EPUB Boot Camp: Best Practices

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  • 1.  
  • 2. Different Workflows for Different Folks
  • 3. Trade Case Study - Hachette
    • Look beyond the printed page
    • Plan for all types of formats at the beginning of the process
    • Incorporate contextual tagging
    • Extend traditional editorial mark-up to include EPUB/XML
  • 4. Hachette’s Mark-up
    • Chances are you’re already doing some kind of standard mark-up in copyediting and editorial
    • EPUB/XML is just the digital equivalent
    • XML is text!
  • 5. Hachette: If It’s So Easy, Why Isn’t Everyone Doing It?
    • Editorial is still mostly paper-based
    • Training editors is a difficult prospect
    • Copyediting is outsourced to freelancers
    • Production design is outsourced/offshored
    • General lack of tagging expertise across the board
    • Not many good tools out there
  • 6. Hachette’s Conclusion: Standardize, standardize, standardize
    • Do a pilot program first
    • Make Word your friend
      • Use track changes
      • Ask authors to work digitally
    • Test to find a combination of manual and automated tagging processes
  • 7. Results of Hachette Pilot
    • Structurally tagged, EPUB-ready documents result in cost savings/increased efficiency
    • First pass pages are cleaner with the new workflow
    • Freelance copyeditors who work digitally are more expensive
    • Structural tagging in Word is tedious (MS Word templates are not very effective)
  • 8. Hachette Pilot Findings Con’t
    • Need a standard vocabulary for context tagging
    • Better tools required – XML writers (DocBook, etc) are too complicated
    • Track changes as an editorial tool produces mixed results
      • Some authors not willing to change
      • Difficult to standardize
  • 9. Scholarly Case Study - Wiley
    • Wiley have found that MS Word Templates are effective for them
    • Not highly technical
    • Decoupled from other technology
    • Structural and semantic tagging can be expressed in Word
    • Macros speed up formatting
  • 10. Wiley Transform to XML
    • Compositors do the converting
    • Add additional tags – rights data, metadata – drawn from Wiley’s own systems
    • Linking between elements
    • Generates an EPUB file and a clean Word document
  • 11. What Works for Wiley
    • Collaboration between Editorial and Production to standardize styles and tags
    • Heavy communication – between departments, among authors, “putting it out there”
    • Monthly roundtables
    • Focusing early efforts on series titles
  • 12. Wiley’s Upsides
    • Workflow efficiencies
    • Clean manuscripts at the end of the process
    • Many points of entry and collaboration in the new workflow
  • 13. Recommendations from Wiley
    • Get your head out of the print space
      • An ebook is not a print book
      • Books are not just books – they are paper books, ebooks, chunks, and websites
    • Understand how your compositors work with the EPUB DTD – that will affect how (and what) you deliver to them
  • 14.  
  • 15. Best Practices for EPUB
    • Begin with the end in mind
    • Commit to sustained change
      • Vision, purpose, execution, refinement
    • It’s not (just) about EPUB
  • 16. Begin with the end in mind … Planning Implementation
    • Establish and evaluate end-user requirements
    • Assess your processes across functions and handoffs
    • Model both current (operational) and future (strategic) benefits
    • Solicit senior-level support for sustained change
    • Determine the point at which you want to implement EPUB
    • Obtain and maintain operating buy-in, support and dialogue
    • Rank your key business benefits and measure progress openly
    • Plan for early wins, ideally spread across multiple functions
    • Exploit the value of prototyping
    • Capture and share deep editorial knowledge
    • Foster and communicate objective measurements
    • Capitalize on the value of new, downstream uses
  • 17. Commit to sustained change … Planning Implementation
    • Establish and evaluate end-user requirements
    • Assess your processes across functions and handoffs
    • Model both current (operational) and future (strategic) benefits
    • Solicit senior-level support for sustained change
    • Determine the point at which you want to implement EPUB
    • Obtain and maintain operating buy-in, support and dialogue
    • Rank your key business benefits and measure progress openly
    • Plan for early wins, ideally spread across multiple functions
    • Exploit the value of prototyping
    • Capture and share deep editorial knowledge
    • Foster and communicate objective measurements
    • Capitalize on the value of new, downstream uses
  • 18. It’s not (just) about EPUB … Planning Implementation
    • Establish and evaluate end-user requirements
    • Assess your processes across functions and handoffs
    • Model both current (operational) and future (strategic) benefits
    • Solicit senior-level support for sustained change
    • Determine the point at which you want to implement EPUB
    • Obtain and maintain operating buy-in, support and dialogue
    • Rank your key business benefits and measure progress openly
    • Plan for early wins, ideally spread across multiple functions
    • Exploit the value of prototyping
    • Capture and share deep editorial knowledge
    • Foster and communicate objective measurements
    • Capitalize on the value of new, downstream uses
  • 19. Steps for getting started
    • Needs analysis: establish your current capabilities, needs and long-term goals
    • Gap analysis: identify the gaps between where you are and where you want to be
    • Request for information: Solicit more detailed information about vendor capabilities and costs necessary to accurately determine the scope and budget of your EPUB implementation
    • Vendor evaluation: Review the various products and services on offer and map to your needs
  • 20.  
  • 21. Helpful Tools
    • Calibre
    • BookGlutton
    • eCub
    • EPUB Check
  • 22. Calibre
    • Open-source tool
    • Cross-platform – Windows, OS X, Linux
    • TXT and HTML  EPUB conversions
    • Ebook cataloguing system
    • Supports many other conversions
      • 14 input formats
      • 3 output formats
    • Can do bulk conversions
    • Website is difficult to navigate/understand
  • 23. BookGlutton
    • API on the BookGlutton.com website
    • HTML  EPUB conversions
    • Word  HTML  EPUB conversions
    • Accepts only one file at a time – no bulk conversions
    • Extremely simple to use
  • 24. eCub
    • TXT  EPUB (and mobi, with the mobigen application)
    • XHTML  EPUB (and mobi, with the mobigen application)
    • Downloadable app
      • Windows
      • Linux
      • Solaris
      • OS X
    • Unencrypted files only – no DRM
  • 25. EPUB Check
    • Validates EPUB files
    • Available from Google Code
      • http://code.google.com/p/epubcheck/
  • 26. Vendors that support EPUB
    • Mobipocket (Amazon)
    • Stanza (iPhone)
    • Bookworm
    • Sony
    • Feedbooks
    • O’Reilly’s Safari
    • Fictionwise (Barnes & Noble)
  • 27. Useful Resources
    • http://www.idpf.org
    • http://www.epubbooks.com/
    • http://www.bisg.org
    • http://www.booknetcanada.ca
  • 28. In-Depth
    • Build a digital book with EPUB seminar
    • EPUB resources and guides – comprehensive list from O’Reilly
    • Liza Daly/ThreePress tools
  • 29. [email_address]