EBooks are the coming wave of publishing, if in fact that wave isn’t already upon us, so I was eager to get hold of a really promising tutorial book I had heard about, “EPub Straight to the Point: Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders” by Elizabeth Castro. Unfortunately after reading it I have some mixed feelings. I would still recommend the book to those interested in self-publishing ebooks, but I do have a few hesitations.
My biggest issue with the book, and not that there is any actually problem – the book isn’t bad or is wrong or anything like that, is that the book just doesn’t go far enough. A couple of examples of this: first we will start with the title. The title states, “creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders.” What doesn’t make sense to me about that is the fact that the iPad is not the number one ebook reader. That honor belongs to Amazon’s Kindle. I am truthfully not sure where the iPad ranks after that, but regardless, as eBook readers go, the iPad isn’t the most targeted platform. So, you would think that you would want a how-to book that was aimed at publishing ePub books to the dominant platform. Instead it seems that the book, and the title, were designed to grab key word searches.
The other example of this is that the book is designed around teaching you how to use Microsoft Word to generate your ePub. Now I will make no claims that Word isn’t the number one wordprocessing program and tool for writers, but it isn’t the necessarily the main tool for creating ePubs. Castro also covers using Adobe’s InDesign software for eBook creation, but she even admits that the software is costly and cumbersome. But other software that is freely available, such as Calibre, that is much more adept at creating ebooks and is much more frequently used aren’t discussed. Calibre doesn’t get any mention in the book – not even a footnote! This is a glaring omission that can’t be overlooked.