A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO EPUBS

Which Is Best Suited To Your Project: ePub Or PDF?

You present your story differently in these two formats. Therefore, you source material, organise it and write differently for each medium.


Comparing a PDF to an ePub: Factors to consider

Storytelling

PDF

Strongest on the cover and in the outline. Text predominates.

Reinforced by tone, storytellers and graphics. Few read the entire document from beginning to end.

ONLINE EPUB

Strongest in interactive areas: animated maps, data, videos, illustrations or photos. Text is shorter in length and provided in short to medium pieces to facilitate online promotion.

Navigation

PDF

Scrolling A4 pages, or clicking links in an interactive document.

Emphasis on cover, blurb, summary, chapter titles and subtitles.

ONLINE EPUB

Scrolling downwards or sideways. Interactivity is increased by features such as pop-ups and animated graphics, videos or photo galleries, filling in forms and playing quizzes, among others.

Non-Text Media (Sound, Video, GIF)

PDF

Optional. The trend has been in favour of heavier design and infographics.

ONLINE EPUB

Sound, video, animated graphics and photos are essential media, not add-ons.

Internet Access and Culture

PDF

Many audiences use a combination of PDF and print: academic researchers, diplomatic negotiators and those based in areas with weak Internet access, for example.

ONLINE EPUB

Developed country readers consuming marketing materials, social advocacy campaigns or journalistic reporting are a good target audience.

The following article provides more detail on the importance of visual content when trying to obtain your online readers’ attention:

For an overview of the diverse characteristics of ePubs, please explore the following examples:

For an example of how to adapt a PDF into an ePub, click here to see how ITC’s SME Outlook for 2020, a PDF containing more than 160 pages, was adapted into a virtual experience.

The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.

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Content Creation Considerations