Adding Audio and Video to Create Enhanced eBooks
We can embed both audio and video media clips within eBook files, to create what are sometimes called Enhanced eBooks, but not all devices and sales channels support these enhancements.
Many tablet devices such as iPad, Nook Color, Nook Tablet, and Kobo Arc do support enhanced eBooks with audio and video.
eInk eReader devices such as Kindle Touch, Kindle Paperwhite, Nook Simple Touch, Nook Glowlight and Kobo Aura cannot play video files and in most cases do not support audio files.
Streaming video clips (e.g. linking to a video hosted on a service such as YouTube or Vimeo) will only work on a device with an active Internet connection.
Creating Enhanced ePUB files
We can produce the following ePUB formats with embedded audio and video content:
- Standard ePUB 2 – this format can work on many tablet devices such as iPad, Nook tablet, and Kobo Arc. The retailers we can supply enhanced ePUB 2 files to are Apple, B&N, Google Play and Kobo.
- Fixed-layout ePUB 3 – Apple, Kobo and Google Play all support audio and video content within fixed-layout ePUB 3 files.
- Please note that we cannot add audio or video to B&N’s fixed-layout PagePerfect format.
Creating Enhanced Amazon Kindle Mobi files
- KF8 – Amazon’s KF8 fixed-layout format does not support audio or video.
- Mobi – Amazon’s standard format for Kindle books does support audio and video content although the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) system will not accept Mobi files with audio or video. To upload your enhanced Mobi files to Amazon you will need to access a wholesaler account, which is usually restricted to larger publishers (we do not offer this service).
How does Audio and Video work within eBooks
Most compatible devices will use a simple on-screen player control (with play/pause, and possibly fast forward and reverse, buttons) to allow the reader to play the media clip. Once started, the audio or video files will play until they are stopped, or on most devices, until the page of the book is turned – for this reason, we do not advise trying to use an ongoing soundtrack to play throughout the book.
Adding Narration to eBooks
Narration can only be added to fixed-layout ePUB 3 files (sometimes called Read-Aloud or Read-Along books). Generally narration is only used for children’s titles. For more details see our Read Aloud eBook page.
File Formats and File Sizes
We usually receive audio content as mp3 or m4a files, and video as mpg, avi or wmv files, although we can convert most audio and video files to usable formats.
Long audio and video clips can be very large files, and may end up contributing to eBook files which are very slow for readers to download. We recommend keeping the overall amount of audio and video files below 50 mb. If you have significantly more audio and video content than this, it may be that it is best to store this on a website and have links from your eBook to your media content on the web.
Licensing Media Content
As with any images or fonts you include within your eBook, you must ensure that you have the rights to use any audio or video content embedded in your eBook files.