From InDesign to EPUB: Presented by CLMP & IPC

Independent publishers can save thousands of dollars by producing their EPUB files in-house. It’s not always simple, though. There are tools and tricks to use to yield the best possible EPUB3 and MOBI files. In this workshop, you’ll learn to export good-looking, valid, and accessible ebooks from your InDesign layouts.

Date: Friday, March 13, 2020, 10am – 6pm
Location: 1140 Broadway, New York (also available via video conference)
Instructor: Kevin Callahan, proprietor of BNGO Books
Free to dues-paying members of IPC or CLMP; $150 for all others


6-hour class (plus lunch and breaks)
Attendance options: in person or via video conference
1-2 hour followup phone conference a week later


This session will cover how to use InDesign’s built-in features, along with some scripts, to export a valid, accessible EPUB3 ebook. Other topics we’ll cover:
What is an EPUB?

  • Short history of EPUB
  • Exploration of EPUB inner workings
  • InDesign prep and export
  • apply paragraph, character, object styles
  • determine image size, and image + caption combos
    address accessibility concerns
  • work with fonts
  • capture graphic treatments: title pages, chapter openers
  • make each ebook its own design object
  • enter metadata
  • decipher EPUB3 export settings


  • EPUBS are web documents. So, we’ll look inside an EPUB to seeXHTML files
  • CSS file
  • EPUB-specific files


  • Apple and Amazon will reject files that don’t validate. We’ll take a look at
  • EPUB-checker
  • FlightDeck
    And we’ll figure out how to fix whatever problems pop up.

Create a MOBI

  • Kindle files—MOBIs—branch from a finished EPUB. We’ll look at the differences between the two formats, and then create a MOBI file using Kindle Previewer.
  • Build a template
    Once you’ve mastered InDesign’s export capabilities, go a step further and build InDesign and CSS templates suited to your books. You won’t need to go through every step with every book once you’ve standardized your approach.


To streamline the learning process, we’ll all work with a document sent out prior to the class. Please have it ready to go on your computer.

In addition, we’ll work with the following free utilities. (Links will be sent before the class so you can download and have them ready to go.)

  • Sigil
  • EPUB-Checker
  • eCanCrusher
  • ACE by Daisy
  • GreenLight

What you’ll need to participate:

  • Basic working knowledge of InDesign
  • A laptop (laptop or desktop if participating via video conference)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud applications:
  • InDesign (2018 or later)
  • Photoshop
  • Dreamweaver


Kevin Callahan is the proprietor of BNGO Books in New York. He’s been deeply involved in ebook development after years in book design and production. Among the publishers he has consulted with and created ebooks for are Scholastic, the Associated Press, and Lee & Low Books. He’s given training to small and large groups at webinars and conferences in the U.S. and Canada, and has written extensively for InDesign magazine and

Workshop will be available in person (20 max. capacity) and via video conference.
Registration is first come, first served. Registrants beyond capacity will be placed on the waitlist.
IPC and CLMP members will be given priority for in-person attendance.
Invoice will be sent upon confirmation. Payment or membership required to confirm attendance.