Print Layout Versus Ebook Layout

Print book layout versus ebook layout: these two formats present different challenges and have different requirements.

Note: I’m still using my daughter’s picture book as an example for this post, because coloring books don’t make good ebooks.

Reposted fromĀ April 18, 2015:

You may remember from my last post that I was in the middle of helping my daughter publish a picture book she had created.

Just about the time I finished the layout and editing for her book and published it via CreateSpace and Amazon, a writer friend asked a question about layout for print books containing images versus layout for ebooks.

While it is possible to lay out both books the same way, if you just migrate the artwork and embedded text over from the picture book to the ebook format, it is impossible to change the size of the text for easier reading in the smaller format. The text becomes inflexible.

When I decided to use a 8.5″ by 8.5″ format for Maria’s book, I also recognized that this format will not automatically adapt to the 2:3 width/length ratios most ereader screens are designed with. An ereader screen will do a great job of accommodating a 6″ x 9″ or 9″ x 6″ book layout, and even an 8.5″ x 11″ layout, but not square pages, which it would shrink until the text was unreadable, leaving lots of wasted space on the screen.

The text here is small and static, even though a website is an electronic medium, illustrating the issue with converting print layouts to ebook (it doesn't work very well).

The text here is small and static, even though a website is an electronic medium, illustrating the issue with converting print layouts to ebook (it doesn’t work very well).

To adapt Harold & Louise for ebook, I resized the artwork without the words into a 9″ x 6″ format, and arranged the artwork and the words in a format that would permit the text to flow as needed, and be adaptable to larger sizes for ease of reading.

This page became, in essence, two pages, with the text on one page, and the artwork on another.

I’ve already received compliments on how well the artwork and text work in the ebook format. The story flows effortlessly for the reader, which is how it should be. It won’t do that, though, if it isn’t set up properly.

So now you know!

5 low-res

This is what the artwork on this page became for the ebook. The text appeared on the next page.

While it is fairly straightforward process to publish a book via CreateSpace or Kindle, there are a lot of steps that go into making a quality product. If you are struggling with the process or find it overwhelming, part of my business involves design and layout of books for publication, and walking new authors through the self-publishing process. If you would like my help. please don’t hesitate to ask.

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