Professional eBook Services

"Image only" eBook

What is an "image only" eBook?

In short, an image only eBook is an eBook where each page has been converted to an image rather than left as/converted to text that the eBook reader can adjust.

Why make "image only" eBooks?

For some books, especially those submitted in PDF format, converting the book to text can be cost-prohibitive. An alternative to paying a higher conversion fee is to make your book an "image only" book.

Can any book become an image only eBook?

Yes and No. "Image only" books are very large in file size. Most retailers require that your eBook be less than 20 MB. With the black and white 300 pages at the lowest possible resolution the book will be just under 20 MB. If you add grayscale image or color images, that page count goes down considerably. This means that authors with books that exceed the 20 MB limit have a couple of choices:

  1. Split the book in multiple "volumes".  This way, each book will be within the file limits.
  2. Ignore the size. Your book can not be submitted Amazon, B&N, Apple, or Google, but still can be submitted and distributed by Ingram Digital, Sony and Kobo.

What are the disadvantages of an image only eBook?

  • The user cannot change the font or font-size.
  • The user cannot copy text, highlight, or add a note.
  • The text might be more difficult to read.
  • Apple (iTunes) will not accept the book due to their high standards for each page being perfectly legible.
  • "Image only' eBooks that are most images of text do not look very good on PCs... they look much better on smaller reading devices.
  • There will be no linking, or linkable text in the document.

What are the advantages of an image only eBook?

  • Could be a substantial cost savings if you were told your book would require extra processing.
  • It may be your only option to have an eBook.
  • Your eBook will look exactly like your PDF file – same fonts, sizes, layout – everything.
  • The user cannot copy anything.
  • There is no conversion to editable text so no chance of any text being changed – no conversion errors.
  • You get to retain your page numbers
  • No problem with foreign characters and accents

What is the best way to convert my all-picture / Children's book?

If you have a book where each page is one big image, with text on the image (popular format for children's books), you have a couple choices.

  • Choice 1: Make your book eBook friendly.

An "eBook friendly" book is one where the text is separate from the images. The reader chooses how they want to view the text – the background color, font, and font-size. Your images are then modified to be placed before or after the text. This format will work on all devices. The downside is it will not look exactly like your printed book – the reader will not get the same experience.

  • Choice 2: Keep your book all images.

If you feel that the text and images as they are, are vital to your reader's experience, then we can make each page of your eBook one big image.  Here is what you need to keep in mind:

  • The text will most likely be unreadable on small, mobile devices – if the test is small relative to the images
  • An image book will not be as impressive on black and white e-ink readers like the Kindle
  • There will be no linking, unless the images are broken up by chapter markers.
  • You might upset the reader – if they are used to having viewing control over their books
  • Picture books must be under 20 megs – so make sure your source images do not total more than about 18 megs.

Again, we can convert the books either way, but we just want you to carefully consider your options and the possible consequences.

If you choose to go with choice 2, here is ideally what we need from you.

  • A PDF of your book - yes, we actually require a pdf, but there is still an extra processing fee due to the complexity of an creating an image book.
  • If possible, each page/image being EXACTLY 600px wide by 860px tall.  This is required for Apple IPad full page images.  If not, we will need to stretch or crop your pages.