EPUB: The Basics of the Book Industry Standard for the Digital Era

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March 2012
by Linda Nix

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You may know that EPUB is a format for digital books. You may also know that it is an XML format that has been defined by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), which is the international standards committee for digital publishing. But if you’re a publisher or someone working for a publisher and you don’t have an IT background, you may not be sure how EPUB fits your company.

What follows provides a brief introduction to the EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 standards, with attention to how EPUB differs from other digital book formats, how it affects book design considerations, and which e-book readers support it.

XML Briefly Defined

XML is a kind of programming language that is text-based and semantic (i.e., meaningful). It enables information to be structured in a standard way so that it can be easily exchanged between systems without knowledge of specific hardware or software.

That means the same XML file can be used and displayed on multiple platforms, as long as the file conforms to the rules of the XML document defining the type of information….IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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