EPUB 3.0 — an E-Book Breakthrough for the Visually Impaired

EPUB 3.0 — an E-Book Breakthrough for the Visually Impaired

Published On May 27, 2015 -   by

Since the Kindle e-book reader was introduced by Amazon, e-books have played a major role in changing consumer reading trends. E-books have always been viewed as a promising development for print-disabled and visually impaired readers because of the flexibility in delivering e-books to the reading audience. However, the latest e-book breakthrough – EPUB 3.0 – finally delivers on many of these promises. In this article, DataEntryOutsourced discusses this new publishing standard and how authors can produce their e-books so that they comply with EPUB 3.0 standards.

E-Books for the Visually Impaired

With an accessible e-book reader, users can choose among several options – these alternatives usually include magnification, Braille and text-to-speech. The reading feature choices for the visually impaired truly benefit everyone in three primary ways. First, the general public now has more flexible and feature-rich books. Second, visually impaired and other print-disabled users now have access to compatible books at the same time and cost as the general public. Third, e-book publishers and writers can now reach a wider (and previously untapped) audience.

What is EPUB?

EPUB is an e-book publishing format developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum to establish a platform-independent standard. Most e-readers  support .EPUB files – in addition to Kindle, this includes almost 300 reading alternatives such as Adobe Digital Editions, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Aldiko on Android and Apple’s iBooks.

EPUB is a non-proprietary, straightforward and powerful way for publishers to standardize their e-books for reading audiences using a wide variety of reading devices and software. However, earlier versions (prior to EPUB 3.0) were subject to a variety of criticisms such as unsuitability for publications with special formatting. The latest version – EPUB 3.0 – is designed to eliminate such problems while also aligning with CSS3 and HTML5.

The Importance of EPUB 3.0 for Digital Publishers

With the rising popularity of e-books and e-book readers, the need for a workable industry standard became apparent. More than two years ago (March 2013) the International Publishers Association placed an early stamp of approval on EPUB 3.0 as a standard for accessible publishing. To their credit, they also recognized the importance of a “global” standard that would apply to everyone and all publishers. That is precisely what EPUB 3.0 accomplishes.

Industry Impact of EPUB 3.0

The new EPUB 3.0 standard does much more than change the publishing requirements for accommodating visually impaired readers – it effectively alters the entire electronic publishing landscape. For example, indie authors and self-publishers now have a much easier task when preparing an e-book.

Prior to EPUB 3.0, small publishers were typically forced to focus on one specific format that would not necessarily “work” for all reading audiences. With the monumental changes due to EPUB 3.0, smaller publishers in particular should be able to see striking benefits due to the revised electronic book publishing standards.

Raising E-Book Standards to EPUB 3.0

EPUB 3.0 promises to be a “Win-Win” situation for both readers and publishers. The reading audience will have added features such as media overlays, enhanced images, improved interactivity, in-text navigation and pop-up footnotes. For publishers and writers, the new industry publishing standard will lead to content being published over more mediums and reaching more readers.

Is there is a “catch” to the new publishing standards surrounding EPUB 3.0? Perhaps one – writers and publishers need to publish their works so that they are in full compliance with EPUB 3.0 and related requirements such as the need for enhanced images. A practical solution to this potential problem is to rely on experts such as DataEntryOutsourced to help you comply fully and immediately.

Help for Producing Your E-Books with EPUB 3.0 Standards

Virtually all parties have high expectations for the positive changes that EPUB 3.0 will bring to reading, writing and publishing. The content to be impacted will extend beyond e-books to include other forms of digital media – for example, magazines and scientific, professional and educational publications.

Some of the requirements for EPUB 3.0 might initially seem confusing or time-consuming – the practical solution is to consider outsourcing many of your publishing tasks. To avoid missing out on the new business potential provided by these new publishing standards, you can outsource to DataEntryOutsourced.

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– DataEntryOutsourced

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