Adobe's Creative Cloud discounted

If you’ve contemplated creating books and ebooks as good as those turned out by major publishers, then Adobe’s Creative Cloud is what you need. I know I love the power InDesign gives me in creating print and ebook interiors and that Photoshop has for cover images.

If you’re thinking of making the plunge, Adobe is offering a Black Friday special good until November 28. Their normal $50 subscription to every app they make, normally $50 a month is only $40. Over the space of a year, that’ll save you $120.

The others aren’t discounted, but include $10/month for a Photoshop/Lightroom package or $20/month for a single app package, which for a writer/publisher could be for InDesign.

Check the entire Creative Cloud package out. It includes access to online storage and a website where I’m going to put my and save my payments to BlueHost.

My hope is that eventually enough authors and publishers will be using InDesign that Adobe adds a $10/month package author’s package with InDesign alongside its photography one.

The big advantage of InDesign is write once, publish many. The same document that I create for the print version can be used to generate an identical looking fixed-layout epub for iPads, Kobos and Nooks and a reflowable epub for the rest of the ereaders, including smartphones.

Yes, if Amazon was not run by jerks, they’ve have either updated their Kindle export plug-in for InDesign or helped Adobe create a Mobi/KF8 export capability, so InDesign could support all the print and digital options.

Like it or not, Amazon may be forced to do that. Currently, a publisher who creates a print book with InDesign (and most do) can export reflowable and fixed-layout epub versions for every other major ebook retailer but Amazon in under five minutes. Not so Amazon. As Kindle support told me, to create anything other than a crude, looks-like-Word ebook for Kindles, I’ll need to hire third-party experts to hand code it. Over time, that’s going to mean that even major publishers will be releasing their Kindle versions later than anyone else.

That’s so irritating, for a short ‘Hospital series’ of ebooks I’m writing (too short for print), I’m thinking of going iBookstore only for my direct release and supply it to everyone else (but Amazon) through Smashwords and its epub distribution.

Amazon will be sitting, all along and out in the cold and the damp Seattle drizzle like it belongs. If it’s not going to support industry standards, it ought at the very least support Adobe’s InDesign.

And if you’re still on the fence about Creative Cloud and InDesign, you can get a free 30-day trial version here:

For me, writing in Scrivener and publishing with InDesign could not be better. Both are tools finely honed for specific tasks, which they do marvelously well.

–Michael W. Perry

I don’t understand…why would anyone want a fixed-layout epub on an iPad, etc? For me, the advantage of ePubs is that the text reflows and can be adjusted to each reader’s personal preference. That’s why I hate PDFs: they don’t reflow. Personally, I would never buy a fixed-layout epub.

Why should Amazon support Adobe products if it doesn’t want to? Surely it is for Amazon to decide if there is a business case for updating the Kindle export plug-in for InDesign.

Another thing I don’t understand…why not just go from Scrivener to epub and mobi? Why involve InDesign at all if Scrivener can produce ebooks (and even physical books) that work perfectly for readers?

Also if an epub is opened in Amazon’s Kindle Previewer, it will automatically create a mobi copy using the built-in KindleGen. What’s not to love?

I think that’s a valid approach, too, and should vindicate any tool that does not have native KindleGen integration, like Scrivener does. Amazon’s ePub->Kindle converter is quite good from what I’ve seen.

I’m still waiting for someone (Adobe?) to make a professional e-book editing tool. InDesign isn’t suited for it, really, neither is Dreamweaver. The answer is somewhere in between, with a whole lot more for what e-books need, and a whole lot less of what InDesign/Dreamweaver have that are completely irrelevant. Oh well, Sigil isn’t bad, quite good really, but try and tell people that when it isn’t being actively developed. For whatever reason that carries more stigma than it should.

Hi Ioa

When I output from Scrivener to epub or mobi, I get very clean files that reflow beautifully, allowing readers to choose from the font palette and font sizes available on their devices.

What more do writers /readers need?

I’ve never had anyone say that anything is wrong with the ebooks that Scrivener creates.


Briar Kit

For most books, I would agree, thanks for that. I think our tools are enough for most as they are designed to address the common scenarios in fiction and non-fiction. But if one is doing something outside of that, we have to suggest people use programs like Sigil fairly often. There are little tweaks people want that you need a direct editor to accomplish with ease (rather than an iterative generator, like the compiler), or one needs special layout control that isn’t easily done with Scrivener—for these scenarios it would be nice to have more options for people to go to, when that is necessary—and having an “InDesign” for e-publishing would be great.

Thanks, Ioa

Appreciate the extra info and insight.

Maybe Scrivener (and similar) is so good at meeting most of the needs of most writers that there isn’t a big enough demand for an “InDesign” for e-publishing. Development costs a lot of money. Perhaps it is hard to make a business case for developing an app to deal with the small percentage of tasks that Scrivener cannot complete with ease.

That could be part of it, but I think a bigger issue is that right now the alternatives are tilted heavily toward technical users. For example, to do some of the things I see people needing to do in Sigil, you either have to blindly copy and paste instructions from a technical guide, or know how to manipulate HTML and CSS in such a way to do what you want. This is even more true once you start getting into the current generation formats, ePub3 and KF8. Support for what these formats are capable of is very slim out there.

In other words, the problem could be self-generated by a lack of easier yet powerful tools. Right now, hand-tweaking an ePub is more like messing with a LaTeX document. Even if you have a “front end” like Sigil, chances are you’re still going to need to get your hands dirty with code. So naturally, the vast majority want nothing to do with that. Easier to comprehend design-focussed software, that uses visual methods instead of code, would perhaps bring about that market you speak of.

Anyway, sorry to derail the thread a bit, Michael. :wink:

Absolutely agree. People want simplicity. We want to drive our cars, use our phones, watch our TVs, etc. We don’t want to know how they work, or have to get our hands dirty to make them work.

Think such an approach is behind Apple’s success. My 76-year-old neighbour asked me to help him with his Windows and MS Office problems at least once a week for the last 10 years. In June this year, he bought an iMac and switched to iWork. I helped him to set the machine up one day, and a few days later I went back to sort out a printer.

Since then, he hasn’t needed help with anything. He writes in Pages. Keeps his accounts in Numbers. Blogs with WordPress. Doesn’t have any issues understanding the software or making it work as he needs it to. He copes with updates. Everything works reliably and intuitively.

All software should be easy to use. What people create is important. Time spent understanding and manipulating code is a waste of time for most users.