August 30, 2013

A Step-by-step guide to create an Interactive eBook

Interactive eBooksA few months back, I had created an interactive eBook for iPad using different tools like Adobe InDesign, Adobe Edge Animate, Adobe Presenter, Adobe Captivate, Adobe Photoshop, and Digital Publishing Suite, and wish I could add a few more tools to this list… LOL

To be true, I had no experience whatsoever to create InDesign documents, Edge animations, and DPS folios when I started working on the eBook, but the videos available on Adobe TV and tutorials offered on Lynda.com came to rescue and really helped me complete my task. Now it’s my turn to give back and share my learnings with all of you :)

So here’s a step-by-step guide to create an interactive eBook. I’ve divided this guide in six steps to make it convenient for you to jump to the step you want to learn about.

Step 1: Setting up the InDesign document

The first step to create an eBook is to create the artwork that you will be using for background design, animations, interactions, etc. and set up the InDesign document. You need to add the tentative number of pages in your eBook and create Master layouts with common imagery for the eBook. Let’s look at this short demonstration on how to set up your InDesign file:

Step 2: Adding static content and placeholders

It’s always beneficial to finish the simple tasks first and then tackling the complex ones. So, get going with adding static images, text, and placeholders for animations, interactions, simulations, and videos. Here’s a short demonstration on how to do so:

Step 3: Adding animations

When you are creating an eBook for iPad, you have to make sure the animations are in HTML5 format. For creating such animations, you can use Adobe Edge Animate and publish an OAM file, which can further be embedded in the InDesign document. Let’s take a look at the procedure in this short demonstration:

Step 4: Adding simulations and interactions

Adobe Captivate 7 is a great tool to create simulations and interactive eLearning content. You can leverage this tool to make your eLearning truly interactive. Adobe Captivate 7 lets you publish your courses to HTML5 format, which can be embedded in the InDesign document as web content. Watch this short tutorial to follow along the procedure and learn about the best practices for creating interactions and simulations for eBooks:

Step 5: Adding videos

Videos can add life to your eBook. You can add demonstrations in the form of videos. Here’s a short tutorial on how to embed videos in an InDesign document:

Step 6: Creating and publishing an eBook folio

The final step to create an eBook is to build a DPS folio and preview/publish it on an iPad using Adobe Content Viewer. Watch this last video in the series to learn how to publish a folio using Folio Builder in InDesign:

Feeling inspired to create an interactive eBook? I would love to know your thoughts and ideas. Do leave a comment here to keep the conversation on…

Happy learning!

Posted by poojajaisingh12:16 AM
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  • Dave-Kurrykid

    Great post Pooja. Thank you for putting it together for us.

  • Jay

    Thank you for the informative explanation. Overall great presentation. However, a few places in the videos it was difficult to understand what was being said. It would make things clearer to have CC in addition to the audio.

  • kamal98

    Well done, very informative.

  • Park

    I see how you published it and was able to view it. How can someone else view it, and better yet how can someone else view it without the adobe viewer. An answer on the proper software or a tutorial would be great.

    • José

      I guess you could always export your inDesign document as a SWF. That could allow people to see it in a browser based pop-up

    • Louie

      This is a phenomenal video! Thank you! But with regard to Park’s question, if you are publishing & exporting for iPad/Nook readers, does this mean that you can begin to distribute your ebook to publishers for others to view on these devices? Or as Park mentions, is this only viewable for yourself or those with Adobe Viewer to read?

    • Raph Roberts

      Has anyone found an answer to this question?

      • Dr. Pooja Jaisingh

        Hi Raph, you can take a look at the eBook in this iPad app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/interactive-ebooks/id673087019?ls=1&mt=8

        • Raph Roberts

          Thanks for your prompt response Pooja! If I wanted people without iPads (android/osX or windows) is there a solution for this? My organization is hoping to provide ebooks to a large number of people.

