The Magnolia Story

Maisie Wells
9 min readJun 26, 2020


For my ePub project I wanted to find a book that had a lot of information to it and that I had read so I could put it together easier. I started out picking The Selection for my book. This is one of my favorite series so I was excited to do my project on this book. Then as I started looking for content I found that since there is no movie or pictures in the book, the things I could find were scarce. Most of the images were the book covers or stuff people had made up. I then decided to switch to Twilight, I haven’t read the books but I have seen the movie so I figured I could do it based off the knowledge I had from the movie. I don’t really know why I didn’t stay with this book, I guess I just wasn’t super sold on this idea so I kept searching. I was looking at biographies because I knew there would be a lot of content. I saw The Magnolia Story and thought it would be something I would be interested in and enjoy reading. I decided to bite the bullet and pay for the book. I finally had my eBook picked out!

Cover Art

For the cover art I just started out looking for an image I liked of Chip and Joanna. The image I found is in black and white which I like. The image below is more zoomed in than the one I used for the cover art.

As I was working on the text for the image I ran into some issues. I had the text in a dark grey/black and where I was putting the text (closer to the bottom) made it a little difficult to read because of Joanna’s watch she has on in this picture. If I moved the text higher than it would blend in with her hair and moving it lower didn’t look good either because it was also a little hard to read with Chips pants.

My professor then gave the good idea to lighten the watch face to make the words not blend in and easier to read. I also added bevel and emboss to the text to help it pop and stand out.

Bevel & Emboss on text, watch face lightened up

I was also wondering if the box around “Chip & Joanna Gaines” looked weird because the bottom left corner blends in with Chips pants. My professor said it was fine but also gave me the suggestion of changing the color of the box. I wasn’t sure if I like the color or the grey better so I asked a couple other people their opinions. Here is what I ended up with.


Putting the text into iBooks Author was a pain because when I would copy a page of the text and paste it into TextEdit, it would only paste some of the text and then it would put “[…]” and have a statement stating where the excerpt came from. It would do the same thing when I would put the text directly into iBooks Author.


When I put the text in iBooks Author I had to fix the spacing because “Line” setting would automatically default to 1.2. The “Before Paragraph” setting was defaulting to 10.

In The Magnolia Story it is mostly from Joanna Gaines perspective but Chip has quite a bit of comments from his point of view too. They differentiated who was talking by changing the font and that is what I did as well. The image on the left is from the original eBook and the one on the right is what I did in iBooks author.


Feature 1

For my first feature I did a glossary page. Half of the glossary items are locations and people and the other half are things that I think could be a helpful reference when reading.

For the locations, I put a map in to give the user reference on where that specific place is. I wanted to get the maps to show up like they do in Google maps where you can scroll around and zoom in and out. Interactive. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to figure out how to do that so I just took screenshots.

Feature 2

The second feature is pop-over. I chose a hammer to be my pop-over image since one of the things Chip and Joanna are known for is fixing up houses. I didn’t know if users were going to be able to quickly identify what the image was, so I asked a couple of people if it was easy to to tell it was a hammer. They all could tell what it was so I decided to keep it.


The pop-over include images that will allow the user to get a visual grasp on things they are reading. An example of this is my pop-over for the Mohonk Mountain House. Chip and Joanna stayed here on their honeymoon and I think users would find it interesting to see what this hotel looks like.

Feature 3

My third feature is the image gallery. The image gallery works perfect with what I wanted to show. In the book it talks about how Chip bought a houseboat for their family to live in for a while and it ended up being a wreck. They fixed it up though and it is amazing what they did with it. The gallery shows the before and after pictures of the houseboat. I also sized the images so they are all the same.

Feature 4

The fourth feature is three videos. Two of the videos I was able to pull from YouTube and the other I pulled from a different site. I was having a hard time downloading the second video so I ended up doing a screen recording and an audio recording to get the video. For the third video, the one about the Magnolia Store, I got it from YouTube and then added it to my photos and then transferred it into iMovie so I could speed it up. I couldn’t figure out how to speed the video up in photos on my mac so I ended up doing it in iMovie.

Feature 5

The fifth feature is the chapter headings. I chose images to go underneath the chapter name and number that I felt was a good representation of one of the things the chapter was going to talk about. For example, chapter 3 talks about their wedding so I chose an image from their wedding day.

I changed the default font for headings to Covered By Your Grace and I had that for a while but then I wasn’t so sure I loved it.

I ended up choosing Pathway Gothic One as my font and liked the plainness of it better.

Then for the chapter number I first just had it written out like “Chapter 1.” Then I had the idea that I wanted to do cool metal looking numbers for the chapters because it would kind of match the sign that was at the old Magnolia Store. I think the letters look so cool and I wanted to find numbers similar to that.

The old Magnolia Store

Unfortunately, this was way easier said than done for some reason. After lots of searching I finally found numbers that would work and look great! Then I realized it didn’t have a number two…

I looked at number on license plates and thought that would be cool but it did’t look super awesome and looked at other metal, rustic kinds of numbers too. For whatever reason finding a good number one was real difficult.

I eventually found three that I liked and I think they make the first page of the chapter different and cute.

Feature 6

The Magnolia Store page is my sixth feature. If I were to do the whole book I would probably put this at the end but since I didn’t, it is just after chapter three. I took the content off the website for the Magnolia Market and I think it’s fun to have information about the store at the end of the book. After the reader has read all about the Gaines I think they’ll probably be super interested and intrigued in the market and store and love that they have all this information right in their book!

This page talks about the different aspects of the market as well like the garden, lawn games, bakery and tips for visiting! It also has a link for people to go to the store online in case they can’t go to the market physically.


I tested my eBook on a iPad and everything turned out really good except fro some of the glossary items. The images didn’t quite fit in the box and would make you scroll to the side to see the whole thing. I tried to shrink the images down but that didn’t seem to help.


A big thing I want to takeaway from this project is not procrastinating the documentation. It would be a whole lot easier and save me time at the end if I kept up on my documentation. Another takeaway though is I probably should’ve planned the whole project out, such as what I was going to do for my features (mostly what they would entail) from the beginning instead of just adding them as I went which is what I basically did for some of it. I enjoyed doing this project though and I think I found some cool and informative information, images and videos to add in to help make this an effective interactive eBook.