I’ll be teaching Introduction to eBook Formatting at the University of Chicago’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies as an elective in their editing program on March 14–16. This course is appropriate for publishing professionals, writers and authors, K–12 and college/university-level educators, homeschoolers, librarians, and document specialists in any line of business. I thought I’d give potential students a taste of the contents by reviewing the main topics in a bit more detail than you’ll find in the syllabus. I covered the first 5 topics in this post. Here, we get into the heart of the course:
6. Simplified eBook Workflow Having placed eBooks in context before the morning break on the first day of class, we will return to a hands-on session in which the basic mechanics of creating an eBook are covered. We’ll be amplifying this as we continue, of course, but it will provide you with an overview.
7. Finding the Least Common Denominator eReaders and eReading apps don’t provide the same results from the same input. In this session, we’ll look at what the differences are as a way of finding LCD items that will work across the board for the major eReaders and capabilities that are specific to fewer eReaders.
From here on, the class follows an additive process; that is, the earlier skills and strategies will continue to be practiced as new skills and strategies are acquired.
8. Assessing the Project Whether you’re considering making eBooks for yourself or others, you will often be starting from some sort of manuscript—perhaps from a print edition, perhaps not. Whether you’re simply getting a fix on the time investment or giving a client an estimate, this
9. Keeping the Client Informed Particularly because eBooks are a newer technology, as well as because eReaders and eReading apps have different capabilities, clients may not know what to expect the way they may with print publishing. So, we will practice decision-making and drafting documents with this in mind. Though not every student may have the intention of working for clients, keeping notes for oneself on why choices were made would be the self-publishing counterpart.
10. Handling Print-Specific Features Even if an eBook project doesn’t start with a manuscript that has been used in print production, authors and writers may unthinkingly include features and elements that are appropriate for print publications but not eBooks. Whether its adding, deleting, or changing, we’ll address them here.
In the next post, I’ll detail the 5 topics that complete the course, and in the final post, I’ll provide some details about the extra topics that—if there’s time—we’ll cover (tbd by majority vote).
Sign Up Here For more information about Introduction to eBook Formatting, offered March 14–16, 2013 at the University of Chicago Graham School at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago, click here.
For the next article in the series, click here.