EPUB 3: A Foundation For the Future
But for textbooks, for comics, for children's books, for cookbooks, there's a lot more to being on a digital platform. Now there are skeptics. It hasn't really been proven in the market yet. As far as I know there's not a huge best-selling cookbook in digital that is some crazy, enhanced experience. But there's going to be. I want to make sure we have a platform for it that allows those content experiences to be delivered cost effectively, across different platforms and devices, not controlled by any one vendor, and accessible to people who have disabilities.
Those are the reasons for promoting standards. But the standards aren't going to dictate the kind of experience. That's going to be up to the artists and the inventors and the authors and the publishers to figure out. And I think we're still at the very beginning. Ebooks are kind of like where the web was before there was Facebook and Google and LinkedIn. We're going to have all sorts of great digital books and digital content that we can't predict now any more than we could have predicted Facebook in 1983. All we can hope for is that we make a platform that will enable it.
Who's going to have success in the digital publishing world?
I think that the publishers that are going to be more successful are the ones who run more experiments and see what can stick with consumers and readers and then iterate. To do that, they need a cost-effective platform. You can't do those experiments if you're trying to pay the freight of developing a native app for five different platforms every time you run an experiment. So with HTML5 and EPUB you get a platform that let's you experiment cheaply and iterate and see what works and do more of what works and less of what doesn't work.
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.