Helicon Books Insights About the New IDPF “EPUB Preview” Standard for Digital Books

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The new standard sets a method to easily distinguish a preview publication from a full publication, and enables an easy acquisition from a supporting reading application.

The IDPF AHL group ( Advanced Hybrid Layout ) has recently launched a new standard for EPUB3 eBooks – The EPUB Preview.

It is common by publishers to publish a preview of a book either as a free version of a non free book, or in case the full text is not ready yet. Until recently, each publisher had his own method to identify the publication as preview. There was no official standard method for preview publications. The new standard is basically additions to the metadata section of the EPUB file.

The metadata section of an eBook contains information about the book such as book title, authors, publisher, description, ISBN, publication date etc. The new additions to the metadata include a method to identify the publication as a preview and most important a way to acquire the complete publication.

One interesting thing for publishers about the new standard is the new acquisition method with OPDS. (Open Publication Distribution ). In order to purchase the complete ebook the IDPF has entered part of the OPDS standard into the EPUB Preview standard, so a preview EPUB file contains a link to an OPDS feed ( a book list ) or a link to acquire the publication.

OPDS is a method of acquiring books directly from the reading application and not only from a store. Helicon Books supports the OPDS standard in its EPUB3 reading application and its customizable store. Many reading systems today do not support OPDS, some support proprietary methods of accessing libraries and some do not support any library access. Helicon Books hopes that turning the OPDS part of the formal standard will lead to a vast adoption of the OPDS by publishers and reading applications vendors.

About Helicon Books
Helicon Books is a technology and services company assisting publishers to introduce and adopt advanced technologies for digital Books.

Helicon Books provide conversion services as well as tailor made software for publishers, online readers and an EPUB3 reading application for Android.
Website: http://www.heliconbooks.com/

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Rotem Segal

Ori Idan
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