I try to export a simple book (novel) to ePub 2.0.1 for a week on Indesign 15.0.1 on Windows.
I followed many tutorials, read blog posts, help etc. And I am more confusing each day!
Maybe the software was not really tested for ePub compilation or I'm doing really something wrong at each step.
I made a new document (not book) with a primary text frame.
I just put the book title, copyright page and 2 chapters to test it.
I made a paragraph style for the chapter title and I have already some bugs!
For the export option :
- epub 2.0.1 / reflowable
- cover none
- navigation toc : file name
- Content order : Based on page layout
- Split documents : Based on paragraph style export tags
1) on adobe digital edition => unable to add the document... Great ! the document is made on adobe software and it doesn't work on another adobe software.
2) on Liberty (epub reader for windows) the software crash as soon as check "split document (epub only) on export tagging for the Chapter Title paragraph style (tag:h1 / class: chapter-title / emit Css : checked
3) on calibre (another epub reader for windows) it didn't crash but the text is not appearing because Calibre uses dark mode (black background) and the font color generated by indesign is black...
So I continue with Google book. I import and the text appears and it didn't crash. \o/
But the title placement is off... No space between title book and copyright page.
So I right-click on the title page block text > Object export option.
I checked Custom layout : center and insert page break after image.
I do the same for the copyright page.
4) result ok on Google play book but the title page is always stick with the copyright page. No page break on Icecream Ebook reader...
At this step, I just hope my readers don't use any epub reader on windows and continue with Google play book. Then I have some bugs with page break after and before image I cannot reproduce on my file test which I join here.
I also use Scrivener (little software for writing) to export a epub file, and I don't have all these bugs.
No crash, the text is automatically white on dark background, each laminar page is on a separate page. So why I don't use this soft instead of Indesign ? Because it doesn't have many options for layout.
If I made something wrong please tell me.
If you have a indesign document for book which works on windows, I will be really pleased to test it.
I test a template for the same results.
Thanks for any help.
For starters, why are you using 2.0? That's an archaic EPUB format. What version of InDesign? Have you had any training at all in this? There's nothing intuitive about it. You need to prepare an InDesign file very precisely and that means styles for everything and a single text flow.
I tried ePub 2.0 or 3.0 for the same result.
I look what other writers uses and I see 2.0 even for their latest novel, so I pick the same for the maximum compatibility.
I'm using Indesign CC 15.0.1 64bits.
I use single text flow for the test file, but for my real novel file, I also style everything, use articles to establish an order of pages, try dozens of settings, watch many tutorials, etc.
I uploaded a simple file to show you what the problems are even with a tiny project.
For reflowable epubs, consider the switch to Jutoh (or even Sigil). These are dedicated epub editors.
While InDesign can be used, it requires a very careful workflow since InDesign's core architecture is meant for visual (fixed) page layouts, and rather not for reflowable epub layouts. It always feels as if I am swimming against the flow when I format reflowable epubs in InDesign.
Many InDesign features cannot be used, and have to be avoided. It is also not possible to preview the result immediately, or control/inspect the underlying code directly. InDesign's code is also rather fragile, but generally that doesn't pose too many issues. Jutoh has real-time error validation, and even Sigil has a built-in epub code validator. This is important for debugging and with InDesign the user is forced to export an epub and use external validation tools - which is a real workflow breaker.
Another issue is that InDesign hides the underlying content structure of an epub, while Jutoh and Sigil expose it in a sidebar. Not possible in InDesign. And as Bob states, you will have to work in a single text flow, while Jutoh and SIgil allow you to work in separated chapter files, for example, and manage audio, video, and images in folders within the project itself.
Anyway, if a reflowable epub is your output format, at the very least use Sigil to check and validate your InDesign exported epub. Sigil is free. Jutoh is not, but I prefer it over InDesign for this type of job. InDesign is too fragile to work with in my own experience.
PS If you are expecting Jutoh to be similar to InDesign, you will be disappointed. The workflow is targeted toward epub, and you will have to adjust accordingly.
This is helpful.
Are you basically saying 'don't try to use InDesign', it's not meant for that purpose?
We'd be far better going straight to Vellum?
I'm seeing people selling reflowable ID epub templates at ridiculous cost.
But it's the wrong tool for the job?
Can you confirm, please?
I'm familiar with ID for print books. I'm familiar with Vellum.
I'd like to get everything in an Adobe workflow. But it doesn't have the best tools for this job.
Yes? You'll save me a lot of time.
I suggest you to use an epub validation tool. There are some online and/or free like epub validator or epubcheck. They might help you by hinting where your troubles are. Besides, a validated epub is a happy publisher 😉
Hope it helps
@Gusgsm : thanks I test it, but everething was ok.
@rayek_elfin : you had right. I watched the course "InDesign CC 2018: EPUB" from Lynda.com (4h35) and I don't learned so much... At the end of the course, I taked the epub from the last exercise files and test it on Calibre, Liberty and some other readers and the same bugs had appeared... So I officially abandon InDesign.
I looked Jutoh, and man, it seems so complicated ! I mean I know I can do stuff with some time but... pff.
Before watch, read, experiment many tutorials / courses on Jutoh I looked if it does all I needed. And... it doesn't export to PDF...
So I did what I should do from the beginning : install Virtuabox to run macOS Sierra on Windows. Why ? Because I installed Vellum and I was able to export epub, pdf, mobi in 15min ! The bugs from InDesign disappear and everything worked nicely ! The major issue with Vellum is : you can't custom things as you want. But the styles incorporated are really beautiful, so why bother too much ?
Test Vellum, you'll win a lot of time and effort.
Everything is thinking for novel.
You even have preview in real time for kindle, ipad, android tablet, nook and print.
Before you start to make EPUBs with InDesign, you should learn some basics. Your document is deletantic. There are so many basic errors, you should avoid, not only for EPUBs, but also for simply typesetting:
In other words, there is truth in "it's a poor workman who blaims his tools".
This is a file test.
On my book file, I do all that :
- I use the blue tool to check if something is not properly styled.
- I drop pages in articles to have an order and hide half-page for example for epub
- remove all return space to replacing by margin paragraph.
I spend like a hour to do everything in order and it's change nothing from the bugs I reported ahead.
If you can do an epub file just with InDesign which work with Liberty (page break before or after image in export object make crash it), and without black text on black background on calibre for example, I will be glad to see it.
Ps: I was able to use ADM by updating it.