London Views for Isolation shoes – Click here to go to eBook Link
One of the most exciting areas for photographers is the rise of the ‘Fixed layout’ eBook and the tools provided by Adobe Creative Cloud. These give photographer the tools to create photographic ebooks of high quality which can be easily distributed and sold at very low cost – in my case the monthly subscription to Adobe’s Cloud suite which is around £20 per month. I therefore decided to see if I could create an ebook from my final portfolio of prints – as a commercial study.
The first hurdle that has to be overcome was learning ‘In Design’ in order to create the Fixed Layout eBook and then posting this onto the iBook and Google Play sites. Luckily there are self learning sites like Lynda.com that teach you the basics of creating the ebooks and guidance on how to avoid many of the potential pitfalls. The key for me was in getting a consistent template and style that made loading the selected files relatively simple.
The next hurdle was in getting them published on the different publishing sites because each one had their own specific verification checks that had to be performed in order to get them accepted. I ended up having to buy some software to do the pre-checks which was useful because I had quite a lot of errors – however the software did give me cryptic pointers on how to correct the mistakes. I discovered that it was only iBooks and Google play that were able to support my Fixed Layout eBook because of the file size and only iBooks could support the links and videos that I included. With over 100 photographs the file size does become a major issue, and I had to downsize my files several times, and get rid of my video in order to get the total files size below 100MB. My next challenge was to publish these on to the iBook and Google Play book sites. This involved applying for and creating new accounts and then going through their wildly different publishing steps. Again the book failed verification testing as there were some additional validation checks that required me to correct my book cover dimensions and photo file names.
Once published, the final step was customer testing – but to do this I had to offer it free of charge! The first issue I had to resolve was with download speed and file size. At 100mb people found the download speed too slow and felt that the size was too large given the capacity limits of their devices. This was solved by publishing at a lower resolution and this got the file size down to 25MB. However, the biggest issue was that most people have yet to discover or use eBooks this way and in many cases I had to teach them how to do it – despite it being almost the same process as getting an App or a some music onto their phone.
I therefore concluded that I must be ahead of the times and should try and exploit this!