While the manufacturers of e-readers and tablets are duking it out for market supremacy, book publishers are gearing up a major offensive to ensure their content can be read on any device—without having to create a different e-book version for each platform.
On July 24, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) announced it was officially endorsing EPUB3 as the one true format for all e-books. EPUB3, based in HTML5, offers all sorts of interactivity features, which will come in handy for textbooks, other types of nonfiction, and new forms of fiction storytelling.
But the real attraction of EPUB3, as Digital Book World explained, is that it enables publishers to create a single book file that works everywhere on any device.
To show it was serious about EPUB3, AAP also unveiled a six-month campaign to get publishers, booksellers, and others on board with the standard.
To that end, AAP is setting up a working group to identify baseline accessibility features for EPUB3 and to plan a Sept. 10 workshop in New York City to bring stakeholders together to figure out the next steps. AAP hopes to culminate the initiative with the widespread release of EPUB3 e-books in the first quarter of 2014, just in time for anyone who got a new mobile device for the holidays.
The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), which oversees standards for digital publishing, is also hosting a workshop (Oct. 29-30 in Boston) specifically to support EPUB3 for electronic textbooks and other digital materials used for K-12 and higher education. Pearson Education, the world’s largest textbook publisher, is the lead sponsor.
The IDPF workshop, dubbed Edupub, is intended to share information about EPUB3 success stories and, more significantly, discover any problems or barriers to its adoption so they can be resolved in short order. A Pearson executive is one of two co-chairs of the event.