EPUB has become an extremely important tool in the world of publishing. One wouldn’t think of the various ways in which EPUB has proved to be useful because at the time of its inception, such possibilities couldn’t be fathomed. Until recently, people were of the opinion that EPUB 3 cannot be for more than trade books, be it fiction or non-fiction. Even though that is its niche, it has become much more that than publishing a book.
What is EPUB?
EPUB is essentially an eBook file format that goes by the extension. epub. It can be accessed across various devices like tablets, laptops, computers, smartphones and reading devices like kindle. With each passing day, the importance of epub is being realized more.
Earlier, EPUB has to create special versions of ebooks for its various retailers and this was one of the main issues to overcome. Today, huge trade publications like Penguin Random House forwards EPUB formats to their trading partners, including Amazon's kindle book format. Globally as well, it has become an essential part of online publishing. In Japan, e-manga has a standard EPUB format.
Today, ePub is used in many different ways, at places and institutions one wouldn’t have guessed was possible. They have been discussed below.
EPUB for educational publishing: Cambridge Education’s Cambridge Elevate platform was specifically created to need EPUB as an input. One would think why. All modern platforms function on web-based technologies and such publication content that is purely based on Open Web Platform is most commonly managed in EPUB format. Some other examples where it has been used by educational publishers are Pearson’s new information infrastructure, VitalSource and Macmillan Learning’s. Such platforms prefer to use EPUB because it is an easy authoring tool that offers multiple ways to create better content. VitalSource Content Studio enables both the publishers and the online classroom teacher to create interactive EPUBs and it isn’t even necessary for them to have knowledge of coding.
However, it is interesting to note that epub file format support is being used for non-book content as well. The EU Publications Office has an extensive set of publications in various categories like judicial, legal and parliamentary documents, scientific reports, research studies, and so on. All such publications are present in all the languages that are used in the EU. It is amazing to note that such publications are in EPUB format. Not only this all the official Japanese documents have a standard format as well. Today, even Google docs have joined the bandwagon and exports EPUBS!
Earlier, platforms that distributed academic content created files that were supported in PDF format. Today, one of the major leading platforms responsible for distributing scholarly books is creating EPUB friendly files. Soon enough, journal articles will also be available in the EPUB format. Such journals are not based on HTML but languages like NLM/JATS XML. Here, the articles that are submitted as PDFs turn into fixed layout epub features.
Needless to say, the epub conversion solutions are not that perfect today. An e-reader is generally a requirement to access EPUB content. An example of an EPUB reader is Readium Chrome app. However, it is interesting to note that iOS supports EPUB and so does Google Play for Android.
Today many prefer to convert pdf to epub. It is preferred because of how it makes eBooks accessible. It is a registered trademark of the International Digital Publishing Forum. It allows consumers to review the content and its quality as well as decide whether it meets their requirements or not. The format is being widely accepted across Apple, Google and Microsoft.
EPUBs are developer-friendly, can be accessed across different platforms and have an open format. There are numerous benefits of epub over pdf. EPUBs are governed independently and they have this unique feature where the text of the content flows according to the size of the screen. It uses 2 languages- XHTML and XML. This further indicates that EPUBs can be used over a variety of software.
The latest news is that the upcoming release of Microsoft Edge supports EPUB as well. This goes to say that when you choose to open an EPUB file, it will open as easily as a PDF in Microsoft Edge. When Microsoft is advancing in this direction, how long will it take Windows to catch up? This means that EPUB is pretty close to being omnipresent.
A lot of businesses even today love using flash banners owing to their attractiveness. These interactive ads are sure to extinct completely, soon. There are several reasons for the same. Many businesses have realized the fact and have started converting flash banners to html5, static banners and animated GIF banners etc. Before detailing the upsides and pitfalls of these alternatives, let us see why Flash ads are not going to stay in the web anymore.
Flash ads are in fact made using Adobe Flash which features complex animations, videos and audios. This got huge preference earlier as the technology was highly interactive and created a complete multimedia experience. However, the glory enjoyed by Flash seems to wane as almost all prominent advertisement placement platforms as well browsers have started to repel Flash away. As far as the perspective of technology is concerned, Flash has become outdated. It fails to work seamlessly on all the modern devices. Also another issue is that bugs in Flash make it easily venerable to hacking. Designers find designing Flash content uncomfortable as it was in fact created earlier solely for desktops and hence the limitations on mobile devices are obvious.
Alternatives developed for this is performing great and this is good news for businesses and everyone involved in designing. Some of the most commonly used substitutes that are taking over are illuminated below along with their unique positives and negatives.
Static banner ads
This is something that you see too often these days. They are simple and clickable web images and don’t have any animation in it. Such banner ads have been there ever since the use of internet actually started. Now also they are effective and serving their purpose well.
It is easy to make static banners. Moreover they load very fast. Static banners are efficient in effortlessly communicating simple call to actions. Especially, when you are trying to cross sell, up sell or simply market to those who are already acquainted with your brand, these types of ads can be super-effective. You can provide an incentive or simply put a reminder; they will click.
Static ads have limited space which means when it comes to communicating complex messages, they fail. Absence of animated or interactive features make them least eye-catching. No matter how creative the wordings and graphics are, unless there are any vibrant interactions, keeps audience glued or at least interested is least feasible.
Animated GIF banners
GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. They are compressed images that are popularly supported for web. These are animated and are even capable of featuring silent and short video clips. GIFs normally play without any inputs from users which make animated GIF banners a widely preferred choice.
Using animated GIF banners provide an experience very closer to a video and it’s very engaging. Without even any extraordinary technical skills, you can easily create them. Many applications are there for the same and even many online websites provide the facility.
GIFS may not animate in certain devices and apps. Also, the size of files can be large making the loading speed lesser. When it comes to colour palettes, GIFs are limited when compared to the static banners; they may not display vibrant images.
HML5 banner ads
There is a huge scope for html5 vs. flash banner ads comparison. Unlike Flash, web codes are used to generate HTML5 banners and they can accommodate text, audio, images and video. As HTML5 files are not self-contained and built using code, it is possible to optimize them, responsively and dynamically so as make it possible to view them on all types of devices.
When compared to swf files, HTML5 files are larger. However, as they are built using codes that browsers can easily understand, they load faster than GIF images. And the best thing is that ads done with HTML5 look perfect, regardless of the devices being used.
In a nutshell, you can make the web look flashy without actually using it. Engaging, innovative and compelling ads can still be created using an alternative to adobe flash animation. You just have to associate with the right service provider.