eBooks Color?

Since I do book covers and formatting for other authors, in addition to my own, I get a lot of questions about whether or not to include images in ebooks, and whether those images need to be black and white.

The short answer is: Yes, put in as many pictures as you want (so long as you can compress them to the file size limit for your publisher of choice) and leave them in color.

Barns & Noble have the color Nook. Though Kindle may be in black and white, the kindle applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android are in color. Not to mention that there are plenty of other brands of eReaders with color displays.

There is one thing to keep in mind, though, especially for technical diagrams. If readers use a gray scale device, such as kindle, the color image will be displayed in black and white. If you use images for tables, charts, etc you need to make sure that the colors have a good contrast so that readers can still distinguish the segments, or arrows, from one another.  As for general illustrations, you’re probably fine.

Personally, I think it’s only a matter of time until all the ereaders are in color, and the black and white issue becomes a moot point. In the meantime, if you’re worried about how your images will appear in black and white, then try this “converter” – http://tjshome.com/imageconverter.php. Choose the black and white option (It’s the first one) then choose your image and hit the submit button.  If you want you can right click on the results and save the converted image to your computer.




6 thoughts on “eBooks Color?

  1. julihoffman July 28, 2011 / 3:48 am

    Good post. I read most of my ebooks on my android. It’s compact to carry around, and I can read during my breaks or at lunch, and yes I can see color pictures. The Kindle screen is NOT backlit. I know it saves on battery life, and it’s supposed to be easier on the eyes, but I prefer reading on a backlit screen VS using the little light that you get with the case. I wonder if that’s why there’s no color on the Kindle? Hmm…I’m not all the tech savy, so I don’t know.

    • Joleene Naylor July 28, 2011 / 5:41 am

      Yeah, they say it’s because it is supposed to imitate book ink and paperbacks etc generally are just in grays. I think they’ll change it eventually, though 😉

  2. James July 28, 2011 / 4:15 pm

    “Personally, I think it’s only a matter of time until all the ereaders are in color”
    I agree–but all good e-readers already *are* in color now–the Kindle is the only holdout. One main reason the Kindle remains popular–e-ink allows weeks of battery life instead of hours. Amazon’s rumored to be coming out with a tablet computer later this year, however, and that may be the next “Kindle”.

    • Joleene Naylor July 30, 2011 / 6:03 am

      LOL! I dunno about “good” – I am quite happy with my grayscale Kindle without the backlighting because it doesn’t hurt my eyes. I don’t really NEED it in color. I have a PC for that, however I think you’re right that the tablet will eventually be their product of choice in order to compete.

  3. Ruth Ann Nordin July 30, 2011 / 7:26 pm

    What do you think of interactive ebooks? I’ve heard about them but don’t know how these things would work. Sometimes I fear change. LOL As if formatting isn’t already a pain. I can only imagine what it’ll be like when we have to be interactive.

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