I am a designer. I am an artist. I am an aspiring actor. But I am not tech savvy. Learning new computer programs is a challenge to say the least, yet by an odd turn of events I have found myself in New York City starting a tech company through DreamiT ventures and Startl. This opportunity has required me, in all of my incompetence, to learn ePub development. I read through all the blogs and books you’re supposed to, written by the two master’s of .ePub for the masses – Liza Daley and Liz Castro – but even then I still needed to learn through experience. Though there have been many struggles and are bound to be many more, I am beginning to understand the potential of ePub, functionality that has too long been handicapped by its association with the book. For those of you who haven’t the faintest idea of what an ePub is, hang-on, we are about to establish a new school of thought.
epubBlog defines ePubs as “an electronic book format that has become the industry standard, allowing eBooks that use this format to be read on a wide variety of eReaders.”
If that doesn’t make you jump up and down with excitement than I don’t know what will. If I have learned anything about selling people on an idea in these last two months, it is that language is everything. ePub is actually a really cool format, but if we continue to contextualize it as an eBook, the promise of this format will be constrained.
An ePub is not a book. It is the love child of html and pdf, allowing the functionality of html5 with the ubiquity of pdf. Basically, ePub is the file format that will allow you to embed Lady Gaga’s Poker Face, Charlie Bit My Finger, and the Mona Lisa into that screenplay that you have been waiting to produce. That is pretty freaking cool. We may not realize it, but this is something we have all been waiting for. It is the next logical step in content management and is about to blow up. As great as books are, ePub is something else; a new art form perhaps.
Lets break down “the book” for a moment. Books are comprised of chapters, chapters of sentences, and sentences of words that are signifiers of an author’s ideas. When one reads they are consenting to think with the author in a prescribed manner. There can be no doubt that this format works; however, it is only one of many languages for the translation of ideas (which can take a number of forms). Video, audio, and images serve the same purpose, but the advent of the Internet allows us to consume all in the same space. That is what ePub is.