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New Option Available for Fixed Layout Epub – CircularFLO

A press release crossed my inbox earlier this week promoting  new conversion service. Circular Software can now take an inDesign file and output an Epub in Apple’s fixed layout format. It’s a little expensive, but it’s the first automated option that I have heard of.

I know of a handful of ebook conversion specialists who could probably offer a similar service, but it’s still fairly rare. Also, of all the common ebook formats, fixed layout Epub was the one that (so far as I knew) still had to be done by hand. An automated option is a big step forward.

But here’s the bad news; they’re asking a $200 fee for each Epub converted.

That’s rather expensive for an automated service, but then again Circular has the market to themselves largely to themselves. To be honest, I’m not sure who else offers this service. I believe Red Staple can do it, but I couldn’t get a confirmation from them.

Circular Software

P.S. If anyone knows of a cheaper alternative, please let me know.

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karen wester newton March 15, 2012 um 9:48 am

I wonder if they will redo the conversion for free if there are last minute edits? One complaint I have heard from folks who have used conversion houses for their self-published books is that they can’t make their own corrections in the files they get back.

I also wonder if it translates the print design or just gives generic output, as far as the design aspects go.

Nate Hoffelder March 15, 2012 um 11:26 am

good point.

Elizabeth Barnes March 20, 2012 um 6:51 am

Hi Karen

We have a different approach and give the tools needed to you the InDesign user. So we don’t do the conversion, you do! Once you are ready to buy a credit, you can then make as many full length proof versions for spotting late corrections and last minute edits before 'spending' the credit to make your final fixed layout EPUB.

Trials are free, so give us a try

Hope this helps, Elizabeth

the rodent March 15, 2012 um 11:44 am

Hmm, I have to ask why bother with a fixed-layout EPUB? Just use PDF. Pretty much everyone is supporting PDF and EPUB (as well as raw HTML, etc). Why bother with a new format? It’s not as if there’s some new technology that "requires" a new format…

Nate Hoffelder March 15, 2012 um 12:09 pm

I would tend to agree with you from a current production viewpoint, but there’s a lot of support for the idea among the tech experts I know. There’s real value in the format.

Zetmolm March 15, 2012 um 2:38 pm

One important difference between epub and pdf is that epub is a lot easier to edit. Some may see that as an advantage, others as a disadvantage.

Elizabeth Barnes March 20, 2012 um 6:56 am

Another important difference is that fixed layout EPUB is a way content for professional publishers to SELL their illustrated content through iBookStore. PDFs are not allowed to be sold and standard EPUB is just not good enough.

Thanks, Elizabeth

Tom April 3, 2012 um 11:27 am

We have build a webbased converter which is open to everyone to convert from PDF to fixed-layout EPUB (f.e. image only, image + text, svg) We can give you a free demo access to test the results.

More at:

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