digital publishing reference
Nitrosyncretic Press is proud to have become a trailblazer in the field of digital publications and “dual format” paper/e-book publication.
We've been doing Kindle publication for a long time, but after one title — this one — pushed the technology, techniques and our skill set to the limit, we took a more focused look at the whole topic. The result was a much more sophisticated publishing process that produces substantially better e-books, and allows us to easily produce new works in dual format, without costly, time-consuming and laborious duplicated efforts.
And most of our projects are for “complex” books — not simple flowing-text novels or narrative. Images, tables, sidebars, charts, foot- and end notes, insert sections... we have to juggle a lot of elements that push the boundaries of the layout, export and e-book display process.
And we're happy to share our methods with all other serious e-book publishers.
Why? Because we'd like to see the e-book industry grow out of an extended adolescence. We see it as stubbornly mired in obsolete tools, formats, processes and concepts. We believe it's time for everyone who produces e-books, whether for private/company use, author/small press distribution or mass market sales, to move to modern, streamlined processes. In a nutshell, we don't believe there's something special or mystical or “different” about e-books... books are books, and other than the final production step, all the same rules and processes need to be followed to reach
The place you may want to start is with this book, which we wrote after the achievements that came from producing that one complex title. If the snippets here are useful, you'll find the book enormously so.
The following articles dovetail with the book above, and with each other. They are meant to be relatively stand-alone, and of use to relative novices in each topic.
Note that each has a publication or update date. As with material anywhere else in the vast realm of online writing about e-book development, it is crucial that information be up to date with respect to standards, software versions and things like Amazon's whims of the week. Nothing is more frustrating, we think, than finding a long, authoritative, step-by-step 'how to' or guide that is years out of date and completely irrelevant to current needs. Most readers will only find out that the material is useless after having invested too much time in trying to apply its wisdom.
So anything here — or anywhere else — more than about a year old should be approached with caution. Anything more than two years old, well, shouldn't be approached at all. Find newer information!
Published April 2023
Getting images into EPUB and Kindle books is a complex process that's not well served by InDesign's presentation and organization of the relevant menus and features. This article straightens out the issues and gives you a complete understanding of how to get images into your EPUBs, the way you envision them.
Published February 2023
InDesign has a built-in generator for QR codes, the square barcodes that can encode several kinds of complex information. It has its limitations, but there is a portal to using it in very sophisticated ways, ones that let designers avoid the pits and traps of "free" online code generators.
And while we're there, we'll explode a number of myths and mythunderstandings about what QR codes are, and can do.
Updated Febuary 2023
This summary, originally written for the Adobe InDesign forums, is a loose list of basic points about EPUB export that often frustrate InDesign users in their first attempts to export EPUB documents.
Published January 2023
This is a three-part article of use to anyone who uses Microsoft Word in any task more complicated than a simple report or memo, and of critical importance to anyone who uses Word to create publication-level content, either for direct export from Word or for import to Adobe InDesign.
Summary: if you aren't using Word like a pro, you aren't going to get to professional publications without doing almost everything over at later stages. Make your workflow and task load lighter by learning to do everything right, right from the start.
There are probably extensions coming over time. Check once in a while.