          • Dr. Pooja Jaisingh

            Hi Raph… you can follow the same steps to create the eBook and then publish it for android or other devices. You’ll can get more help at Adobe DPS forums.

          • VIRENDRASINH

            HI POOJA THANKS FOR EBOOK GUIDE

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  • José

    :D Thank you very much! Neatly explained. God bless

  • Ari Leos Bernstein

    Hi there, 4 questions. Firstly, would exporting your book as an ePub work as well? Secondly, are there any free alternatives to Adobe Captivate and Animate? Thirdly, can you import 3D models into InDesign? Lastly, is there a way to make books for multiple iPads and android tablets at once? Or do we have to redo the process depending on the book?

    Thank you so much. These tutorials were very helpful.

  • Lone Olstrup

    Hi,

    I’m working on a InDesign document with size A4 and I want to place an animation on the frontpage and export the document as an e-pub. When I try to create an article I get this error message:”The page size aspect ratio must match the folio aspect ratio.”
    I’ve also tried to create a new document in InDesign in another size and place the animation here, same problem. What to do?

  • mu90

    Hi Dr. Pooja! I have one question, is there a way for me to upload my ebook to my personal webpage without using Adobe Content Viewer? Like a HTML for example. Thank you so much! These videos really helped me!

  • wanttobuildapps

    so do I need any coding skills in addition to what you have shown in the videos? I have absolutely no knowledge of coding… will I be able to create an ebook without it? And just to clarify… the resulting ebook can be uploaded to itunes for approval to sell?

    • Dr. Pooja Jaisingh

      You don’t require any coding knowledge required to create this eBook.

  • Ghell

    Hello. Is this tutorial can also apply on Android?

    • Dr. Pooja Jaisingh

      Yes.

  • Judith

    I can create a personal one as a gift yes?

  • Ariyo Usman Oluwafemi

    I am representing a publishing company which I have already created the ebooks on an indesign and export it to an epub format.I want to get it animated,can I import indesign or epub format inside the adobe captivate for animation?

  • Hans Frederik Munch

    Hi. Great tutorials! I have one question: can the video be auto played, so one does not have to press play?
    Thanks so much

    • Dr. Pooja Jaisingh

      Yes, you can enable auto play under Folio Overlay properties.

  • lynn

    Hi Pooja,

    The biggest question I have is what is the difference between publishing the ebook to DPS versus just exporting it to an epub file?

    Second, I created a print booklet using indesign, and now it needs to be converted to an interactive ebook. Do I need to recreate the booklet and adjust the set-up for Digital Publishing?

    Thank you!

    • Abhinav Upreti

      Hi Lynn,

      The major differences between DPS versus exporting to epub is,
      with DPS you will get broad interactivity (more user engaging content), mp4
      video support, high fidelity output. DPS provides you interactivity and rich
      media display, eschewing flexibility in display for immersive and engaging
      design.Whereas EPUB provides you limited interactivity, very less support for
      video (depends on device), and the layout depends on the device. DPS provides you the output as an app that you can upload to iTunes Store or Google Play.
      Yes, a print booklet created in Indesign needs to be converted for Digital Publishing, with the use of Folio Overlays Panel in Indesign. You can create a more reader engaging content with the help of overlays such as hyperlink, slideshow, image sequence, audio, video, panorama, web content, Pan & Zoom, scroll-able frame.

  • Padma

    Dear Ma’am,

    I just wanted to check, can we create an interactive eBook using Adobe captivate alone?

    • Dr. Pooja Jaisingh

      Yes, you can. But you will not be able to publish it as a DPS folio or ePUB format. You can create an interactive PDF eBook for sure.

  • seraj

    Hi, i have written a book on current affairs of the world, and now wish to publish as ebook. just need to know what will be the best way to publish ebook which have lot of images and graphics. how file should be prepared to publish on iPad and Amazon Kindle? looking for some ideas to work on it.

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