Candidate Statement - Joshua Tallent


Nomination for IDPF Board of Directors, November 2011 election

Joshua Tallent - eBook Architects
Fellow IDPF members,
I respectfully submit my nomination for the IDPF Board of Directors.
While I am a geek at heart, my formal education was not in computer science or engineering, it was in history. I began developing eBooks in 2002 at a Bible software company here in Austin, Texas, and eBook development was an instantly perfect fit for both my passions and my skills. In February 2008, I launched with the goal of helping independent authors and small publishers create eBooks for the Kindle and other emerging eBook retailers, and in January 2009, I founded eBook Architects, my eBook design and consulting company. My book, Kindle Formatting: The Complete Guide, is regularly cited as the most informative source on that topic for eBook developers, publishers, and authors around the world.
I have been an active speaker and teacher for many years on topics related to eBooks and eBook design, conducting numerous online and in-person seminars for organizations like the IDPF, Digital Book World, BISG, and the Association of Canadian Publishers, as well as speaking at conferences like Book Expo America, Tools of Change, and Digital Book World. eBook Architects is a member of the IDPF, and I served on the ePUB3 Working Group.
Whether teaching about common display quirks and validation glitches in ePub files, fixed layout and enhanced eBooks, or the intricacies involved in creating Kindle eBooks, my focus has always been on the practical issues that publishers, designers, and authors encounter in their development processes. Many times the conversations we have in our industry tend toward theories, ideals, and visions of how the future will look, but I have endeavored to give people practical information about how to create great eBooks that are also forward-looking.
While I no longer work in the Bible software market, I tend to think often about the functionality and usability of those proprietary eBook platforms. Their main benefit is their ability to include richer content and data structures in their eBook files, which lead to more robust functionality for the end user. Because of my background in designing eBooks for these systems, I have become an advocate in recent years for the addition of more robust markup and more consistent functionality in ePUB. HTML5 support in ePUB3 gets us closer to that goal, but there is still a lot of room to grow. Finding consistent and efficient ways of adding and interacting with taxonomies, indexes, translations, metadata, and other additional content will make eBooks more valuable to readers than the essentially flat layer of information most eBooks currently provide.
I would love to serve the IDPF membership on the Board, advocating for the needs of all of our members and pursuing practical, in-the-trenches solutions that will benefit everyone in our fast-growing industry.
I appreciate your vote!

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