At Bookalope, your happiness with using our tools is our success. Our mission is to provide helpful, strong, and consistent support for all your questions, queries, and suggestions. Whatever you think about our tools, let’s talk about it!

Getting started

Feel free to consult our FAQs below, read our detailed manual, or watch our various video tutorials. If you have any question or suggestion, you can email us directly! For more in-depth support, we walk your team through our conversion process which involves a free 1-on-1 consultation and team workshop to make sure you’re getting the most out of Bookalope’s range of features. See below for more info.

Individual consultation

Monthly subscription packages include consultations with our software developers. Got any questions? Ask away! We also offer assessment and consultation of your current book production workflow to help with tools integration. Just send us an email and ask for more details!

Contact us for more information

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve gathered our customers’ most common questions here. Over time we will continue to update our answers and add your questions to the list. Check below if your question is already covered, or contact us if you have another one!

Does Bookalope import PDF files?
No. The PDF file format is designed to be a final format describing a print publication. It’s not a file format that should be used for further processing. Having said that and if you have no other choice, we recommend using tools like Adobe Acrobat, ABBYY FineReader, or Recsoft’s PDF2Office to convert your existing PDF document to a file format that Bookalope can import.
Does Bookalope import InDesign files?
To some extent, yes. Our free Bookalope extension for InDesign (which is an open-source Github project) can extract the active document from InDesign and upload that to the Bookalope server. Bookalope then runs that document through its intelligent structure classification and content cleanup, and when it’s finished the InDesign extension fetches the result and opens it as a new document in InDesign. While this process is fully automatic, you may need to adjust the structure classification a little through the website and then have the extension update your local InDesign document accordingly.
Bookalope imports EPUB3, so how does it manage Fixed-Layout ebooks?
At the moment Bookalope works best with flow-text ebooks. In contrast to those, Fixed-Layout (FXL) ebooks organize their content differently: in a sense, importing FXL is quite similar to importing PDF because content can be placed and rendered anywhere on the canvas in any arbitrary order. And that can make it quite challenging to extract content fragments in their correct order. At the moment Bookalope does not (yet?) treat FXL ebooks with the extra effort that would be required to import their content correctly. However, that shouldn’t stop you from importing your FXL ebook into Bookalope—your ebook may just work out well!
What’s with the name?
The core of the Bookalope tools existed before we started offering them online through a cloud API. We considered heaps of different names, but most of the domain names were already in use elsewhere. Living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest of the U.S. we encountered a mythical creature called the Jackalope, and from that the name was born.
I don’t like the default design for EPUB/PDF/InDesign. Can I change that?
Yes. That’s an easy one, actually. Bookalope is built to handle different design styles, and we often change designs depending on the book we’re working on. If you have personal or house styles that you’d like Bookalope to use, then please contact us and we’ll work with you to set things up for your account.
What about importing/exporting other file formats?
By design it’s straightforward to extend Bookalope with new file formats, both for import and export. It just might take a while, depending on the complexity of the format itself. Flavors of XML are probably the easiest to extend Bookalope with. Please contact us so we can discuss the technical details.
I don’t need Bookalope, we already have an XML workflow!
Many publishers use XML-based book production workflows internally. But your authors don’t write their books in XML, and your editors don’t edit them in XML. The interplay between people’s need to modify content and your XML-based workflow quickly becomes tedious and time-consuming, because neither your authors nor editors want to touch XML. And they shouldn’t. What is needed, however, is an efficient and reliable way to turn content that real people work with, e.g. the Word files that your authors and editors use, into the XML that your worfklow requires. And that’s what Bookalope does efficiently!
Can Bookalope make use of external metadata formats?
Yes. Bookalope already supports importing metadata information in ONIX3 for books format, and at the moment we’re considering to add support to import MARC. Your next question is about exporting these matadata formats, isn’t it? We could add that too to Bookalope, if there’s enough need for such a feature from our customers.
Is there a Bookalope app?
No. We have no need for a native app because the Bookalope web application is fully responsive and will scale to your tablet or phone. Whether it’s comfortable to work through entire books on your phone is up to you, but our website can certainly scale down to the environment.
“Born accessible” and “digital first” and “linear & single-source” and “XML first”
These are the buzzwords that are currently trending in the publishing industry. If you like to get technical, then please take a look at our blog Towards automating accessible ebooks and our video presentation at the Digital Publishing Summit 2020. In short, if you work with the Bookalope tools then you can proudly say that your workflow implements all of these features!