Not all eBooks are created equal – Production Protocols

Book with USB plug

A work in progress…

I began my print & digital publishing career in the early 90’s when the entire industry was undergoing the transition from manual paste-up to digital output. Since then I’ve worked in many areas of digital production, however, always returning to my roots in publishing. In this blog, I will present the best protocols and the evolution of digital publishing process and products.


Adobe InDesign is the ultimate staging area for the wide array of end products and formats. It is the most flexible and the most precise. From InDesign, the layout is imported into Word and Amazon Kindle Create. Although advanced formatting has very limited controls in Amazon Kindle Create, it is able to retain substantial styles that are properly exported from InDesign and Word. That is why, especially for sophisticated parameters, knowledge of the entire processes are crucial for the best final product.

Simple vs. Complicated

Some more “sophisticated” items might be a manuscript with an unusually high number of sub-chapters or bullet lists with multiple sub-levels.

It is important to understand the complexity of a given project. A simple and straight-forward book will have largely just text divided into chapters.

When images and graphics are added, there is then the added considerations of which type of layout to use between a reflowable dynamic layout vs. a fixed layout.

For reflowable, the user is able to change the text size, so there is no fixed page count either. Images can still be anchored between two areas of text.

A fixed layout is ideal for children’s books or illustrated novels. There will always be a specific page-count, like a printed book or a PDF.


There is no substitute for thorough testing. Technical obstacles are not always predictable. Adobe Digital Editions is reliable for testing an ePub file and is available as a free download. For Kindle, Amazon has made the Kindle Previewer, also available as a free download.


About the Author

Moolar Devar has worked in the publishing industry for 20+ years starting at Newspapers in the early 90s and evolving with the digital times to a current focus in ePub & Kindle.

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