Originally Posted by exaltedwombat
No, really, this is interesting and very pertinent. I have NEVER been asked for "epub only". I've never been offered a budget sufficient to prepare two separate optimized versions (and why stop at two? The new crop of tablets, with their various reader applications, have their own set of quirks). The practical name of the game is making code that converts elegantly to a range of devices. Unfortunately, this, in practice, means abjuring layout features that don't.
So "How will this convert to Kindle" is an essential question when preparing a book. Otherwise we're like the (fortunately dwindling) band of Mac-using web designers who when told "This site is broken in IE" smugly reply "So what?" :-)
Of course, once InDesign users catch on that they also could write simple code that converts cleanly through its "Export to epub" function, a lot of employment will disappear.
I doubt it. Most of the InDesigners are accustomed to a far more significant rate of pay than that which we lowly ebook formatters receive. I had a woman who called me to learn how to make ebooks--a print designer--and I told her how I'd started, get MBPC, get Sigil, learn that way, then move on to a more refined process, yadda--and when I told her what we earn she SPIT. She continues to make them, when requested, if in conjunction with a print book; but she said in no uncertain terms that she didn't know anyone in print who "would stoop that low."
I was absolutely charmed
after my discussion with her, naturally.
I'd also add that given what Createspace and other POD companies will offer, in terms of print design, for under $300, those InDesigners are going to be finding other venues for earning, anyway (probably designing marketing materials, which, I'm told, still pays.) Don't misunderstand me: unlike lots of geeks, I don't hate InDesign; but there's no reason to use it for ebook layout. I know Liz loves it, but...I think that's simply a matter of being comfortable with what she knows, rather than seeing it as a masterpiece of ePUB-making software.