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iBook Lessons: e-book Typography offers in-depth advice on creating expressive works

iBook Lessons is a continuing series about e-book writing and publishing.

eBook Typography (US$6.99) by Chris Jennings helps e-book authors push visual boundaries by providing in-depth advice on how to add custom typography to EPUB creations. This e-book demonstrates and explains how to use HTML and CSS to handcraft striking typography.

Offering how-to at a deeper level than you'd normally work with via iBooks Author or a Microsoft-Word-to-Amazon conversion tool, this work is aimed at book publishers looking for controlled, professional output. It discusses the likely platforms you're designing for and possible snags you might run into along the way. For example, as the book points out, you cannot prevent iPad users from changing paragraph fonts.

There are many other topics introduced by the author, all of which represent common design challenges faced in professional publishing. You might be looking to custom-set the font for the first line of an opening paragraph using upper-case-only text or you might want to create distinct sidebars with colored backsplashes and visual flourishes. This book shows you how. eBook Typography covers a range of typography topics from spacing and embellishment to columns and page breaks, offering many examples along the way.

I found the book absolutely fascinating to browse through. It's not a particularly long, book but its detail-oriented explanations are exactly the thing any boundaries-pushing self-publisher would be looking for. If you're not scared by the EPUB container, and are willing to dive deep and tweak at the HTML/CSS level, this is the book for you.

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