EPUB 3: A Foundation For the Future
[We're in] a world where content is expected to be on the leading edge of interactive experiences, like The New York Times "Snowfall" piece that goes a long way beyond sticking a video over a PDF. So the magazine world is looking to adopt standards. And we expect similar things to EPUB to happen in the comics industry. EPUB 3 is already being adopted in Japan for digital manga.
So e-textbooks are kind of leading the charge but it's really the first of a set of use case specializations in these different key industries in publishing. STM is another area that has kind of been stuck with the PDF. We're working with stakeholders in all these different sectors to figure out how we get to a world where EPUB can enable all of this and people can develop tools and services that can be used in all these specialties. So the magazine guys and the education guys and the STM guys don't have to all develop separate tools but rather can leverage tools that can be used across EPUB 3. Frankly a slideshow is a slideshow, whether the slideshow's in a textbook or an e-magazine or an STM journal. There's no reason to have five different ways to make the same slideshow.
The IDPF has a lot of members outside the U.S. What kind of work are you doing on an international level?
Part of what we're doing is engaging with the stakeholders and governments to make sure EPUB 3 will meet all their needs. In places like South Korea and Taiwan and China, they are rolling out digital textbooks on a national basis with major national initiatives, and in some of those geographies they've already decided to adopt EPUB 3 for textbooks.
We also try to understand the evolution of digital publishing and what are the requirements for technology in different markets. They seem to be drastically different in some of these geographies.
Related story: EPUB 3 Specification Public Draft Released
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.