Candidate Statement - Garth Conboy

Nomination for IDPF Board of Directors, November 2012 election

Garth Conboy - Google (INCUMBENT)

Dear fellow IDPF members,

I submit my nomination for re-election to the IDPF Board of Directors.

This is an exciting time for the eBook industry — product, market and technology advances are driving us forward with increasing speed -- EPUB 3 is gaining substantial traction. The IDPF should continue to be at the forefront of the effort to see electronic content delivery achieve the prominence that was optimistically envisioned at the time of the organization's founding, and which is becoming a serious reality now.

The IDPF has been very active: EPUB 3 was completed just over a year ago; it has been augmented with Fixed Layout and Advanced Adaptive Layout; efforts are underway to standardize extensions for dictionaries and indexes; a working group focused on advanced/hybrid layouts is set to kick off. The IDPF must keep up this pace, address new challenges, continue our enhanced international focus, and work to evangelize our past efforts. I would like to help lead these endeavors.

I have a long history with the IDPF. In 1998, I led the team from SoftBook Press that worked with NuvoMedia and Microsoft engineers to draft the proposal that would become the starting point for the EPUB standards effort. In subsequent years I chaired, co-chaired or vice-chaired the working groups that developed the predecessors to the current standard; I was vice-chair of the EPUB 3 working group. I have helped drive EPUB from a standards creation perspective and am actively involved in the education and promotion efforts around the standard, having spoken at numerous events as a representative of the IDPF Board. More recently, I have accepted leadership roles in the development of the Fixed and Advanced Adaptive Layout specifications.

I have played technical and executive roles in the eBook industry continuously over the past 15 years — I am passionate about the promise that the technology holds. I would like to continue to lend my enthusiasm to this effort both technically and organizationally. On the technical front, I will drive standards evangelism and will be closely involved in future IDPF technical efforts. Organizationally, I would like to retain my seat on the IDPF Board of Directors and hereby self-nominate for an open seat on the board. If elected, I will stand again for the position of Chairman of the Board.


Garth Conboy is a senior engineering manager at Google, responsible for the Google Play Books clients. Prior to the acquisition by Google, Garth was co-founder and President of eBook Technologies, Incorporated (ETI). The ETI team played significant roles in pioneering the eBook market, releasing the first commercial eBooks in 1998 and, at Google, they continue to drive innovation in electronic book sales, distribution, and reading systems.

Prior to co-founding ETI, Garth served as the General Manager and Vice President of Software Engineering for the Gemstar eBook Group. In these positions he was responsible for the operation of the division: platform and server engineering, quality assurance, content acquisition, content operations, content engineering, and customer support.

Garth is inventor or co-inventor of numerous eBook-related patents; technologies including: cryptography and secure content distribution, eBook UI, resource/database dynamic conversion for cross-platform applications, and optimal paginated document presentation. Prior to its acquisition by Gemstar in 2000, Garth held the position of Vice President of Software Engineering at SoftBook Press leading the platform, content tools, and content engineering teams.

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