ePub and iPad

As an author, I’m pretty interested in the changing face of the publishing industry. Tim O’Reilly was on the cover of Inc magazine this month and I’ve been following his musings about publishing for some time. But this whole digital publishing thing has to make an author think about what it means for us. But as a geek, I’m stuck in the technical, wondering if I were to self-publish something straight to the iPad, what would it look like? Not the content, but the files.

ePub seems to be the main focus of e-book devices and where the industry is going to go. ePub is a format ratified by the International Digital Publishing Forum (PDPF) and based on XHTML. ePub support will be built into the upcoming version of a couple of different software packages, most notably Scrivener. For software that has ePub support, you can export out of the software easily as an ePub file. These files can then be viewed from iBooks on the iPad, i2Reader on the iPhone, Calibre on Mac OS X/Windows/Linux and Aldiko for Android.

Now how to reach the masses and get them to buy, download and read your content is another story. Currently, Amazon allows you to submit content to the Kindle store and Aldiko allows you to copy ePub files directly to an Android through the use of an SD card. Lulu should allow content to go directly to the iBookstore, but for those of us with an eye to publish to the iPad will need to wait for a few more details to unfold. In the meantime, read up on ePub if you’re interested in self-publishing (especially on the DRM capabilities) and I’ll post something here when I’m ready to announce any projects I have in the poker going that direction. Also, in the meantime feel free to pick up the 1st edition of the Mac OS X security book I did on Kindle. :)
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