Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review: EPUB Straight to the Point

In a previous post, I mentioned how I've been spending some thinking about ebooks and digital readers. As well, I've been reading a bunch about typography and things having to do with print on screens.

One of the books I picked up was EPUB Straight to the Point: Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders, which was recommended by several blogs of experts in the segment, largely because I think it's on only texts in this space that covers Ebooks on the iPad in depth.

Overall the book was too easy for me, though it might be acceptable for non-technical types. There was too much time on step-by-step instructions on how to replace fields in the XML source files, etc, but again, some people may want exactly that.

On the plus side, the author has tested most of the e-Reader devices out there right now, talking about limitations of each one. Some of these are device related, but most have to do with how the implementers of the devices made different assumptions and trade-offs when interpreting the still-wet EPUB standard.

Other than the comment about it being too easy, my only other complaint is this: while the author spends a fair amount of time on making EPUB books 'device proof' between device implementations, she doesn't spend any time making the books 'future proof'. That is, thinking about how they'll display/work on future devices. For example she suggests not using images whose resolution exceeds those of the display, but then those books may one day be displayed on higher resolution screens.

Other than this, it's a recommended book for less technical folk looking to publish or understand EPUB books.