Ebooks' rotten floor

Some renovations are needed in the house of ebooks, especially when it comes to image formatting. Joshua Tallent, Chief eBook Architect at Firebrand Technologies and ebookcraft speaker, is ready to tear up some floors. Care to join him?

Images in EPUB: Formatting Renovations

I admit it. I’m addicted to HGTV. While I live in a beautiful old home that’s already been renovated and I really have no need to do anything drastic to it, I constantly watch TV shows about renovating old houses, adding new rooms, and tearing down seemingly unnecessary walls. And the whole time I’m watching these shows, I’m thinking, “You know, if I tear down that wall in my kitchen, it would really open up the floor plan,” or, “I wonder if we have hardwood floors under the carpet.” 

Unfortunately, when it comes to ebooks, we actually do need some renovations. The publishing industry has been steadily adopting EPUB3, and ebook developers of all kinds have been sharpening their skills to create better files with more consistent code and more concern about quality. Despite those changes, we have been ignoring one of the most important pieces of our ebook files: images. Images continue to be one of the most difficult formatting challenges we encounter, with inconsistencies and a lack of support for basic formatting impeding our efforts at every step.

I would love for reading systems to have consistent and easy solutions to the issues that most often make us pull out our hair. I want a way to display different images depending on the screen size and available space. I want to be able to ensure that an important image can take up as much screen real estate as possible while still having a caption that can re-size and stay on the same screen as the image. I want fixed layout to become less necessary for the creation of highly-designed ebook files. And I want all reading systems to recognize and utilize the same coding solutions to these issues so I don’t have to create different files for every retailer.

Unfortunately, my hope for consistent solutions to these issues is not forthcoming, so we have to work with the hand we’ve been dealt. At the ebookcraft Images Workshop, we’ll do just that. Attendees will get a solid understanding of the basics of image creation and editing, and we’ll talk about possible solutions to real-life image formatting problems like these. It may not be the renovation to image formatting in ebooks we really need, but at least you won’t have a rotten board under the bathroom floor anymore. 

Join Joshua at our ebookcraft workshop day this March 10 in Toronto to discuss the future of image formatting in ebooks. Or catch him on the ebook production panel at ebookcraft, March 11. Full schedule available here.