Richard Kwan: EPUB in Practice, My Experience of Introducing EPUB at Penguin


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Richard Kwan's presentation from StartWithXML London, on September 2nd, 2009.

"EPUB in Practice, My Experience of Introducing EPUB at Penguin"

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  • Background for the business and to ebooks. Global Programme, covering all territories but I’ll mainly focus on the UK
  • - not too tecchy just describing the approach. -in a typical consultancy way I may ask more questions than provide answers... background - a very exciting time, gone from a void to an embryonic but real business. talk about wider external market environment, critical mass of external and internal events. - high level publishing workflow - Invite questions ongoing
  • Started the project in 1997, epub ratified in nov 07, Waterstones launch in Sept22 ‘08
  • we have to talk about Kindle and other formats in the context of epub
  • Put epub into context - you’ll need to think about all these things ISBN’s creation - in epub metadata?
  • -was new and ticked various boxes at the time ‘we thought it had legs’ – seems more obvious now than it did at the time and wasn’t even called epub back then but oeb -no tie-in to other organisations -could take experience, knowledge and tools from the web
  • -kindle careful to consider - choice of formats is both practical and strategic -example of splintering, leads into chunking and other experimentation, epub may be the basis.
  • - It’s all about suppliers, not just choosing but managing them ongoing-big subject and won’t cover here. - in-house there are lots approaches and it’s whatever works for you - this won’t be knew for many but our general approach is to push digital production as far upstream (i.e. as close to the point of creation) as possible
  • -EPUB wasn’t mature and hasn’t changed in this time, wanted to tighten it -not rewriting the IDPF spec, must not change it in any way, or stray into areas where the spec is insufficient
  • -these are global -content specific = drama, poetry -OPS:open publication structure,OPF:Open packaging format,OCF:Open container format
  • Headlines - Images-SVG, family trees landscape (don’t forget rights), insets Tables-device support, large tables How do you want to capture pagination?
  • quick overview of each - no time to demo, there are others
  • Best practices doc is more technical
  • Full control over content in XML source - Publishing on demand, custom pub to varied formats - RNIB large format, XSL-FO to PDF for authors (request and pay for file from vendor). - OASIS, IDPF: benefit from community support and development in what has become a very active area; do others do this? - encourage participation in TC, IDPF: mention negotiating a group deal. - We have benefited from not waiting. use of xml gives flexibility reduces impact of further new conversions
  • -new systems, evolving format -to get the most of XML it must be at the centre of the document workflow - update once, produce many: is anybody doing this, if so is it working? - Challenges; external authors, traditionally strong reliance on vendors, new skill sets and culture for traditional vendors and in-house staff. good vendors? - INDD and Word XML support is still limited. - ebook development for new devices and platforms, new licensing models, channels; what do others face?
  • - new devices, applications (apps?) and channels -epub more commonly spawning other formats and going via new channels and devices - always looking for cost savings and efficiencies
  • Richard Kwan: EPUB in Practice, My Experience of Introducing EPUB at Penguin

    1. 1. EPUB in Practice
    2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Richard Kwan, Programme Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Penguin Group Content Management Programme </li></ul>
    3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Market and business background </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing workflow </li></ul><ul><li>Formats, devices, applications </li></ul><ul><li>EPUB controls, tips and tools </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges and opportunities </li></ul>
    4. 4. Business & Market - when we started <ul><li>No common format </li></ul><ul><li>No reader device </li></ul><ul><li>No supply chain </li></ul><ul><li>No sales channels </li></ul>
    5. 5. Business & Market - now <ul><li>EPUB format established and gaining traction </li></ul><ul><li>Sony Reader and other devices launched </li></ul><ul><li>Supply chain established and expanding </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively small but real sales </li></ul><ul><li>Looking to the US market </li></ul><ul><li>Kindle... </li></ul>
    6. 6. Publishing workflow <ul><li>Title selection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>editorial criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rights & royalties cleared </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>source files available </li></ul></ul><ul><li>e-book preparation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>bibliographic records </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content Creation </li></ul><ul><li>Content & metadata supply </li></ul>
    7. 7. Choosing formats <ul><li>Why did we choose OEB (EPUB)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on non-proprietary open standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>XHTML, CSS, Unicode, DTBook </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could build on more wide spread web based knowledge and tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s XML </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Other formats <ul><li>Kindle & other ebook formats </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone app’s </li></ul><ul><li>XML </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Core - book hierarchy with publishing inline elements and metadata blocks, common across all books </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. EPUB production <ul><li>Outsource </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated production process </li></ul><ul><li>Both require EPUB specific controls </li></ul>
    10. 10. Controls <ul><li>Capture publisher specific requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thin layer of proscription </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor flexibility and consistency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measurable for QA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing mechanism for capturing requirements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define a quality assurance process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contract your requirements </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Controls IDPF EPUB Specs Publisher requirements - consistency - uniqueness e.g. EPC, file sizes, filenaming, metadata, fonts, TOC, content types etc New requirements? e.g. enhanced, apps etc OPS, OPF, OCF
    12. 12. Controls <ul><li>Content specific - e.g. drama, poetry, worksheets </li></ul><ul><li>Prelims </li></ul><ul><li>Fonts </li></ul><ul><li>Images </li></ul><ul><li>Tables </li></ul><ul><li>Pagination </li></ul><ul><li>References and linking </li></ul>
    13. 13. Tools <ul><li>Adobe Digital Editions </li></ul><ul><li>Always use available validation tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Epubchecker and Epubpreflight </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Oxygen </li></ul><ul><li>Calibre </li></ul><ul><li>InDesign </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone - Stanza </li></ul>
    14. 14. Tips <ul><li>Test and experiment on multiple platforms </li></ul><ul><li> for Adobe EPUB Best Practices doc and more </li></ul><ul><li>Try and create edition agnostic versions </li></ul><ul><li>Digital isn’t print and think beyond today’s devices and applications </li></ul>
    15. 15. Opportunities <ul><li>Re-use, re-purposing </li></ul><ul><li>Development of EPUB - take part </li></ul><ul><li>The more we produce the more opportunities our business finds </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced ebooks, apps </li></ul>
    16. 16. Challenges <ul><li>UK ebook market in the last 12 months </li></ul><ul><ul><li>licensing, rights management, new formats </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Versioning and updating </li></ul><ul><ul><li>XML centric not just XML first </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenging for trade publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate toolset - InDesign, Word XML </li></ul>
    17. 17. Looking forward <ul><li>Growth and change in ebook market </li></ul><ul><li>Growth and change in digital market overall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital licensing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Workflow and supplier efficiencies </li></ul>
    18. 18. Thanks [email_address]