9 Things You Need to Know About ePub3
Without doubt, e-books have (finally) arrived. Market share is in double-digits and rocketing upwards, and dedicated devices, tablets and smartphones are proliferating. Ignoring your digital readership potential is not an option; and treating e-books as an afterthought by offering up a recycled printer's PDF is not a digital strategy. For some types of highly formatted content, a PDF version may be useful, but if that's all you do, you'll be leaving significant distribution and enhancement options (aka revenue) on the table. Since your readers expect to be able to consume your premium content on devices of all shapes and sizes, mere paper-replica PDFs just won't cut it.
The ePub file format has rapidly emerged as the open standard format for next-generation digital publications. ePub is supported by B&N Nook, Kobo readers, Sony Reader, Adobe Digital Editions, Google Books, Ibis Reader, Bluefire Reader, Safari Books Online, VitalSource and many more. While Amazon Kindle is known for using a proprietary delivery format, most Kindle sales are of content that started life as ePub files, i.e., Amazon already utilizes ePub as its key interchange format.
Based on HTML and related Web standards, ePub enables e-books that "reflow," adapting gracefully to different devices. The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF, a trade association set up by the digital publishing industry to oversee and implement e-book standards) has recently finalized a major upgrade, ePub 3. When Book Business asked me to offer its readers some key things they need to know about the impact of ePub 3 on their digital business, I simply couldn't refuse:
1. ePub 3 is enhanced, interactive e-books