Electronic Publication also known as EPUB is a thriving XML format that is commonly used to create books for digital publishing. Certainly not the only format of its kind, EPUB is fairly new on the digital publishing scene but it has garnered a significant amount of attention from major digital publishing houses. Although the format has been designed to work for ebooks it has a myriad of other applications and can easily be used to develop other types of documentation. If you have not yet been introduced to EPUB, here is a look at the pros and cons of the format that will help you to make an informed decision.
Unified standard: The mainstream acceptance of ebooks led to many companies jumping on the digital bandwagon with the introduction of their own eBook readers. However, this has caused a mayhem since the offerings of most of these establishments lack a unified standard. On the other hand, the advent EPUB has been an endeavor in the right direction as its aimed at setting a standard for digital publication; the format can be used across a variety of devices.
Open format: Unlike some other popular eBook formats; EPUB is an open standard tool which means that it can be used by just about everybody; from individual authors to major publishers without the risk of being sued or paying hefty fees. The open format of EPUB is a prime reason for its popularity apart from the superlative functionality that it offers.
Independent governance: One of the biggest benefits of using EPUB is that the format is independently governed; this means that there are no corporate houses waiting to benefit from the success of the format. Also, the format is not tuned to specific products from certain companies. So, a file created using EPUB can be used on a plethora of devices which makes things simpler for publishers.
Text reflow possible: EPUB also has a unique reflow feature which allows the books to fit the size of the screen that it is viewed on. So, whether you are using a 10.1 inch iPad or a 3.5 inch cell phone screen, you will be able to read an eBook that has been published through the use of EPUB. When using ebooks published in the EPUB format, small screen users do not have to constantly zoom in and out and scroll constantly while large screen users will be able to read faster as there will be more words on the screen at a time.
Compatibility: EPUB exhibits superior compatibility the likes of which have not been seen in any other current eBook format including the ever popular PDF. EPUB uses two languages, XHTML and XML; this means that it can be used with a variety of software. Also, platforms that already use XML can easily be transferred to EPUB. Another advantage is that EPUB is delivered in a single zip folder in which an archive is created to store the organizational and content files for an ebook.
The cons The requirements for creating a zip archive for EPUB are extremely stringent. Also, unlike some other format, using EPUB requires some amount of prior publishing knowledge; the user will also need to be intimate with syntax of XML and XHTML and will also need to know how to create a style sheet to build valid files.
Despite the technical know-how required to use EPUB to access its full efficiency, a surprising number of people use EPUB as their primary eBook creation format. The impressive functionality, compatibility and the myriad of features of EPUB have made it a favorite with publishers all over the world.