Workshops: E-books for Museums: How to Make Them, and Why You Should
Creating an EPUB e-book, from start to finish, as best as we can
November 1, 2011 | MCN | Atlanta
April 6, 2011 | Museums and the Web | Philadelphia
I thought if museums weren’t producing ebooks, perhaps I could teach them to do so and they would. So in half-day workshops at Museums and the Web and MCN, I packed in an ambitious agenda (paired down the second time I attempted it) and attempted to teach participants how to create an EPUB from start to finish. The results were never flawless, but it was a fun, and I think worthy project.
Holding decades worth of exhibition catalogs, member journals, symposium papers, and historical records, and publishing new scholarship every day, museums go beyond being repositories of objects — they are also repositories of knowledge about objects and their related fields. Accessible, flexible, and exploding in popularity, e-books offer museums the opportunity to use their troves of material to develop a deeper connection with visitors, increase audience exposure through new channels, and even generate new revenue. In this half-day workshop, participants will learn how to create a basic e-book in the industry standard EPUB format, from start to finish.
In this half-day workshop, participants will learn how to create a basic e-book in the industry standard EPUB format, from start to finish. EPUB is the primary e-book format for Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, Sony and others, and can be used to create books for sale on Amazon’s Kindle. Using readily accessible tools and a DIY spirit, we’ll identify content for publication, digitize and properly format the raw text, build each of the various e-book components, assemble the pieces and check the final publication file to create a valid and distribution-ready e-book. Along the way we will discuss the pros and mostly cons of digital rights management; the ins and outs of all the major e-book sales channels; and the possibilities for where this content, once digitized, might go next, including print-on-demand editions, online databases, mobile in-museum downloads, and more.
Some specific topics to be covered:
- Book scanning and OCR (optical character recognition)
- Microsoft Word to HTML formatting
- Image and multi-media handling in EPUB
- Other EPUB creation and conversion tools
E-books in the EPUB format are basically packaged sets of HTML files. Though not required, some basic, working knowledge of basic HTML tags and structure will be of benefit to participants.