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Building Good EPUB And Smart Reading Systems - Liza Daly

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A good EPUB file has:
1. The simplest possible formatting.
2. A design that reflects the meaning of the text.

Smart reading systems:
1. Ebook acquisition
Discovery and purchase or acquisition
2. Rendering engine
Displays text on the screen
3. Pagination and navigation
Allows users to turn pages or jump into the book
4. User customizations
Allow users to change fonts, colors
5. User annotations
Allow users to bookmark, add notes

Published in: Business
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Building Good EPUB And Smart Reading Systems - Liza Daly

  1. 1. Building good EPUB and smart reading systems <ul><li>Liza Daly </li></ul><ul><li>Threepress Consulting Inc. </li></ul>
  2. 2. A good EPUB file has: The simplest possible formatting. A design that reflects the meaning of the text.
  3. 3. Why should an ebook be “simple”?
  4. 4. Because there are so many ereaders!
  5. 5. ? Ereaders come in different sizes
  6. 6. Guillaume Apollinaire Some books cannot be formatted in EPUB. Example: “Concrete Poetry”.
  7. 7. ...but most poetry can look quite nice in EPUB.
  8. 8. and soon EPUB will support text that runs vertically.
  9. 9. Guidelines for good EPUB
  10. 10. Simple formatting <h1> Main header </h1> <h2> Subsection </h2> <div class=” section ”> <p> First sentence. Second sentence. </p> <p> Next paragraph. </p> </div> <div class=” section ”> <p> Another scene. </p> </div>
  11. 11. This is readable even without styles Main header Subsection First sentence. Second sentence. Next paragraph. Another scene.
  12. 12. ...however there is a problem Main header Subsection First sentence. Second sentence. Next paragraph. Another scene.
  13. 13. The author wants to show a scene change Main header Subsection First sentence. Second sentence. Next paragraph. Another scene.
  14. 14. Styling <h1> Main header </h1> <h2> Subsection </h2> <div class=” section ”> <p> First sentence. Second sentence. </p> <p> Next paragraph. </p> </div> <div class=” section ”> <p> Another scene. </p> </div> Indent first line of paragraphs
  15. 15. Styling <h1> Main header </h1> <h2> Subsection </h2> <div class=” section ”> <p> First sentence. Second sentence. </p> <p> Next paragraph. </p> </div> <div class=” section ”> <p> Another scene. </p> </div> # Indent 1st line p:first-line { text-indent: 2em; }
  16. 16. Styling <h1> Main header </h1> <h2> Subsection </h2> <div class=” section ”> <p> First sentence. Second sentence. </p> <p> Next paragraph. </p> </div> <div class=” section ”> <p> Another scene. </p> </div> Minimize space between paragraphs.
  17. 17. Styling <h1> Main header </h1> <h2> Subsection </h2> <div class=” section ”> <p> First sentence. Second sentence. </p> <p> Next paragraph. </p> </div> <div class=” section ”> <p> Another scene. </p> </div> # Indent 1st line p:first-line { text-indent: 2em; } # Minimize p space p { margin:0; }
  18. 18. Styling <h1> Main header </h1> <h2> Subsection </h2> <div class=” section ”> <p> First sentence. Second sentence. </p> <p> Next paragraph. </p> </div> <div class=” section ”> <p> Another scene. </p> </div> Add spacing between scene changes.
  19. 19. Styling <h1> Main header </h1> <h2> Subsection </h2> <div class=” section ”> <p> First sentence. Second sentence. </p> <p> Next paragraph. </p> </div> <div class=” section ”> <p> Another scene. </p> </div> # Indent 1st line p:first-line { text-indent: 2em; } # Minimize p space p { margin:0; } # Section spacing div.section { margin: 1em 0 1em 0; }
  20. 20. Much better! Main header Subsection First sentence. Second sentence. Next paragraph. Another scene.
  21. 21. Why are good EPUBs hard? EPUB authoring Proofing Validation Testing This cycle can be expensive when done manually.
  22. 22. Creation from other XML formats helps XML source Transformation Some transformations (e.g. DocBook to EPUB) have free, public automation tools and produce already-tested output.
