In Part 1 of this series, I detailed the process of creating an eBook (in the ePub format) using Apple’s Pages application.
In this Part 2, I will quickly go over some considerations when inserting audio and video files into your eBook.
The large majority of eBook platforms read the EPub format, which is an open standard announced by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) in 2007. (It should be noted that Amazon’s Kindle reader does not read the EPub format.) Apple’s Pages application can create eBooks in the EPub format quite easily (see Part 1 of this series.)
While the EPub format does not currently have a mandatory support for audio or video file formats in EPub, it does appear that the IDPF is headed in that direction. In the meantime, Apple supports both audio and video file insertion into the EPub format for their devices. And this can be done in Pages.
Inserting Audio Files
The most important thing to know about inserting audio files into an eBook in Pages is that the audio file formats must be in either the .mp3 or .m4a formats. Then, it’s just a matter of inserting the file into the text using Pages’ Insert menu.
When the file is inserted, it looks like this.
Once the document is exported into the EPub format and opened in an eBook reader, the audio file is embedded into the text and looks like this:
To hear the audio, the eBook user simply clicks on the arrow in the black bar and the audio begins playing.
Inserting Video Files
The most important thing to know about embedding a video file is this: Video files MUST be in the .m4v format.
Otherwise, the embedding process is the same as it is for embedding audio files. I’ve also found that it helps to put a return before and after the position where the video file is embedded. This helps to create proper spacing, and it allows you to left, center, or right justify the position of the video window by applying this justification to the paragraphs before and after the video.
The video is embedded into the eBook and looks like this to the eBook reader:
The tools to create and self publish eBooks are now available on our desktops. This relatively recent trend makes it much easier for us to become both author and publisher. When you’re ready to distribute your eBook, check out Apple’s iBookstore.