A study of interoperabillity of eBooks, commissioned by the European & International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), has recommended EPUB 3. The report was prepared by Professor Christoph Bläsi and Professor Franz Rothlauf of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and states: "There is no technical or functional reason not to use and establish EPUB 3 as an/the interoperable (open) ebook format standard.", noting that EPUB 3 supports all features needed for multimedia and interactive e-books. The report highlights the open source work of the recently established Readium Foundation as a meanas to promote increased interoperability across EPUB implementations and argues the feasibility of development of interoperable DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology for the EPUB ecosystem. On May 16, at the EIBF Annual Conference in Brussels, the report was formally presented to Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EU Commission for the Digital Agenda, who welcomed the study with praise: "Interoperability is a major requirement to build a truly digital society... Now is the time for open standards regarding ebooks". EIBF release with link to full report: http://bit.ly/19APyB5 .
The IDPF has announced the nine companies that have been selected as lucky participants in the upcoming Solution Provider Showcase at IDPF DB13 at BookExpo America. Each company will have a chance to demonstrate their product or service in a lightning-fast (under 5 minutes!) presentation. The most innovative company will be awarded two complimentary tickets to the 2014 IDPF Digital Book Conference, a free one-year membership to IDPF and of course, bragging rights!
IDPF congratulates BISG’s Deputy Executive Director and IDPF Board member Angela Bole, who been appointed the next Executive Director of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). IBPA is the largest not-for-profit trade organization for publishers in the United States, representing over 4,000 small and independent publishers and self-published authors. Angela will succeed Florrie Binford Kichler in this position.
The Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan (EBPAJ) this week published an English language translation of the EBPAJ EPUB 3 File Creation Guide (available at http://ebpaj.jp/guide.html). This information was created by EPBAJ "to help corporate members of the Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan (EBPAJ) create EPUB 3 files for trade books in accordance with the specification of International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)".
IDPF and two dozen other initial members today announced a new Readium Foundation, formed to promote EPUB 3 and the Open Web Platform via open source development. A new Readium SDK open source project, developing an EPUB 3 rendering engine optimized for tablets and other mobile devices, was also unveiled today. Read the full article on readium.org at: http://readium.org/readium-foundation-announced .
On March 7, 2013 the IDPF Board of Directors unanimously approved elevation of EPUB Indexes to public draft status. This draft specification, produced by the EPUB Indexes Working Group, defines a consistent way of encoding the structure and content of indexes in EPUB Publications. Reading Systems can exploit this encoding to offer not only the benefits of a print index but also interactive functionality and features not possible in a print book. Comments on the draft specification are solicited through April 15, 2013. IDPF members may submit comments via the EPUB WG mailing list. Members and non-members alike are also welcome to submit comments via email to the working group co-chair.
The International Publishers Association (IPA) today announced that its Board has endorsed EPUB 3. Jens Bammel, IPA’s Secretary General, said: “Digital publishing is now truly global. IPA strongly urges all publishing industry stakeholders to adopt EPUB 3 so that the publishing industry can achieve an interoperable and fully accessible global standard for e-books and other digital publications." Full text of the release (via Library Journal INFODocket) : http://bit.ly/Wksxzf .
O'Reilly Media has released EPUB 3 Best Practices, the comprehensive guide to using all the new features of EPUB 3, with chapters covering accessibility, multimedia, global language support, font embedding and licensing, packaging and metadata, and more. A reviewer writes "EPUB 3 Best Practices gets right down to business to what you need to do to modify your EPUB 2 workflow to upgrade to EPUB 3".
Digital publishing has come a long way in the last two years, wtih eBooks now outselling hardcovers. EPUB has been a key standard at the heart of the eBook revolution. EPUB 3, which converges digital publishing with HTML5 and modern Web Standards, and delivers robust accessibility and global language support, is a monumental update to the standard. The roll-out of solutions adopting EPUB 3 continues, with reading systems such as Apple iBooks, Kobo, Google Play Books, and Ingram VitalSource already supporting EPUB 3, and publishers such as Hachette and O'Reilly starting to distribute EPUB 3 content. For 2013, the top priority of the IDPF is to accelerate the continued adoption of EPUB 3 by the industry as a whole, with a particular emphasis on e-textbooks and other publications that are being enabled by the proliferation of tablets and benefit from the new features of EPUB 3 (rich media, interactivity, enhanced styling, fixed layout, mathematics). Work continues to enhance the EPUB standard: member working groups are actively developing new specifications for dictionaries, indexes, and advanced/hybrid layout. But the primary goal of the IDPF during 2013 is very focused: get EPUB 3 broadly and fully adopted. A unified, interoperable global standard for eBooks and other digital publications is critical to the industry and consumers, and the IDPF is fully engaged to deliver on the promise of portable documents for the Open Web Platform by making EPUB 3 happen. Stay tuned for announcements soon of new IDPF initiatives to further that adoption.
Sunday April 14, the eve of The London Book Fair, the Digital Minds Conference returns for a fifth year, with a broadened theme of "The Future of Publishing Content". This year's program and speakers are top-notch, and should make for a stimulating day at the superior QEII Conference Center in Westminster, Central London. Register now at https://www1.registerbynet.com/reg.asp?showcode=lbf13 - IDPF members use code LBF13IDPF to receive a 10% discount.