I have been experimenting with different ways to make photo ebooks. Apple, Snapfish, Shutterfly, and other websites have great, easy ways to make hard copy photo books from your photos with drag-and-drop into fancy templates. Making a photo ebook is a little trickier.
The main advantage to ebooks is their ability to resize text or change style and still flow neatly across the page. This feature works against photo books, because this automatic shuffling of content when minor format changes are made to the text means the caption for your photo could get bumped to another page. You really want something more like a PDF file, where the page stays the way you designed it. You place photos and text in a pleasing manner, and you don’t want them shifting around and getting jumbled up.
For me, iPhoto and Aperture photo books are cool and they can export to a PDF file, but they are a bit limiting in the custom design department and cannot be exported as an ebook file type for Kindle, ePub, or iBooks. I downloaded iBooks Author, which really has a cool set of design tools, but it only exports PDF and iBook formats. Due to Apple’s exclusivity policy, you can’t read iBooks on an Android device (Kindle or Google Books), only in iBooks on an iPad. Since I can’t find an easy way to upload an iBooks file here I am using the PDF version. Also, any tablet or phone can read a PDF with the right app.
I am looking into solutions for making ebooks my Google/ASUS Nexus 7 can read, and I think Apple iWork Pages exporting an ePub file might work. I haven’t tried converting an ePub to a mobi (Kindle) file yet (using a program like Calibre), but I’ve read it can get messed up in the conversion.