Societies Research Libraries // May 16th, 2014

Improving the reader experience with EPUB 3


We’re pleased to announce that EPUB 3 is Wiley’s standard for e-books in reflowable format as of February 1, 2014. Wiley delivers e-books in the EPUB 3 format to all of its distribution partners and retail accounts, including Amazon and Apple iBooks, and is among the first publishers to distribute all of its professional and STEM books in EPUB 3.

So what does this mean for you, the reader?  The EPUB 3 standard is highly adaptable and combines digital publishing with HTML5 and other features of Open Web Platform which will allow you a richer reading experience. Wiley’s specification is also completely compatible with existing EPUB 2 reading systems.

Wiley has been a leading advocate of EPUB 3  and an active voice in its development and adoption by publishers and booksellers through its engagement with industry groups such as the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), AAP EPUB 3 Implementation Project, and the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Digital Publishing Interest Group. Wiley’s participation in the EDUPUB Alliance recognizes the benefits of EPUB 3 for Education content. Through active involvement with EPUBTEST, Wiley advocates for wider support of EPUB 3 by manufacturers of e-reader platforms and devices.

“BISG, which endorses EPUB 3 as the de facto standard for representing, packaging, and encoding structured and semantically enhanced Web content, applauds this move by Wiley,” said Book Industry Study Group Executive Director Len Vlahos. “That a publisher of Wiley’s size and stature is formally adopting the standard, is a crucial and important step forward for EPUB 3. This benefits not only Wiley’s customers and clients, but the entire book ecosystem. ”

In addition to the standard features of reflowable eBooks, Wiley EPUB 3 e-books feature:

  • Tables that adapt to screen size, and are accessible to readers who may rely on read-aloud functionality.
  • Mapping to print edition pages, to enable side-by-side e-book and print-book use, with reading systems that support page display driven by EPUB 3, such as iBooks.
  • Increased Accessibility through semantic structuring
  • Audio and video in select titles

With EPUB 3 as the foundation, we can soon offer enhanced features as e-reader systems and device support expands. Examples are

  • Interactivity such as multiple choice questions
  • Dynamic resizing of images without loss of clarity or definition
  • Support for multi-column layout and right-to-left reading, among other presentational alternatives
  • Reflowable math that supports search and read-aloud functionality
  • Embedded descriptions of images that make photographs, drawings, and charts accessible for read-aloud and other assistive technologies
  • Michael Boudreau

    Can you recommend a particular book that shows off the new features?

    • Kimi Sugeno

      Here is a recent example:
      Review of Islamic Finance & Economic Develop (print: 9781118847268, EPUB: 9781118847190)

  • BvD

    Bureau van Dijk launched the first white-label EPUB3 reader on the market capable of displaying fully interactive EPUB3 books in a plain vanilla browser, i.e. not using extensions or external applications: http://goo.gl/b2Fksi

    Ranking #1 in EPUB3 Support Grid: http://epubtest.org/rs/66/