Fixed-Layout eBook Conversion

Fixed-Layout as the name itself indicates, is a layout technique used to retain the look and feel as that of its source file. This technique best suits for Children books, Photography books (like tourism guides which contain maps) and Cookbooks since they contain illustrations rich in color, a pleasing background art, and fancy fonts. Aesthetics are more important for the books of this kind. The other category of books are flowing books where the text flows (meaning that text adapts itself to the screen size) without having the reader to scroll up or down (left or right). We cannot fix a paragraph to be at a certain position in flowing books. If we happen to increase the font size, that paragraph may move to the next page. But this is not the case with fixed layout books, we must fix a paragraph to be at a certain place. We cannot increase or decrease font size for fixed layout books; we must fix the type size (font size) at the beginning itself. Each retailer has their own fixed layout format and hence a separate file is to be created for each retailer.

  • We must fix the font size.

  • We must position the text on a background image (this usually is background art that lies behind the text in PDF). Test the appearance on a hardware device (Usually iPad, Nook or kindle).

  • We must fine-tune the appearance and position of text so that it matches the look and feel of its source file (PDF usually). This is a time-taking process.

  • Some books contain zig-zag text (or something similar to that). So, we must adjust word spacing, letter spacing and add line breaks at appropriate places to make the look and feel consistent with that of its source file. (Testing and fine-tuning is necessary again here, since appearances may vary in browser and on device. This adds to the complexity).