Alongside print publishing, the publishing programme teaches students the gory detail of ebook conversion, letting them get their hands dirty with code, while they convert, proofread and test books in epub and mobi formats.
Richard Patterson graduated with the Diploma in Publishing (Applied) in 2013. He converted Adrienne Jansen’s The Score into ebook having worked on the production of the print book earlier in the year, and describes the experience here.
Producing the ebook edition of Adrienne Jansen’s latest novel, The Score, was an interesting undertaking. I had previous experience of producing a novel for print in InDesign, but taking a print file and converting it for use on an ebook reader was something totally different, and certainly resulted in its share of challenges. Especially given I had never used an ereader up until that point!
The relief at being presented with the option to automatically export to an epub file from InDesign was quickly replaced with exasperation after running the resulting file through an online verification service and being presented with a lengthy list of errors and warnings. Of course it wasn’t going to be that easy … there’d be no need for us budding publishers if it was, right?
I set about addressing each problem, ferreting them out amongst the sea of code that the book had become, and through trial and error, some colourful language and a little luck, finally got a pass through the verifier. Though this was a time-consuming and far more manual process than I was expecting it to be, finding and fixing the problems became strangely satisfying, and seeing the file work smoothly on the devices made it all worthwhile.