Home » Books Blog » Books All Things eBook » Rich eBook Features Offer Enhanced Experience

enhanced ebookEven as eBook sales have slowed over the past couple of years, publishers recognize their niche in the marketplace. eBooks remain popular with a variety of audiences, and eBook technology and features are increasing in sophistication. Although the most popular eBook format is still the fixed format, publishers are looking at ways to create more dynamic layouts and even interactive and rich media features.

For publishers looking to enhance their eBook offerings, new capabilities of devices such as the Barnes & Noble Nook and Kindle Fire tablets, as well as a variety of e-reader applications, offer greater flexibility and additional interactive features. The latest versions of the formats that enable those readers — EPUB format (EPUB 3) and Kindle Format (KF8) — offer many advantages:

  • Fixed format — The next-generation fixed format allows text and images to flow naturally together on screen for a seamless reading experience.

  • Pop-ups — These handy tools can provide additional text — such as links, resource information, definitions, and more — that readers access by, for example, clicking an icon.

  • Audio files — This functionality lets publishers provide songs, demonstrate sounds from nature or other environmental noises, and offer voiceover that “reads” the text or provides supplemental information.

  • Video files — Publishers can embed video files to play directly from the content page, allowing for the opportunity to give visual examples, instruction, and so on.

  • Symbols and figures — Mathematical symbols and graphics are especially useful for academic, scientific, engineering, and other diverse texts.

  • Languages — Publishers are not limited to Latin-based characters; the new formats offer support for global languages.

With all the great functionality available, it’s easy to let your imagination run wild with the possibilities. Publishers will want to carefully select which formats they need for their intended distribution.

To help make an informed selection, the Sheridan conversion team provides a high level of service throughout the conversion process. They will walk you through the process, helping you:

  • Set expectations for the use of special features. There are many variables involved in selecting the right enhancements for each publication, based on content and distribution channel (e.g., the KF8 format is Amazon-specific, limiting the distribution channel to Amazon only, and although pop-ups are compatible in Adobe Digital Editions, they may not always be what your readers want or need).

  • Evaluate benefits and make appropriate feature selections. Are you trying to teach a cooking technique to your readers? An embedded video file might be the best option.

  • Understand limitations of formats and end-user devices. Sheridan can guide you on the best format and device for the enhancement or feature you have in mind. The team can provide insights that can help you avoid poor decisions. For instance, if you want to embed a lot of videos in your eBook, the large file size might limit your distribution options.

  • Execute the conversion. The team will include your enhancements in the file conversions you need.

Come to Sheridan with your ideas, and the experienced and knowledgeable conversion team will guide you on the ideal features for the format and device that will best reach your intended audience. It is crucial to have a goals and ideas planning meeting up front to make the best decisions regarding the features and associated file conversions that are necessary.

Consumer devices have a fast product lifecycle, with the new replacing the outdated at a rapid pace. Each new device and/or update comes with different features, functionality, and format standards; it’s enough to make your head spin. Fortunately, Sheridan stays on top of all this so that you can provide your readers with the current features and a high level of compatibility they’re looking for.