layout e-Book and a regular e-Book format

When to choose publishing a fixed layout e-Book and a regular e-Book format

What is a “standard” e-Book?

A standard e-Book (generally in EPUB format) employs real-time flowable text so you can read it on any e-Reader and adjust the font size and style to fit your reading preferences. There is no set pagination with a standard e-Book because the number of words displayed per page can change based on user settings and the screen size of the particular device. Most e-Books are standard EPUB format. This format is ideal for text-based books and books with small images embedded amongst the text (which essentially creates paragraph breaks).

What is a “fixed layout” e-Book?

When it comes to books that rely heavily on design elements or large illustrations/photos (cookbooks, children’s books, coffee table books, comics, etc.), fixed layout e-Books may be the better solution if you want to preserve the qualities of the printed page. To put it plainly, the pages of a fixed layout e-Book are… fixed! Content (images, text, etc.) will not “flow” across the page if you change your settings, though most devices will allow the reader to zoom in and out.

Fixed Layout is like the digital version of typesetting; you can embed fonts, choose the exact placement of visual elements, etc. The benefit of fixed layout is that you’re in complete control of the experience. The drawback is that readers are NOT! with fixed layout, readers lose the ability to resize text, change margins, change spacing, and change fonts.

Keep in mind that a fixed layout e-Book is different from a PDF file. While the content is not re-flowable, a fixed layout e-Book can make use of enhanced interactive features. Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon all support derivations of fixed layout EPUB files.

Choose the standard EPUB format if:

  • The book is mostly text (besides the cover art).
  • The book features small images that are embedded between paragraphs.
  • Its required to ensure maximum usability for your book (since standard e-Books are readable on most e-readers, tablets, smart-phones, and computers).

Consider fixed layout if:

  • Preserving text is more important than images.
  • A set a background color is important.
  • You want text to wrap around images.
  • The book has horizontal orientation.
  • Book has multi-column text pages.
  • Fixed aspect ratios that are required.

Since fixed layout e-Books require some extra attention during the conversion process, fixed layout EPUB conversion often costs more than a basic EPUB conversion. Bookdigitizer can handle either format and can help you deliver the best out put for the intended format.

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