HTML5 offers lots of opportunities for ebook publishers who look forward to expand their portfolio from static text to new genre of books involving lots of multimedia interactivity. It has upgraded ebooks to a new level to contain video, audio, dynamic content and all sorts of interactive features. HTML5 is a specification to format the core language of web (HTML) to make it deliver text, images, multimedia, and anything else in a way they really should be rendered. Last update to HTML was made about 10 years back. This new version has made publishing content easier. We can get twitter feeds, Youtube streams, canvas, google maps, galleries and sketchbooks and learning applications in an ebook.
All publishers need to know and understand the possibilities with this new language in order to stay ahead.
The two new eBook formats, ePub 3 and KF8 support HTML5. Both iBooks and the Nook Color already support HTML5 audio and video. iBooks also supports canvas features. However, there are no ereaders available which can render all features of this new open format for eBooks. Ingram Content Group will be launching an app by April called , VitalSource Bookshelf, , which will support EPUB 3 on the iPad, iPhone, Mac Windows, browsers, iOS clients, and Android. This may be followed by a whole new series of ereaders supporting the new format which uses HTML5 as the documenting language.
HTML5 means new, simpler ways to make content more engaging with the addition of interactivity and multimedia features. Books are no longer static but have will video, audio, animations, geo location, coloring and other forms of interactivity to make book reading a whole new experience. It will open a lot of opportunities for the publishers to experiment and come up with newer possibilities. The publishers with portfolio of Travel/ restaurant guides (providing location based content), children books, textbooks can try out a lot of innovations. With HTML5, the size of feature-rich eBooks that can be significantly reduced. We at Reality have included Geolocations in our ebook on Rajasthan.
Because of a lot of new features in HTML5, the digital readers can now preserve the truer and original design and layout of the documents, books, magazine, textbooks. It supports any kind of font and styling, rotated text etc. It makes the text more legible on screen. Now the publishers can render all their content, from novels to magazines to children books to cook books, in a way that makes digital reading much better than reading the physical copy. A better reading experience can fetch more recommendation and hence more readers.
HTML5 will definitely lead to a larger audience as HTML5 is an open standard supported anywhere. Every eReader, Mobile phone, Tablet, computers, laptops with a browser now supports HTML 5. So if the ebook is written in HTML5, we gain the access to such a vast market without having to bother about the app to support eBooks.
Publishers have to be innovative and think ahead of time. With HTML5, the expectations of the readers will also increase. There needs to be a lot of training and hence upgrading of the skill sets to match the new requirements.