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IDPF Publishes EPUB 3 eBook Specification

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) announced that its EPUB 3 digital publishing specification is now available for public review and deployment by early implementers.

For more information visit:

Unedited press release follows:

EPUB 3 Proposed Specification Released

New Version of Open Standard Digital Publication Format Welcomed by AAP, Adobe, Google, Random House, Sony, and Other Industry Leaders

NEW YORK, NY–(May 23, 2011) – The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) today announced that EPUB® 3 is now a Proposed Specification for final member and public review. EPUB, an XML and Web Standards based format developed by the IDPF, has become a key global standard in the rapidly developing digital publishing industry, enabling digital books and publications to be portable across devices and reading systems. EPUB 3 is a major revision of the standard that aligns EPUB with HTML5 and adds support for key emerging requirements including video, audio, interactivity, vertical writing and other global language capabilities, improved accessibility, MathML, and styling and layout enhancements.

“EPUB 3 is by far the most significant advance in the over ten year history of the IDPF,” said George Kerscher, President, IDPF and Secretary-General, DAISY Consortium. “In just one year, IDPF member organizations and invited experts, from around the world, have significantly enhanced all aspects of this standard. I’m particularly delighted that EPUB 3 marks the mainstreaming of accessibility capabilities within the universal commercial digital publication format standard — now every eBook can be a fully accessible eBook.”

“EPUB 3 is a remarkable accomplishment,” said Bill McCoy, Executive Director, IDPF, “but much work remains to fulfill the promise of EPUB as the universal digital publication interchange and delivery format, and as we finalize EPUB 3 in the coming months the IDPF will deliver validation tools, samples, and best practices guidelines, and build on our momentum by continuing to advance the standard.”

EPUB 3 has been in active development since May 2010. This IDPF Proposed Specification, available at, is intended for member and public review and deployment by early implementers. It is anticipated that EPUB 3 will become a final IDPF Recommended Specification later this summer.

Publishing industry stakeholders are already enthusiastic about the new capabilities that EPUB 3 will deliver (see attached quote sheet). At the IDPF Digital Book 2011 conference today and tomorrow at BookExpo America, several sessions will showcase new EPUB 3 capabilities and discuss the EPUB 3 and the future of the EPUB standard.

About the IDPF

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) is the global trade and standards organization for the digital publishing industry. IDPF is responsible for EPUB, the open standard digital publication format based on XML and Web technology, and organizes industry events such as Digital Book 2011 at BookExpo. The IDPF is a not for profit organization with over 200 members, comprising publishers, vendors, libraries and organizations from over twenty-five different countries. For more information, visit . EPUB is a registered trademark of the IDPF.

Addendum – Quote Sheet

Quoted Organizations: Adobe, Apex, Association of American Publishers (AAP), CourseSmart, EAST, EDItEUR, Google, HOV Services, IDEAlliance, Ingram, Italian Publishers Association (AIE), Japan Electronic Publishers Association (JEPA), Kobo, Monotype, MPS, OverDrive, Publishers Association (UK), Random House, Sony, Voyager Japan, World Blind Union

Adobe Systems Incorporated
With our recent launch of Adobe InDesign CS 5.5, we would like to congratulate EPUB 3 for achieving Proposed Specification status. The interactivity, rich media and accessibility capabilities that it enables will be critical for meeting publisher requirements for delivering rich content experiences. Adobe has been a strong supporter of EPUB 3 and we look forward to continuing to provide our customers with the ability to create and render compelling eBooks with this format.
- Nick Bogaty, Dir. Business Development, Digital Publishing, Adobe Systems Incorporated

Apex Content Solutions
EPUB 3 is just what we need at just the right time. As digital publishing has become mainstream-for all kinds of publications (books, magazines, newspapers, corporate documents, and more), on all kinds of devices (laptops, tablets, eReaders, smartphones, and who-knows-what’s-next), going way beyond print (with multimedia and interactivity moving from nice-to-have to must-have) — EPUB 3 is poised to become the lingua franca of publishing. No matter what you publish and how you publish it, you’re likely to use EPUB 3 to reach your readers.
- Bill Kasdorf, VP-Apex Content Solutions; Editor, The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing

