Permanent Publications is committed to publishing books that help people embrace more sustainable, self-reliant and ecologically sound ways of life. We’ve produced several eBooks for them – everything from titles that focus on gardens and cooking, to politics and economics, to eBooks with practical permaculture solutions for the home.

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The latest eBook we’ve converted for them is Permaculture and Climate Change Adaptation: Inspiring Ecological, Social, Economic and Cultural Responses for Resilience and Transformation by Thomas Henry and Gil Penha-Lopes. As outlined in the sales description, this book focuses on practical applications permaculture practitioners can offer those attempting to address climate change:

Permaculture is a design system for sustainable human habitats and basis of a worldwide citizen-led movement present in over 100 countries.

For decades, permaculture practitioners have devised creative responses to changes in local climatic conditions. In doing so, they have developed a collective knowledge and experience invaluable to global efforts to address climate change.

This book, researched and written by two notable academics, brings this expertise from the margins into the centre of policy debates and mainstream action. It describes in broad terms how permaculture’s underlying philosophy and perspective on climate change complements those of formal science and indigenous knowledge and provides detailed, accessible descriptions of practical applications drawing on case studies from around the world illustrated by excellent photographs. It considers how global responses can most effectively draw upon the unique contributions permaculture has to make.

Typically titles with more complex formatting are better suited to fixed-layout formats rather than reflowable eBooks. However, we can create reflowable eBook files with that retain many of the formatting features of the original even if the layout does change. This is the route we’ve gone with several Permanent Publications titles, as the reflowable ePub and Mobi formats are supported by all the major eBook reading platforms, devices and software, and readers have much greater control over their reading experience.

As discussed in an earlier post, the amount of text on a ‘page’ (screen) will vary in reflowable eBooks depending on a reader’s font settings as well as the size of the screen. Because of that the layout of the original Word document, PDF or InDesign file submitted for conversion will not be maintained in these formats. The screenshots below show how the text from the print version of Permaculture and Climate Change Adaptation translates to the eBook format.

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Text that appears in two columns in the print version (shown above on the left) appears in a single column in the eBook. This allows the text to flow correctly at different text sizes and on different screen sizes, and also depending on whether a reader uses one or two-page view.

The pull quotes from the print version are included as are the images and captions. Those features are always placed at the end of a paragraph rather than in the middle of a sentence to ensure the text flows correctly around them. Because the pull quotes and captions are live text in the reflowable ePub and Mobi files, they will change size just like the headings and body text depending on a reader’s chosen font settings. While this impacts the layout, it does ensure readers have a lot of freedom in selecting their preferred font size and typeface.

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Because there isn’t a fixed page in reflowable eBook files, the headers and footers from the print version aren’t included in the eBook; however, most e-readers and e-reading applications assign their own page numbers.

background_colourNEW4Important sections of the book can be highlighted using a different colour background. In Permaculture and Climate Change Adaptation background colours were used for the introductory title page for each section and also to help headings standout in the Table of Contents and in the Endnotes section. Again, there isn’t a fixed page in reflowable eBooks so a different colour background is tied to a section of text rather than fixed to a page.

Because it’s not possible to have footnotes at the bottom of a page, all notes in reflowable eBook appear as endnotes, but the ability to link those notes ensures it’s easy for readers to navigate between the main text and the notes. Depending on a reader’s device or e-reading application, the note text will appear in a pop-up box or they will be taken to a list of notes at the back of the book.

Though some formatting compromises are required when converting a print title with more complex formatting to the reflowable eBook formats, this approach ensures that Permanent Publications’ eBooks are available to the widest range of e-reading platforms, devices and software. It also means that readers are able to highlight sections, add notes, and search the text, which is important for the instructional books Permanent Publications produce.

To learn more about Permanent Publications innovative range of permaculture books or their monthly magazine, Permaculture: practical solutions for self-reliance, please visit their website.

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