Good designer to convert PDF to ebook?
October 8, 2013 9:27 AM   Subscribe

I have a PDF that I'd like to convert to ebook format. It's straightforward - body text with just a handful of images - but the ebook needs to have the same font and style of the PDF. (I also have it in InDesign, if that helps.) I'm looking for a designer, or design agency, who has worked on ebooks before, who can take this on. Any recommendations?

Other notes:

- I know I could probably learn to do this myself, but given my workload I'd rather hire someone who already knows how - and will do a better job than I would.

- What I'm looking for in a designer or agency: responsive (answers emails), reliable (does what they say they'll do), and has a good design eye (has worked on ebooks before and knows how to deal with font and spacing issues in ebooks).

- Work would start immediately.
posted by mark7570 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm in the process of converting a book that I self-published in hard-copy into an e-book, and let me tell you: you can basically kiss your formatting and style considerations completely goodbye. Why? Because one of the main features of the ebook format is that users can choose their own font and size settings. Further, the same file needs to be readable on an arbitrarily large number of screen sizes and form factors. All you really get to control is copy editing, paragraph divisions, and the occasional hard pagination with page breaks. Hell, the kindle format doesn't even support custom indentation very well!

If you want people to be able to read the same thing electronically as they can in hard copy, you'll have to stick with the pdf. Other than that, the features and constraints of the medium just doesn't permit what you're looking for as far as I know.
posted by valkyryn at 10:09 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's worth noting that common ebook formats like mobi and epub don't allow you to specify fonts beyond the simplest serif/sans serif/monospace-level distinctions, and e-readers have the freedom to apply user styles that override whatever you may have chosen. You may have to adjust your expectations w/r/t to the level of design specificity you can actually deploy with any sort of reliability across ebook platforms.

Apple's iBooks Author gives you more design flexibility, but generates books that may only be used on an iPad. Similar considerations will apply to other platform-specific tools.

I learned most of what I know about ebook design from Guido Henkel's excellent series of blog posts on the subject.

Honestly, it will probably be as much or more trouble to find someone to do it for you than it will be to learn how to do it yourself. A mostly-text book with a few inline images could easily be formatted in a day, especially if you already understand the basics of HTML and CSS.
posted by Sokka shot first at 10:16 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


http://www.odesk.com
is an online free-lancing site. I've heard of people doing that type of work on there.
posted by thylacine at 4:26 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Memail me and I'll give you some names.
posted by libraryhead at 4:46 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


ePub not only allows you to specify fonts, it actually allows you to embed fonts and to even obfuscate the files. It's part of the standard.

It is not going to be possible to reproduce a PDF as an e-book. They are different animals.

This said, you should be able to get someone to do a decent job. There are tons of people out there doing this right now and even some free services.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:43 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


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