So my prototype is technically for a website but from day one I was sitting on the fence of whether or not I’m sick of websites and want to try something new. In that way as I was designing my prototype and even coming up with my concept I may have subconsciously did things the way I did to allow for the possibility that I could easily translate my prototype into an ebook if I ended up deciding to.
I was off sick in week sick but I watched back the lecture later which was all about ebooks and I was amazed to see it looked like quite an interesting and simple design process. I was deeply considering the ebook prior but this was when I made the decision to go for it.
For me I also thought that this would be a great opportunity to learn how to use InDesign also.
How Do I Make One?
At this point I knew I wanted to make an ebook but I hadn’t a clue how to do it. So the first thing I did was watch through this Linked In Learning course. I skimmed through some of the sections that weren’t relevant but overall I got a good understanding of what all the different types of ebook are and the contexts in which you would choose them as well as how to put one together on using indesign.
I also looked for resources online to see how the process of making a comic ebook differs from a regular one…
Everywhere I looked the general consensus was that if your making a comic ebook, you want it to be fixed-layout which means that you design the layout and that’s it, it can’t be changed by the reading device. So from that I know to go with the more accessible EPUB with fixed-layout.
The first thing I did was sketch ideas and see what page layouts would work. I had to consider what panels would fit together on a page as well as the ones that definitely would not. This was important to do not only because of the real-estate change, but also because I need to make sure there would be no awkward gaps.
When translating my prototype into an ebook, I started by taking all the different elements into illustrator to make a sort of mockup first of everything. This was mainly so that once I made the necessary alterations to images, illustrations and text boxes I could then export those individually as pngs. My process was to go page by page going back and forth from illustrator to indesign.
I felt quite daunted by indesign at first, as one often does with new software, but I was quite quickly able to find my way around. All I had to do was set the margins right (which sometimes changed from page to page depending on the panels but there was an overarching consistency) make frames for my panels and stick backgrounds in them, then take my pngs of everything and stick them in frames and lay them out to get the right composition.
One sort of problem I had was initially I thought I could just export whole panels, but the quality wasn’t good enough. For smaller panels I could get away with larger ones it was a no go. Then I had to just use frames and lay everything out manually instead.
I also added some arrow buttons to turn the page.
Overall the process of making the ebook wasn’t really hard at all, that said it did get quite tedious. Once I was done I published it online and made sure to save it as a fixed layout EPUB.
It may not be the most perfect ebook in the world but for a first ever attempt at making one I think I did a pretty decent job with it. It evokes the same energy and experience as my prototype just in a different format which is what I set out to do and I’m pleased with my self for now sorta knowing how to make comic ebooks.
You can view the final result here.