You might not need these, but here are some trial-and-error tips you might, one day, find useful.

File sizes

In the early days of ebooks, no exported HTML or XHTML file in an epub could be bigger than 300K when uncompressed (or 100K compressed). As a rule of thumb, this is about 40000 words of a simple novel. Any longer book had to be broken up into smaller documents (e.g. chapters). This rule is no longer critical now that devices and apps are more powerful, but it’s good to keep in mind. If you can follow it, your epub will be much faster, and your user won’t have to wait ages for a chapter to load.


InDesign CS4 makes claims that it can handle multimedia (without you having to get into the epub code), and we’re testing that. It doesn’t look good, though (it was effectively broken in CS2 when Apple’s Quicktime stopped supporting SWF, and wasn’t yet fixed at the time we wrote this).

So we still prefer to embed multimedia by editing epub code by hand. You can find more on embedding multimedia on the EBW Knowledge Base.