What would the ideal course to teach ebook production look like?
I’ve been kicking around this question in my mind for the past few days, because if such a course exists, I would like to take it.
So far, I’ve come up with the following topics for a one-year course, perhaps leading to a college certificate. This is just a beginning exploration. And as part of the exploration, I started a discussion on LinkedIn.
1. History of ebooks
What are ebooks?
Flowing text versus fixed-format text. Poetry vs. prose.
Similarity to web pages.
Text and pictures.
Standalone versus online presentation.
2. Ebook readers and formats
Types of formats: reflowable text versus fixed-formnat.
Timeline of reader devices: Data Discman… Sony, Apple
Timeline of apps: Kobo, Kindle…
Timeline of formats : ePub, Kindle, Mobi, CBA
Proprietary formats vs. open formats.
Open: PDF, ePub… support for each
Proprietary: iBooks, Kindle… support for each.
Latest evolutions: ePub 3, KF8.
Formats’ internal similarity to web pages: HTML5, CSS3, etc.
Fonts, character sets, Unicode, etc.
Embedding audio and video
Tools for creation: Notepad to InDesign to iBook Author.
Ebook managers and converters: Sigil, Azardi, iBooks…
The design of workflows.
Free online distribution.
Traditional publishing methods.
The iBookstore, Amazon, and other online retailers.
Libraries and DRM…