Association of American Publishers (AAP)
The creation and adoption of the initial EPUB specification in 2008 was a huge step for the industry. The growth in eBook revenues in the last few years could not have been achieved without EPUB’s single file format. Any good standard must evolve in response to technological innovation and the demands of consumers. We’re excited about the new capabilities enabled by EPUB 3.0 and encourage retailers and device manufacturers to embrace this standard quickly so that superior new products can reach consumers.
- Tom Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Association of American Publishers

CourseSmart, LLC
CourseSmart is strongly committed to the EPUB 3 standard. As the world’s largest distributor of digital textbooks in higher education, CourseSmart has been anticipating a digital standard that supports our publisher’s investments in instructional design that leverage rich layouts to enhance the learning experience. Using the EPUB 3 standard will allow CourseSmart to support a wider selection of platforms with high quality instructional materials with increased accessibility for all user populations.
- Sean Devine, CEO Coursesmart

EAST Company Ltd.
We welcome EPUB 3 as a new eBook universal standard. EAST worked hard with the Japanese government to enable Japanese text layouts such as vertical writing and tate-chu-yoko in EPUB 3. Japanese cultural expressions such as Manga will now be able to be enjoyed by comic enthusiasts globally, and literature from around in the world will be able to be read by Japanese book fans, all through EPUB 3.
- Kazuo Shimokawa, President, EAST

As a standards organisation, we warmly congratulate the IDPF on the arrival of EPUB 3 as an IDPF Proposed Specification. Its creation has involved tremendous efforts on the part of a relatively small number of individuals who have given unsparingly of their time and expertise, and the community as a whole has every reason to be grateful to them. EPUB 3 marks a significant step forward, with EPUB now appropriate for a much broader scope of content. We also applaud the convergence between EPUB 3 and the DAISY delivery format, holding out the promise of making eBooks even more accessible for people with print impairment.
- Mark Bide, Executive Director, EDItEUR

Google is an active contributor to the development of the EPUB 3 standard and we applaud its progress toward an IDPF Proposed Specification. As the standard moves to membership ratification and industry adoption, we expect authors and readers alike will benefit from the increased richness and interactivity of forthcoming EPUB content.
- James Crawford, Engineering Director, Google Books

HOV Services
We believe EPUB 3 is a well-structured format — driving interoperability, compatibility, and content enrichment — and will be the format of choice for global markets. HOV Services is glad to be involved in the EPUB Working Group and we look forward to the transformation to EPUB 3.
- John Prabhu, Vice President Content & Business Solutions, HOV Services

IDEAlliance congratulates IDPF on the significant advance EPUB 3 brings to the publishing industry. We have actively collaborated in this effort on behalf of our members who publish magazines and display books and welcome EPUB 3 as an inroad to publishing our content to the eReader channel. Our own initiative, nextPub, will be working with IDPF members to prototype the delivery of magazine content via EPUB 3 later this summer.
- Dianne Kennedy, VP Emerging Technologies, IDEAlliance

Ingram Content Group
We welcome the new standard. This is a terrific development and exactly what our industry has been waiting for. Ingram’s VitalSource e-textbook platform already has more than 1.6 million users on 6,000 campuses in 180 countries, and the new EPUB 3 standard will make VitalSource an even better tool for publishers, institutions and students.
- Kent Freeman, President, VitalSource Technologies, an Ingram Content Group company

Italian Publishers Association (Associazione Italiana Editori)
AIE welcomes the release of new EPUB 3 version as enabler for further developments of the eBook market in Europe. We also believe that the design of new publishing products can benefit of the possibility provided by this standard to create multimedia files. The embedding of accessibility features in EPUB 3 also represents, in our opinion, an important step towards the access of digital content by the whole public of readers.
- Marco Polillo, President, Associazione Italiana Editori (AIE)

Japan Electronic Publishing Association (JEPA)
JEPA has been a major contributor to EPUB 3, defining initial requirements for Japan text layout for EPUB and subsequently collaborating with Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on development. We are pleased to have supported Dr. Makoto Murata , who led the Enhanced Global Language Support (EGLS) EPUB 3 subgroup. as a JEPA Technical Lead, and are extremely pleased to welcome the official announcement of the results of the Working Groups efforts.
- Masao Sekido, Chairman, JEPA

