Digitization has revolutionized the whole publishing industry. Readers have become accustomed to reading via digital platforms and now they enjoy it more than that of traditional printed books. There are several formats in which electronic versions are made available. Today let us see various digital formats for fixed layouts.

Fixed Layout formats

Digital Formats for Fixed Layout eBook

The very first step of publishing an eBook is to figure out the best possible format in which you want it to be published. You might be an aspirant author who wants to publish your next dream eBook, and might have heard about fixed layout eBooks. But you might not know where to start with your publication. By the time you finish this blog, you shall get all the answers to your query, and be ready for your task.

The Recent Surge in Digital Content Consumption

With the recent advancements in eLearning technology and the increase in digital content absorption, eBooks have gained a lot of momentum. However, the increase in their popularity has also made publishers think twice about certain aspects of the best possible format for their eBooks.

Usually, there are two main layouts in which eBooks are published – Reflowable and Fixed Layout. Well, both of these formats have their own advantages, flexibilities, and limitations. Yet, when it comes to publishing eBooks for children, content that text-heavy and visual-rich, fixed layout is the most preferred format by authors and publishers.

This blog post will mainly discuss in detail the ideal file formats compatible with fixed layout eBooks, and why is it the most sought-after format.

Let’s start with the basics first!

As the name suggests, fixed layout is more like a digital lock as far as texts, visuals and images are concerned. These elements remain fixed in this genre of eBook publishing layout.

In this, everything will be at the exact place where one places them, i.e., the location of the content will never change its position. Readers have to zoom in or out, or use horizontal/vertical scrollbars to get a clear view of the content.

This fixed arrangement of texts and visuals is most important for eBook topics like comic books, illustrated children’s books, recipe books, restaurant guides, travel itineraries, technical publications, medical journals, eBooks on interior designing, so and so forth.

Reflowable layout is also a standard layout and is compatible with almost all the reading devices, must say a truly handy format. In this format the elements are responsive and the positioning is entirely dependent on screen dimensions of a tablet or a Smartphone, or PC, the screen orientation of those devices whether they are in portrait or landscape mode. Also the selected text sizes by the readers.

Here, the content is considered to be floating texts and images, hence the name ‘reflowable’. Today’s tech-savvy Gen X and Millennials prefer this format and are mostly preferred by ePubs.

Now, let’s explore deep into the creating fixed-layout eBooks and the key features of this formatting type.

  1. Authors get total control over the published content. Yes, fixed layout formatting allows authors to ensure the images, texts, diagrams – all are perfectly presented to the readers and are not altered from their original positioning.
  2. Readers can view the work without affecting its format. As mentioned earlier, a reader can zoom-in or zoom-out to view the content. They can also utilize the scrollbars on the side or at the bottom. This is an easy way out of not tampering with the set format.
  3. Readers can find a piece of content easily and quickly. With respect to any specific information, the searching process is tremendously easy on this layout. Also, the reader can choose the font size as per their convenience.
  4. Fixed layout formatting enhances the beauty of an eBook and make it look exactly like a print book. The content slide off the edge which bears a strong resemblance with a hardcover book.
  5. CSS and Java scripts are used in this format to incorporate multiple features within the eBook. For example, interactive quizzes, animations, gamification, MCQs – and other interactivities that make the UX immersive and augment the reading experience.
  6. Images and other visuals can be embedded just fine in fixed layout eBook format. This is an assurance that all authors and publishers get with a fixed layout format. And not only that the images are perfectly embedded, but also one may include descriptive texts appealing to the readers on a different level.
  7. The list doesn’t stop. Authors can also add cross-references to their publications from other eBooks, include footnotes, annotations, and backlinks. In short, an eBook formatted in fixed layout is not just a content piece, but a total package.

It goes without saying that there are several benefits in fixed layout eBook format; especially if images and graphics are top priority.

What are the most common Digital File Formats compatible with Fixed Layout eBooks?

  • EPUB

    This is another format, which allows almost a perfect content encoding, single spine item for each page using mainly SVG, images, HTML or a combination of the said. A shared manifestation is created by using images having perfectly placed text-box overlays. This enables zooming to immense depth with the text getting rendered perfectly. But the images in due course get pixelated with an exception of SVG.

  • KF8 for Amazon Kindle

    The most common fixed layout format for Kindle devices is KF8. It will works across all Kindle devices, reading apps, and tablets. Publications that demand graphic-first content, like children rhyme books, picture books, etc. are often published in this format.

  • EPUB 3.0 for Apple, Google, and Kobo Devices

    With time, more and more platforms, retail channels, and devices are adopting the filed layout ePUB 3 as their preferred eBook format. To name some, iBooks app, iTunes, Google Play, Kobo, OverDrive, e-Sentral, StoryTel, and more like them.

    The reason being the flexibility and ease of reading that this format allows the readers. They can easily switch the eBook view between single page or two-page. These functional HTML-based eBook files also come with an animated page turn option which gives a hyper-realistic feel of reading a physical hardcover book.

  • Barnes & Noble Nook Fixed Layout Format – PagePerfect

    This file format is only sold with the original Barnes and Noble’s NOOK Books eCommerce platforms. The PagePerfect format is 100% compatible with NOOK Color, B&N’s NOOK Tablet, HD and HD+ Tablets, NOOK by Samsung 4 NOOK 7.0 – etc.

    It is based on the PDF format that can be read in single or double-page view. readers can zoom a section for better viewing, and is mostly used for adult or grown up content, not for children’s books.

  • Barnes & Noble Nook Fixed Layout Format – NOOK Kids

    This format is popular with children as it supports colorful graphics, big and bold texts, and an easy viewing on landscape mode. NOOK Kids is supported by HD and HD+ Tablets, NOOK Color, NOOK by Samsung 4 NOOK 7.0, B&N’s NOOK Tablet, and NOOK by Samsung [Tab 4 10.1, S2 & E].

    The format comes with a voice option as in ‘Read to Me’ that narrates the entire content to the readers. You just need to embed it within the file.

  • Barnes & Noble Nook Fixed Layout Format – NOOK Comics

    This format leverages B&N’s own digital comic book format, aka, DRP. NOOK Comics are primarily based on PDFs, and as the same suggests, they feature comic strips, manga stories, graphic novels, comic series, and more such image and visual-heavy content.

How does ProGlobalBusinessSolution fit into this picture?

Online and Digital publications can sometime be scary with all the hype and surging demand. Publication houses who are more into digital transformation are looking for optimum ways to publish their content in the most striking fashion. And luckily enough, PGBS has that expertise and industry-experience to help authors and publishers to choose the best possible format to publish their books into digital format. We help you overcome the biggest challenges of eBook publishing with our ace fixed-layout eBook conversion services and help you choose the right format for your eBook. With our extensive technical know-hows, and a bunch of creative media designers, analysts, and skilled in-house graphic designers, we can help you produce your dream eBook, in a very short time.

Reach out to our panel of eBook experts and let’s discuss your next project with us!