My First ePub – Interactive Course Syllabus in E-book Form

Attending a recent Apple Education Seminar, “Mobility with iPads at Illinois Institute of Technology” earlier this week, I learned of the relative easy process for creating an ePub file using Pages on a Mac.

For those who aren’t familiar with ePub, it is a free, open e-book standard that is quickly becoming the universal format for ebooks. ePub is the format that Apple’s iBooks app reads and offers some very interesting capabilities for information distribution in mobile formats beyond the traditional PDF format.

To try creating an ePub for myself, I took a look at Apple’s instructions for creating ePub files using Pages. I then downloaded the “ePub Best Practices” sample Pages document and used that as a template to create my ePub.

I decided to take an existing syllabus I had created for a recent online course, Social Networking in Online Learning, and create an interactive ebook version of the syllabus. Here’s a brief tour of the finished ePub file viewed on an iPad and iPhone:

This ePub is an item in my course podcast feed, available in iTunes here or via the RSS feed.

Or, the ePub can be downloaded directly from

The source Pages document that I used to create the ePub from can be downloaded from

In a later post, I’ll share a tour of the Pages ePub template document and the details to be aware of in formatting an ebook in ePub format.

**UPDATE 3/12/11 – Tutorial demonstrating steps to create an ePub using Pages is available at


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  • Katejurd

    Hi Jason, if you create an ePub with Pages, can this be accessed android devices or just apple.? Also can you create a txt box in the ePub for uses to type in comments and or email them? Kate

  • I’m doing some research on using ePub format for downloading online curriculum for college classes. I’m curious to know how students liked or disliked the having materials (looks like you did the syllabus) in ePub format. Any feedback is appreciated. Cindi

    • jfrhode

      Cindi – Students in that course sections appreciated having the ePub format, but not all made use of the documents in that format. I would like to do a more widespread implementation of ePub in my courses I teach and collect more data on the preferences and uses by my students of the resources in ePub format in the future.