Publishing an E-book with Sound effects and Music



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    Tara Cremin


    Thank you for your interest in Kobo Writing Life. This service is not currently designed for enhanced content. At the moment the focus is more on traditional ePub files.

    We are looking into ways to develop the functionality of Writing Life in order to give our authors and self-publishers even more flexibility over what they can distribute through our site, but cannot say for certain when these changes will come into affect.



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    Jane Louise Johnson

    Many years ago (1999) when we could create our own websites with, I created a series of pages of my writing that contained photographs and music embedded in the page. I even composed and inserted my own midi files of computer-sequenced music, and a note at the bottom of the page with the name of the piece and that it was mine. 
    I was disappointed to receive feedback from a reader who complained that the music issuing from a page each time a new one was opened was disturbing to their colleagues in the office when my blogs were being read at work! In retrospect I know now what I should have done - suggested that the reader navigate with the sound turned off whilst they were on my site at work (always supposing that such activity was allowed!). 

    Unfortunately the shock of receiving such negative feedback was so great that I removed all of my embedded files, including one which I had sequenced at college and submitted for an AS level Music Technology exam. I was therefore left with no previous use to prove to a company that used the file as a demo in their keyboards that the copyright did in fact belong to me and I should be acknowledged as the author (and receive royalties!).  Another of my compositions, from 1994, had much of it used in a car advert, and I was able to contact them and complain - they removed the advert!.  

    What I am pointing out here, in response to your request, is that in the event of using your own material, you risk not being able to use it for anything else. If it is not your material, you open yourself either to legal proceedings or else you may have to purchase rights to use the music. This could become expensive on a pro rata basis! It's why Artistes and Musicians place embedded videos in mini format on their pages so that users can choose whether or not to play it. Unwanted audio smacks of hard-sell snake oil quackery - that runs interminably with a script so that after listening for half an hour you end up semi-hypnotised into buying whatever the author is enthusing about. 

    Technically, the files need to be added individually in the HTML or coded language for the page.  This could be complicated for the epub format as, unlike some of the earlier versions of Office, inserting macros is not easily done when converting word or odt files into PDF format. Best wishes with your work - and developing the writing skills to bring your imaginative environments and described sounds into the inner eyes and ears of your readers! 

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