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AAUP 2015: Fonts in E-Books (C. Matthews)

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These slides are from Clark Matthews, Vice President of Digital Services at the Independent Publishers Group, as part of "Fonts in E-Books" at AAUP 2015 in Denver, CO.

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AAUP 2015: Fonts in E-Books (C. Matthews)

  1. 1. IPG delivers between 50 and 250 e-book files to market each week. IPG and E-book Fonts: Context More than 6,000 e-book files went through IPG systems in 2014. IPG makes money only when client publishers make a sale. This means that IPG is highly motivated to ensure that its e-books are saleable, and in general, this means that our publisher’s e-book problems are our e-book problems.
  2. 2. IPG is exposed to any and all possible e-book problems (we’ve seen them all) Especially: IPG and E-book Fonts: Overview of Problems Problems with links to retailers and prices embedded in e-book files Problems in the NCX, OPF CSS / HTML quality problems: publishers (still!) using calibre, don’t understand export to ePub in indesign, and other home-grown techniques to try to create e-books. Font problems, especially with publishers not providing embedded fonts
  3. 3. So what has this exposure taught us? Conclusion: Fonts are Not the Real Enemy The real enemy is time. The issue is not with fonts. Or with anything else like fonts. The problem is that there is an issue with [x], and now its too late to fix it. For IPG, the High Touch, High Volume, e-book distributor, this means both lots of computers, and lots of people.
  4. 4. Solution: Better Workflow Tools and Visibility for Publishers
  5. 5. Solution: Workflow Software and Systems for Staff
  6. 6. Each e-book file is considered individually, with the following in place: ePubcheck Solution: Workflow Software, Systems, and Staff Page-by-page review in Adobe Digital Editions, Apple iPad (iBookstore) Kindle Fire HD, eink to ensure the following: Correct TOC No links to retailers, prices in interiors Rendering and font issues Anything in between. We throw humans at this problem because e-books turn out to be hard core artisan objects, with more instances of rules flouting and idiosyncrasy than you will find in any physical book at our distribution center.
  7. 7. Case Study 1: Image-Based Diacritics in Reflowable Backlist Niche Religious Text Publisher delivers a print-ready PDF to IPG, asks us to provide a conversion quote The PDF is full of diacritics (conversion company stated that a full 70% of the text was some form of diacritic or another), the publisher could not locate embedded fonts or a native production file. Three ideas: a) insert each diacritic as an individual image, place in a reflowable ePub. Cost: $1000.00 The PDF is a scan, but the publisher has run OCR on it prior to delivery to IPG. b) Capture each page as an image, place in Fixed Layout formats, and use OCR text in background to make text searchable. c) Sell only as e-PDF Costs still high, limits exposure to just a few fixed layout retailers that won’t sell the title well anyway. No additional costs, works with library accounts that may be good for this title.
  8. 8. Case Study 2: Specialized Embedded Font in Reflowable ePub We have a publisher that produced a (physical) book on macular degeneration. The publisher wrote the book for people with the disease; therefore the fonts used in the title needed to be tailored to low-vision readers. A series of focus groups led to the use of a font called Frutiger. The publisher approached IPG about e-book editions. Solution: Reflowable ePub / Mobipocket files with the use of the Frutiger embedded font, which the publisher was able to provide along with the native production file. Reflowable format allows maximum market exposure; embedded fonts allows for an affordable, optimal reproduction of the physical title.

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