EBOOK FORMATTING  -  Thursday February 9th, 2012

I just completed formatting my first ebook for the kindle, which was an interesting experience. At the end of last year I typeset the same book Honey’s Natural Feeding Handbook for Dogs, written by my father Jonathan Self (founder of Honey’s Real Dog Food), for Mammoth Publishing, an impression of a print house in Fleet Street I work for quite frequently called Wentworth Publishing. Since I also do all the graphic design and web management for Honey’s it was somewhat strange to have two separate employers working on a common project.

The process of formatting a book for kindle is not at all straightforward – in fact, its more in the nature of coding a web page from 1996 than it is like true typesetting. This is because a kindle ebook (.mobi) is basically a paired back .html file with a sub-folder for images attached. It is extremely difficult to kern, pad or change very much about the line-heights and spacingĀ of specific parts of text – you have to let it flow like a web page and can only apply css styles to whole paragraphs. Custom fonts are equally impossible to execute. Images are only 16 colours deep… its a lot like designing a

In this respect not only was it an unusual job because of the two clients, but an unusual job because of the two formats (a mash of html and graphic design). The book itself is already available from Amazon, and the ebook will be available in the coming months.

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