9 Things You Need to Know About ePub3
Occasionally, vendor claims that their solutions are uniquely enabling of certain experiences are, in fact, true. To wit: For a science professor who uses Mathematica to build complex mathematical models for a like-minded audience, distributing via the associated Wolfram technology may be a reasonable choice. But such cases are the exception rather than the rule. Carefully balance value-added functionality against the risks of limiting your content's reach, being subject to vendor lock-in, and potentially eroding your reputation for quality.
7. It's good consumer PR
The dangers of lock-in are not just to publishers; they also apply to consumers. The notion that a single vendor could control access to books—and all that they represent to our culture—is repugnant to increasingly tech-savvy consumers and their advocates in libraries and educational institutions. Apple gained kudos by adopting the ePub open standard for iBooks rather than using something proprietary, and has been an early adopter of ePub 3 features. Publishers need to convince an increasingly aware and engaged readership that they are doors to content, rather than gates. Adopting ePub 3—publicly and vocally—is a smart marketing move. And delivering one quality-control-checked ePub file to all channels is also a safeguard for your brand quality and reputation.
8. It's your ePub
ePub's custodian, the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) is the only global trade and standards organization specifically for the digital publishing industry. Membership includes more than 250 publishers, associations and governmental organizations, libraries and vendors. ePub 3 is by no means the end of the line for ePub; the IDPF is already gearing up to dot some i's on the 3.0 spec. You already indirectly support the IDPF if you are a member of Association of American Publishers, Book Industry Study Group, EDItEUR, IDEAlliance, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) or another association/organization with which IDPF collaborates. Many publishers, small and large, value direct membership in the IDPF to give them a seat at the leadership table in setting directions and priorities for enhancing and supporting this key standard.