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training and development 

19 June 2018

Understanding ebooks

Date: tbc
Time: tbc
Venue: tbcc


This course ran in May. If you are interested in attending a session later in the year, email


Understanding eBooks presentation and hands-on workshop

Do you want to be an ebook expert? Do you want to thoroughly understand the market? Plus have the practical skills to code your own books? Join industry expert Ken Jones for this two-part one-day course.

About the Course

In the morning session Ken will present an overview of the ebook market today, giving you insights into which formats work on which devices; and making sure you are up-to-speed on the latest debates around DRM. The afternoon session will be a hands-on course for coding ebooks.

Morning Session - Demystifying ebooks

  • What exactly is an ebook?
  • Ebook formats - EPUB2 vs EPUB3 vs MOBI vs KF8 vs EPIB vs iBA vs ePDF
  • Comparisons of Book apps, eBooks and online products
  • Fixed layout vs reflowable and which is right in which situation
  • Fixed layout EPUB3 zooming vs KF8 zooming and the limitations of KF8
  • The limitations of devices and how this impacts eBooks
  • Adding interactivity and enhancements
  • Read-aloud media overlays vs text to speech
  • Accessibility in ebooks
  • The pros and cons of DRM
  • Who are the IDPF, the W3C and how are they linked
  • What Readium is and what can it be used for
  • The future of ebooks, beyond EPUB and beyond ebook devices

Afternoon Session - Coding for ebooks

  • Creating ebooks from InDesign and other publishing applications
  • Explanation of HTML, CSS and XML the foundation languages of ebooks.
  • Unpacking and repacking EPUBs successfully
  • Understanding the structure of an EPUB
  • Finding and changing content in a reflowable EPUB
  • Adding new content to a reflowable EPUB
  • Opening and amending a fixed layout EPUB
  • Validating an EPUB and understanding validation errors and warnings
  • Converting an EPUB to a MOBI for Amazon
  • Where to go for more practical advice and information


Additional Info

Ahead of the course you will receive a package of exercises and links to free software tools to download onto your laptop. These exercises will be used throughout the day, so please bring a PC or Mac laptop to join in the exercises in the afternoon (a PC can be provided for an extra fee).


Course Leader

Ken Jones is a publishing software expert with over ten years' experience as Technical Production Manager, software trainer and developer at Penguin Group UK. He is the mastermind behind Circular Software, which offers workflow advice, software tools and training to improve how publishers produce their illustrated print and digital books.