is that correct?

No, that is absolutely incorrect. eBooks look great with color, and we highly recommend using color images and even colored text (within reason) in your eBook files. Some devices have grayscale eInk screens, so the color will not show up on those devices. However, the color will be in the file, and it will work on all of the color devices. We do recommend you test colored text on a device with an eInk screen and ensure that the text will not be too light to read.

Do you need to have a separate ISBN for each version of the eBook for different companies?

Technically, yes. See an extended answer on our ISBNs page.

What is KindleGen?

KindleGen is Amazon’s eBook creation/compiling program. It is used on the KDP website to auto-convert files uploaded into the Kindle store, and it is also integrated into the Kindle Previewer program to handle the conversion of non-Kindle files loaded in that program. You can download KindleGen and get access to other Kindle creation information at

What is a fixed layout eBook?

Fixed Layout eBooks are HTML-based eBook files that are usually designed to match the layout of a print book. The key difference between fixed layout files and reflowable files is that reflowable eBooks allow the reader to have more control over the reading experience, such as changing the font size, background color, etc. For more information, please see our Fixed Layout Children’s and Non-Fiction pages.

Does Amazon sell HTML files or only Kindle?

Amazon only sells eBooks in the Kindle format, but that format, just like ePub, is built using HTML and CSS files.

How is fixed layout different from a pdf of the book?

Fixed layout eBooks are built using HTML, so they have more functionality than PDF files. For example, the narration overlay functionality used in many children’s eBooks is not possible in PDF files. In addition, none of the eBook retailers sell PDFs, so fixed layout eBook files offer the best sales opportunities.

A university librarian told me they are not acquiring any Kindle books but only HTML5/ePub. Have you found that to be common with other libraries? I know our local public library does buy Kindle books.

Libraries acquire their eBooks from services like 3M and Overdrive. These services sometimes offer an option for Kindle checkouts, but typically they are limited to ePub files because of the more common use of the Adobe DRM.

Has the Kindle format gotten any more sophisticated in how it handles tables or floating images?

Yes, Amazon’s Kindle Format 8 has support for many great design features, including floating images, tables, color text, embedded fonts, and more.

Do the eBook files you create include a linked Table of Contents?

Yes, all of our files include the proper linking for the Table of Contents, index, and other elements.

How are page numbers handled in an eBook?

Print book page numbers are included in the HTML code of both the Kindle and ePub formats as anchors. They are also listed in the PageList section of the NCX or Navigation file. The PageList is used by some reading systems (like the Kindle and iBooks) to show the reader the print page numbers of the book as they read.

How are page headers created in eBook files?

The different reading systems control what shows up in the header of your eBook. Most will display the title of the book, and some will also display the author name. That text cannot currently be set to display the chapter name or other information about where the reader is currently reading in the text.

How do eBooks handle hyphenation of long words?

Some eBook reading systems will apply hyphenation to longer words to make the text better fit on the screen. This is typically controlled by the reading system, and will change depending on the font size and other settings the reader has set on their device.

What about protecting the file?

eBook file protection is called Digital Rights Management (DRM). Please see our DRM page for information on how it works and suggestions on how to use it.

Do you build websites?

No, eBook Architects does not currently build websites. We recommend you contact a local website design company or use a service like Squarespace.

Can I sell my eBooks on my own website?

Yes! You are certainly able to sell your eBooks on your own website. For more information, please see this page.

Should I have you create a Web PDF of my book?

For online viewing, there is no a system that can read a PDF that cannot also read an eBook. While we do offer PDF creation services, we do not create these files in-house, but rather outsource the work to an overseas vendor. The turnaround is about a week, and before they start, we will need to know the specifications you need to PDF to match. The flat fee for any PDF is $150.00, but most of our clients end up not needing it.