  23. 23. Non-XML transformations may not work well Microsoft Word Possible but not easy PDF Almost impossible to automate Quark Some vendors provide conversion
  24. 24. Non-XML transformations may not work well When converting large backlists from paper or old formats, it is best to work with an experienced digitization firm.
  25. 25. Good methods to produce EPUB XML workflows Web development tools InDesign CS4+
  26. 26. Smart reading systems
  27. 27. Ebook acquisition Discovery and purchase or acquisition Rendering engine Displays text on the screen Pagination and navigation Allows users to turn pages or jump into the book User customizations Allow users to change fonts, colors User annotations Allow users to bookmark, add notes
  28. 28. Acquisition Users should be able to find books, buy them, download them or add books from their own personal libraries.
  29. 29. Importing ebooks Users want to be able to move their books between ereaders as they buy new hardware or software. A good ereader makes it easy to import other books. It is easy to add personal books to iBooks but the user must be connected via USB. It is better to let users add books wirelessly .
  30. 30. Finding ebooks Ereaders may include their own custom ebook store. It is often easy for users to purchase but hard to import their own personal books.
  31. 31. Finding ebooks One method of finding books across different ebook stores is OPDS , or the Open Publication Distribution System.
  32. 32. Finding ebooks With OPDS users can search , find and acquire books from many stores and many reading systems. A good EPUB reading system supports OPDS !
  33. 33. Rendering engines
  34. 34. Adobe Reader Mobile SDK Software that is licensed to device-makers and software partners to provide Adobe’s EPUB support and DRM.
  35. 35. Readers using the RMSDK: <ul><li>Digital Editions </li></ul><ul><li>Sony Reader </li></ul><ul><li>Sony desktop reader </li></ul><ul><li>Barnes & Noble nook </li></ul><ul><li>IREX </li></ul><ul><li>txtr </li></ul><ul><li>Spring </li></ul><ul><li>Kobo Reader (device only) </li></ul>
  36. 36. WebKit
  37. 37. Ereaders using WebKit
  38. 38. Test and preview in: RMSDK WebKit on large device WebKit on mobile device
  39. 39. Pagination and navigation EPUB <spine> Users must be able to move from page to page (EPUB needs to allow the page direction to be modified to be left to right or right to left!)
  40. 40. Pagination and navigation EPUB <ncx> Users must be able to jump into any place in the book.
  41. 41. Pagination and navigation Good Ereaders also: Remember the last page you read. Sync reading position across devices. Paginate quickly and accurately.
  42. 42. User customizations <ul><li>Good reading systems make use of reflowable content: </li></ul><ul><li>Allow users to change font sizes </li></ul><ul><li>Allow users to change font families </li></ul><ul><li>Allow users to choose colors </li></ul><ul><li>Provide “night mode” for easy reading in the dark </li></ul><ul><li>Provide good defaults </li></ul>
  43. 43. User annotations <ul><li>Users should be able to: </li></ul><ul><li>Bookmark pages and return to those bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Add notes to selections of text </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight text </li></ul><ul><li>Share annotations </li></ul><ul><li>Look up words in a dictionary </li></ul>
  44. 44. A smart reading system: Lets users pick their preferred way to read. Honors the intent of the author and book designer. Is optimized for the hardware that it runs on.
  45. 45. Good EPUB + smart reading system <ul><li>Provides the cleanest layout and style for the book, but lets readers take advantage of the features in digital books that don’t exist in print: </li></ul><ul><li>Customizations </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Convenience and easy purchase </li></ul>
  46. 46. Thank you! Liza Daly Threepress Consulting Inc. [email_address] Twitter: @liza http://threepress.o rg

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