Assn. of American Publishers in support of establishing EPUB 3 as the standard global distribution format for e-books, embarks on new initiative for market implementation

NEW YORK , July 24, 2013 (press release) – The Association of American Publishers supports the establishment of EPUB 3 as the standard global distribution format for eBooks and has embarked on a new initiative designed to rapidly advance the format’s implementation in the marketplace.

The EPUB 3 Implementation Project is being developed in a partnership with retailers, digital content distributors, device makers, reading systems providers, assistive technology experts and standards organizations, with the support and engagement of leading advocates for people with disabilities.

The initiative’s goal is to accelerate the across-the-board adoption of the EPUB 3 format in the consumer market by identifying and implementing what stakeholders consider to be the core set of baseline features critical to the format’s acceptance. Among these features are greater interactivity for users, multimedia-enhanced content and expanded accessibility for people who are blind or have other print disabilities.

Publishers have set an ambitious six-month goal to rapidly advance implementation of EPUB 3 through the initiative. Although each individual publisher will make decisions about introducing EPUB 3 titles on its own timeline, many anticipate introducing large numbers of EPUB 3 files into the marketplace beginning First Quarter 2014.

AAP publishers are currently recruiting representation from all stakeholder groups to participate in the initiative’s two central efforts:

Convening this summer: A working group to identify baseline accessibility features for the EPUB 3 files and for metadata, and to plan the program for the September workshop
September 10, 2013: A daylong workshop for all participants in New York City to define and prioritize actionable projects

Broad adoption of EPUB 3 will offer countless benefits and opportunities for all those who read, use, create, produce, distribute and publish content:

Readers and consumers will enjoy greater user experience, including more interactivity and have more consistency in content features and function across devices and retailers

Through EPUB 3’s innovative assistive features, people who are blind or have other print disabilities will have access to the same titles, at the same time, as all readers

Retailers and device makers will be able to market and sell more feature-rich content and more devices for such content, reaching an even broader customer base by providing a consistent, optimal user experience

Educators will have the ability to assign more digital reading materials which are inherently accessible to all students, including people with disabilities

Publishers will be able to deliver more robust, feature-rich products in the marketplace — in a more streamlined way — to all accounts, for the broadest possible distribution worldwide to readers
While AAP publishers have undertaken a number of activities, independently and in partnership with relevant stakeholders, to advance the EPUB 3 format, this initiative is the most extensive and potentially transformative to date.

For more information, contact :

Potential partner organizations:
Ed McCoyd — Executive Director, Digital, Environmental and Accessibility Affairs, AAP —

Media and other inquiries:
Andi Sporkin — Vice President, Communications, AAP —

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