The way in which we read books has changed considerably over the last few years. Amazon claims its digital book sales are almost on a par with the traditional printed variety. While the printed word will be with us for many years to come, if you’re going on a long-haul flight, for example, it’s much easier to download a few publications to the iPad than carry a pile of books with you.

In this masterclass, we shall demonstrate how to prepare an ebook in ePub format for the iPad. Use the ePub check tool at to ensure it meets Apple’s requirements for selling via the iBookstore. We will also point you in the direction of a service to make it easier to sell your materials. There’s a global audience out there – we’ll help you reach it.

1. Create a new book  Open InDesign CS5. Click File > New > Book. Select a location to store your book file – in our case we’re going for the desktop – then click Choose. This will create an empty Book file. We’re going to use this to build up the different components of our ebook.

2. Create the cover  If you use InDesign CS5 to create your cover, you must export the cover from InDesign as a JPEG, then import it back in. Open the file and click File > Export. Select JPEG format. Click Save. Create a new file in the same page size and import the JPEG. Save this as your cover, then drag it into the Book panel.

3. Split up your content  When preparing an ePub you need to split your file up into separate chapters. Keep the cover as a file in its own right, then an introduction page (if you have one), followed by the chapters themselves. Contents for ebooks are dealt with in a slightly different fashion to printed books.

4. Styles  One of the main differences between print and digital books is that in a printed book you have full control over the look and feel. For an ebook, keep to one base font – the reader will ultimately be able to change it anyway. Sizes and character styles (bold, italic) will be pulled through to the final file.