EPUB 3 is what we’ve been waiting for — a comprehensive re-imagining of the potential of the eBook. It represents a huge step forward for every publisher, retailer and reader who wants to push the limits of what an eBook can be without falling into a thicket of proprietary formats and closed systems.
- Michael Tamblyn, EVP Content, Sales & Merchandising, Kobo

Monotype Imaging
As an active contributor to the development of the EPUB 3 standard, Monotype Imaging applauds this major milestone toward making EPUB a global eBook standard. EPUB 3 is the backbone for which companies like Monotype Imaging can enable all content creators to seamlessly communicate on any device, anywhere in the world, with greater aesthetics and interactivity.
- David Gould, Director of Product Marketing, Consumer Devices, Monotype Imaging

MPS Limited, a Macmillan Company
EPUB 3 promises the publishing industry many exciting collaborative opportunities in terms of new markets, global reach and richer content. MPS’ publisher clients have two main pain points with eBooks and apps: the lack of interoperability and the dismal ROI on expensive enhanced eBooks. EPUB 3 as a standard will go a long way to addressing these issues. MPS has been enthusiastically researching and preparing for the new standard for many months.
- Rajiv K Seth CEO and MD – MPS Limited, a Macmillan Company

OverDrive is investing in EPUB 3 as it will help expand the value of eBooks with more engaging features and interactivity. As one of the founders of IDPF and an early adopter of the global EPUB standard, we will continue to evangelize the benefits it brings to all stakeholders.
- Steve Potash, CEO OverDrive

Pearson plc
The development of the EPUB 3 standard will create a richer and more vibrant experience for consumers of various types of content on various types of devices, and provide important industry standards to enable content creators to serve those users in new and innovative ways.
- Madi Solomon, Director, Content Standards Pearson plc

Publishers Association (UK)
We are very excited about the introduction of the truly progressive EPUB 3.0 format to the digital market. The creation and rollout of EPUB 3.0 demonstrates that publishers and others in our industry are not only embracing new technology but driving it forward for the benefit of readers. In line with consumer demand, EPUB 3.0 should contribute towards better delivery and portability of digital content, across a range of platforms and products, which will further drive the eBook market. The development of EPUB 3.0 also encompasses features catering to accessibility demands, and we look forward to seeing digital services become more closely aligned with the needs and requisites of all readers, particularly the visually impaired.
- Richard Mollet, CEO, The Publishers Association

Random House, Inc.
Random House, Inc. very much looks forward to working with both our authors and our eBook retailers to implement new features from EPUB 3 in our upcoming releases.
- Liisa McCloy-Kelley, VP, Director eBook Production Strategy & Operations, Random House, Inc.

Sony Corporation
Sony has been an early supporter of EPUB and welcomes the enhanced capabilities EPUB 3 will deliver. Sony offers digital reading content and devices across multiple platforms and countries. Having this new global standard in the digital publishing industry will allow even more flexibility in our content offering and will enhance the reading experience for our customers.
- Fujio Noguchi, President, Digital Reading Business Division, Sony Corporation

Voyager Japan
Voyager Japan genuinely support EPUB 3 becoming the global eBook standard. We have striven to develop Japan’s digital publishing business for nearly 20 years to date. We know more than anybody the difficulties and differences of Japanese language rendering for eBook. We will work with EPUB 3 for Japanese content
- Masaaki Hagino President, Voyager Japan

World Blind Union
Publishers looking to deliver exciting content to all their customers, and maintain their competitive edge, should be embracing EPUB 3. Enabling a great reading experience for all, EPUB 3 is built on a foundation of accessibility for children and adults with print disabilities who might otherwise not be able to read ordinary books. With EPUB 3, publishers can create visually rich, multimedia publications with complex content which can be read by users in the way which suits them; with their eyes, ears or fingers. I congratulate the many publishers and technology companies involved in IDPF for their commitment accessibility and welcome a potentially great step forward towards ending the book famine for blind and partially sighted people.
- Stephen King, Chair World Blind Union Technology group