Is InDesign a good format for repurposing a physical book w/DVD interactive menus, videos, video books and CD audio, resources into an ePub? I want to make absolutely sure this is doable before I purchase the pre-paid annual plan. I originally used Encore to author the DVD.
To see examples of this go to http://www.iamunafraid.com.
Are you saying that producing an InDesign ePub3 is not enough for my DVD, that I will need to use IN5 as well? What does IN5 do that InDesign cannot?
FXL epub 3 is still a rather fragile format for deployment beyond the Apple ecosystem. Users on Windows and Linux now have access to a quite good interactive FXL reader (Thorium) but certain things will not work in Thorium either (such as simple links between pages, which has to be resolved manually by amending code). Other readers, including Adobe's own Digital Editions, have only partial or broken support for FXL epubs generated in InDesign.
Deployment is further frustrated by the additional requirement of installing a specific third-party reader (Thorium) by Windows and Linux users to access your book. Not to mention the terrible support for interactive FXL epub files on Android. And interactive epubs won't allow for much control over video and audio either.
If I were in your shoes, I would probably forego epub, and instead consider converting your project to an app/executable and make it available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. While it means that you will have to build the project for 4 different platforms, it does mean that anyone can download the app, and immediately run/view it, without the need for additional software.
Or convert it to a webapp project, and host it online. This way anyone with a modern browser will be able to view it.IN5 supports export to iOS and Android apps, as well as a webapp.
Alternatively, consider choosing an altogether different tool and approach.
For example, PubCoder is a visual FXL epub editor with broad support for interactive features, and exports to epub3, Android and iOS apps, and to a web app. Since PubCoder is a self-contained design/layout environment, no need to invest in InDesign and IN5. It also presents itself as a much more affordable alternative: no need for InDesign nor an extra expensive plugin.
For a highly interactive project it is also possible to use a game engine such as Visionaire. Visionaire is a visual interactive adventure development environment which can emulate highly interactive DVD experiences quite easily. Visionaire exports to a web app, a Windows executable, a Mac executable, android app, and iOS app. It is a very different approach, but much less fragile compared to an epub, and support for interactive sound and video control is of course much better, as is performance. And light-years ahead in regards to interactive behaviours compared to InDesign/IN5 or PubCoder. A personal license of Visionaire is quite inexpensive, btw (a perpetual license costs less than one month of IN5).
Perhaps the trade-off is a steeper learning curve in Visionaire. But only if you are already very familiar with InDesign.
Also realize that tools like IN5 and PubCoder basically package web code together with a minimal browser to create Android and iOS apps. This comes at a cost of performance. A tool like Visionaire exports native apps and executables. With higly interactive experiences there may be a marked difference in responsiveness and performance.
Anyway, I would suggest to research the various options and use the trials to perform a test run of a small part of your project.
May I ask why are you focused on ePub ?
in5 is an InDesign plug-in (at extra cost) to help export InDesign documents to HTML5.
Regarding your proposed DVD, this format seems to have gone out of use, mostly, and maybe you might be better of considering repurposing your book, and all its interactivity and multimedia, as a website.
I thought the title of my post, "Re-purpose a book that is heavy on DVD & CD content into an ePub"made it clear that I had no intention of using DVD authoring!
I have been told that this is the format I need to author my DVD content into. I don't have a preference. I just want to put it in the best format for all children & parents.
If you want the BEST for ALL children and parents, then a Fixed Layout ePub is the wrong choice, because only children and parents using either the Mac or iOS (iPad) platforms will be able to read your book without the need for additional software. You would pretty much be excluding anyone but Apple users - which would mean missing out on a huge interactive book market. Asking your audience to download a specific reader app from an obscure link (Thorium) is bound to scare them away, and is just too much work for most. And Android is a lost cause anyway.
If you want to target MOST children and parents publishing to a webapp and targeting the browser platform is the most accessible option. But this may come at a cost of connectivity issues: many parents only have slow internet access, and your book will probably end up quite big seeing it is a DVD conversion. Unless you still have access to the original files, and there might be another way to render those animations. But you would have to re-do the animations in a different format, which is probably not an option here.
So-called progressive web apps (PWAs) allow for a download-once-play-without-internet-access option as well. On Safari the max file cache size is 750mb - if your webapp needs more space the browser will prompt the user for each additional chunk of 200mb.
The easiest way for parents and kids to access your book would be online, and then as a progressive web app which stores the data locally, so it no longer needs to access the web afterwards. Only a one-time download, and it will start immediately - although assets will have to be pre-loaded to avoid stutters and waiting times between pages/videos.
However, if monetization is important to you, you will have to put your book behind some kind of paywall online. Which might mean a website must be set up, or you publish it elsewhere, but since you already seem to have a really nice looking website and store set up, it wouldn't take that much effort to add that option to your existing site!
To learn more about this method, read this article (IN5 site):
The second most accessible method is converting your book to an app/executable. It would then be made available on all the app markets (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac). A one-time download, and publishing the app on the various markets is relatively straightforward (but technical).
This is simple to monetize, since parents would purchase your book app from the Apple Store, Google Play, and Microsoft Store.
As I wrote in an earlier answer, it also depends on the technical requirements. Your book(s) could be converted to actual interactive animations rather than just videos playing. But this will require much more work, of course.
It's apparent that you are very knowledgable in this subject - I am grateful for your input!
If I am hearing you correctly, a progressive web app is the best way for me to go. I DO have all of the original content (DVD movies, menus artwork, etc) and can do with it whatever is necessary. In fact, that total content on a DVD is 1.5 GB. That incluldes 3 main menus: (1) menu plays all music videos & video books in sucession, (1) menu plays music videos by selection (5 choices) and (1) menu plays video books by selection (4 choices). I am very familiar with building a website and I authored the DVD with Adobe Encore (tutorials from Lynda.com), so I feel I can build/learn to build a progressive web app (or can I)? Is it that much harder than my previous experiences listed above? I followed the link you provided, https://ajarproductions.com/in5course/?lesson=webapp. Would those tutorials be enough for me to accomplish this task?
Thank you, again.
Also (I almost forgot), can I create a progressive web app without using InDesign?