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Devices like the Apple iPad have changed the way the world consumes media, and now anyone can adopt a digital publishing model and share their content with an audience. This course clearly defines the terms and types of digital formats, including EPUB, iBooks, ebooks, "enhanced" EPUB, and PDF, as well as their pros and cons, and helps you decide which media type best matches your content now, and which type you might want to migrate to in the future. The course also provides an overview of a typical digital publishing workflow and the software setup you'll need to get started.
The role of EPUBs has traditionally been relegated to tech-centric publication, such as commercial books and textbooks. Now that the EPUB Format has evolved to include more interactive features, it has captured the attention of a wider audience of publishers and readers. Modern Word Processing and Page Layout applications have included an export to EPUB option, making it easier to create EPUB documents. To whom is the EPUB Format suited? Certainly literary books will continue to be a mainstay of the EPUB Format, with new features of both the format and the eReading apps, readers will draw even more from their favorite tales. Authors and publishers can include links to their other offerings, making it easier for the reader to acquire them. Book clubs can stretch across borders as readers can blog or instant message about the book that they are currently enjoying on their eBook device or tablet. Textbooks too can take advantage of the increased interactivity and rich media content now offered by the EPUB 3 Format. I can remember sitting in class watching some boring 16 mm film from a 1950s about healthy eating habits. The information was out-of-date and the film did not capture my attention, but I did catch up on my sleep. Now imagine instead of textbook with not only the latest in dietary information, but an up-to-date movie right there on the page. I tap the screen and the movie plays. I don't fall asleep and I actually learn something. How awesome would this be for demonstrating complicated mathematic equations or scientific studies? Speaking of equations, the EPUB 3 Format supports MathML, a markup language that describes and displays mathematical equations correctly on the computer and device screens. This one entices not only textbook authors, but authors of engineering and scientific documentation as well. It allows authors to accurately display math formulas natively, without having to convert them into an image format first. With support for text to speech, children's book publishers are warming out to the EPUB as their format of choice. Their younger audiences can not only enjoy the story as it's told by the characters, but also learn to read at the same time. Encouraging young readers solidifies them as a future eBook consumer and sways parents to purchase even more eBooks for their educational benefits. This is truly a win-win situation for both the publisher and the consumer alike. Corporate eLearning and Business Reporting are now being offered as EPUBs for all of the above reasons. So the next time you get that analysis of blah, blah, blah, or you are required to take a course on being a better employee, you might be surprised that at least the publication of the information is engaging. There is even a small migration of magazines and catalogs to the EPUB 3 Format. The EPUB Format has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings, but the ride is not over yet. More markets are coming to see the light when it comes to the EPUB Format. This is due directly to the increasing list of features offered by EPUB 3, and a support by top publishing applications. With so many possibilities offered by the EPUB Format, I guess the better question would be who is the EPUB not for?
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