An EPUB Experience

A few days ago I had the pleasure of being invited up to Stockholm to sit with a bunch of like minded people and talk about eBooks – specifically the ePub format. This was a very eye-opening experience indeed.

I was invited to Sweden by Publit, a company who have set themselves the task of making all the Swedish out-of-print books available as PoD (Print on Demand) titles. Considering that 95% of all Swedish books ever in existence are now out of print, this is a very worthy project, if perhaps somewhat daunting. Although Publit’s main business is PoD, they are making use of this opportunity to also provide these titles as ePub eBooks.

During my time in Sweden we discussed the many different areas of the eBook world, including DRM (of course), the processes involved in going from scanned document (TIFF/PDF/DOC) to an eBook Master format and onto ePub creation itself.

Now, the people at Publit are a group of very talented individuals with plenty of technical knowledge, yet there were aspects of ePub which has left them somewhat perplexed. There were two main points which I found interesting and have heard before around the web so I thought I would share them here. Continue reading “An EPUB Experience”

DocBook XSL now supports EPUB!

The Digital Editions blog is reporting that the latest release of the DocBook XSL (1.74.0) now supports output to the ePub format. It was only recently that the tei2epub converter was announced so it is great to have a converter from DocBook to the ePub format.

DocBook is a very mature XML master format that although is used mainly for technical documents, can also be used for simpler documents and prose like books, which could make it a useful master format for any public domain eBook projects.

This release of the DocBook XSL is an experimental release and is being made available for testing purposes. Any developers out there should certainly check it out and if you find any issues, report them back to the DocBook project.