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Monika | Have a Book
Posted on 30 January 2024

The very merry guide to killing your reflowable epub

A hammer damaging a screen of a tablet.

Oh, yes, here it is. Not a fancy, well-considered recipe for your perfect reflowable epub, but the very contradiction of it. Based on what? On questions from different people and my very personal experience as a reader and an epub creator.

Contact with different people from different countries is one of the most fantastic aspects of my job. Fruitful conversations, exchanging ideas, what can be better than that! And so inspiring that I couldn’t resist to write this guide.

Don’t be offended please. Or be. Whatever you want, follow these steps and your reflowable epub will be a catastrophe.

Make my reflowable epub look absolutely the same as the paper book.

Oh, I know you are so proud of the layout of your book. Me too, to be honest! So many vivid colours, alluring margins, different text structures closed in well-formed frames. Decorative elements everywhere. So spectacular!

Meet my old e-ink reader which will annihilate all of it. Enjoy!

The fonts must be the same as in the paper book.

Buy the license, please, or not. Being a criminal is always an option.

I’m the very conservative book enthusiast who use only one font on my reader, because I love it! Whatever you do in your epub, I will change it in my device. Don’t even try to think that I will use the fancy original font. And I will make it bigger, for sure! I want to read it, not to see the grey patches of light.

I want margins to be placed exactly the same way as in the paper book.

Of course! Why not! No problem to put it there and the block of your text will be so narrow that I will never have the nerves to read it.

Pages on the screen need to have the same size as in the paper book.

Pages? What pages? I’ve already made the text bigger while reading! And what screen do you mean? Your computer or my mobile, or …?

I want big titles and huge quotations.

Sure, no problem, as enormous as you like. But some epubs applications do not support your language, do not have dictionaries for it. So hyphenation is not an option. Last letters will jump into the next line. Randomly. Of course, your epub is only read on big computer screens. Isn’t it?

Don’t even dare to put the illustrations in a different place.

Oh, how could I! I’m not touching them. They will be just in the middle of the sentence, dividing it so perfectly, that while reading I have enough time to forget what was in the beginning of it.

My epub has to look the same on every application and every reader.

Yeah, and the peace will come all over the world, and every day in North Poland will be sunny and applications won’t delete css.

So does it all mean that your e-book will be a dull grey text only?

A content will find its way! 😉

Children books, cook books, books with complicated graphs – all of this is possible as reflowable. It can be attractive, elegant, everything you want. Especially with the tools we use in FlyDigit.

The most important aspect of the story is your awareness of where and how your epub will be read. If the product is called a reflowable epub, it cannot be mixed with a paper book. It has totally different purpose. You can read more about this in the article ‘Epublishing for education: what you should know about ebook conversion.’