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Upcoming Events

Joshua speaks at and attends eBook and publishing events every year. You are welcome to chat with him anytime at these events, or you can set up a time to consult with him about your eBook needs in person. Please see our Consulting and Training page for more details, and contact Joshua to set up an appointment.

IPNEIPNE’s New England Publishing Conference

September 25-26, 2015
Portsmouth, NH

eBook Production and Quality Assurance
Independent publishers always looking for new ways to create amazing products that will get the attention of readers. In this workshop, you will learn about the current state of EPUB 3 support across different devices, common production workflows and tools you can use, and quality assurance practices that will give your eBooks the highest quality in the industry. Bring your own questions and get solid advice on how to create amazing eBooks.


pubwest_smPubWest Webinar

September 16, 10am PST
Production Workflows and Tools
Modern print and eBook production techniques have been in constant flux for a long time, but the goal of a unified workflow is much closer and easier to attain than ever before. In this webinar, you will learn about the most common production workflows being used in trade publishing, as well as some that are not so common but very promising. You will also learn about the various tools that are available, the pros and cons of each, and some thoughts on getting them to work well together. This will be an intensive and informative training, and there will be ample time to bring out your own questions, thoughts, and ideas.


pubwest_smPubWest Webinar

September 23, 2015, 10am PST
Basics of eBook Quality Assurance
Every publisher wants to create amazing content, but eBook creation can make that challenge even more difficult than it needs to be. With the ever-growing list of devices, and the widely differing support for design and functionality on each one, knowing how to create high-quality ebooks and how to test them can be daunting. In this intensive webinar, you will learn how to perform a complete quality assurance test on your eBook files, including tools you can use, what devices you need to test on, ideas for creating good QA checklists, and more. Regardless of the process you use to create your eBooks, or the vendor who creates them for you, this workshop will teach you everything you need to know to ensure that your ebook files are the best in the industry.


lpg-eboundLiterary Press Group of Canada / eBound Canada Webinar

October 1, 2015, 1pm EST
Using FlightDeck for QA on Complex eBooks
Testing your ebooks for validity and quality is one of the most important steps in the production workflow. This process can be even more difficult when your content is literary in nature, or just more complex by design. In this webinar, you will learn how to get the most out of FlightDeck, the industry-leading ebook quality assurance tool, and how to do manual QA on complex ebooks like fixed layout, poetry, non-traditional formats, etc. You will walk away from this webinar with a deeper understanding of the QA process and actionable steps you can take to create better ebooks. We will have plenty of time for Q&A, so bring your questions!


October 19-20
Wheaton College

Five practical tips for making your EPUB 3 files better
A hands-on tutorial to unlocking the best that EPUB3 has to offer. Come learn how to take your ebooks to the next level of quality. Led by ebook expert Joshua Tallent of Firebrand Technologies, this session is geared for those directly involved in creating digital books (or those who want to understand what ebooks truly can do).


CharlestonConferenceCharleston Conference

November 4-7
Charleston, SC

EPUB 3: What you need to know
This will be a 15-minute shotgun session that gives a solid understanding of EPUB 3.



Is it a good idea to put my Table of contents at the end of my eBook?

Some people do this to increase the size of the free samples automatically generated by the eBook retailers. However, the Kindle and other devices will re-set the “last read location” to the end of the book if you have your Table of Contents there, so we normally recommend against that practice.

What is the difference between HTML5 and XHTML5?

HTML5 is the latest version of the HTML standard used on the Web and in eBooks. XHTML5 is a stricter and cleaner version of HTML5, with rules from XML imposed on the code. For example, when a tag is opened it has to be closed, and all of the tags have to be properly nested. XHTML5 allows the code to be more easily interpreted by the display engine, and it keeps the code more consistent and easier to edit.

I have heard you can’t use color in eBooks. Is that correct?

No, that is absolutely incorrect. eBooks look great with color, and we highly recommend using color images and even colored text (within reason) in your eBook files. Some devices have grayscale eInk screens, so the color will not show up on those devices. However, the color will be in the file, and it will work on all of the color devices. We do recommend you test colored text on a device with an eInk screen and ensure that the text will not be too light to read.

Do you need to have a separate ISBN for each version of the eBook for different companies?

Technically, yes. See an extended answer on our ISBNs page.

What is KindleGen?

KindleGen is Amazon’s eBook creation/compiling program. It is used on the KDP website to auto-convert files uploaded into the Kindle store, and it is also integrated into the Kindle Previewer program to handle the conversion of non-Kindle files loaded in that program. You can download KindleGen and get access to other Kindle creation information at

What is a fixed layout eBook?

Fixed Layout eBooks are HTML-based eBook files that are usually designed to match the layout of a print book. The key difference between fixed layout files and reflowable files is that reflowable eBooks allow the reader to have more control over the reading experience, such as changing the font size, background color, etc. For more information, please see our Fixed Layout Children’s and Non-Fiction pages.

Does Amazon sell HTML files or only Kindle?

Amazon only sells eBooks in the Kindle format, but that format, just like ePub, is built using HTML and CSS files.

How is fixed layout different from a pdf of the book?

Fixed layout eBooks are built using HTML, so they have more functionality than PDF files. For example, the narration overlay functionality used in many children’s eBooks is not possible in PDF files. In addition, none of the eBook retailers sell PDFs, so fixed layout eBook files offer the best sales opportunities.

A university librarian told me they are not acquiring any Kindle books but only HTML5/ePub. Have you found that to be common with other libraries? I know our local public library does buy Kindle books.

Libraries acquire their eBooks from services like 3M and Overdrive. These services sometimes offer an option for Kindle checkouts, but typically they are limited to ePub files because of the more common use of the Adobe DRM.

Has the Kindle format gotten any more sophisticated in how it handles tables or floating images?

Yes, Amazon’s Kindle Format 8 has support for many great design features, including floating images, tables, color text, embedded fonts, and more.

How are page numbers handled in an eBook?

Print book page numbers are included in the HTML code of both the Kindle and ePub formats as anchors. They are also listed in the PageList section of the NCX or Navigation file. The PageList is used by some reading systems (like the Kindle and iBooks) to show the reader the print page numbers of the book as they read.

How are page headers created in eBook files?

The different reading systems control what shows up in the header of your eBook. Most will display the title of the book, and some will also display the author name. That text cannot currently be set to display the chapter name or other information about where the reader is currently reading in the text.

How do eBooks handle hyphenation of long words?

Some eBook reading systems will apply hyphenation to longer words to make the text better fit on the screen. This is typically controlled by the reading system, and will change depending on the font size and other settings the reader has set on their device.

What about protecting the file?

eBook file protection is called Digital Rights Management (DRM). Please see our DRM page for information on how it works and suggestions on how to use it.

Can I sell my eBooks on my own website?

Yes! You are certainly able to sell your eBooks on your own website. For more information, please see this page.