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HTML5: The code to maximizing revenue

SPi Global's latest whitepaper is a must-read for everyone in publishing

SPi GlobalHave you heard all the hype about HTML5 but you’re still not sold on it? You need to read the latest whitepaper from SPi Global. It’s called HTML5: The Code to Maximizing Revenue and it does a terrific job explaining why this technology is so important. The document is only 7 pages long but it will give you a solid foundation. Here are a few of my favorite excerpts from the whitepaper:

Abandoning the “walled garden” environment of downloaded applications also has distinct SEO advantages, because only one set of search criteria is needed to make content discoverable across platforms.

This is one of my favorite points about an HTML5-delivered content model. It breaks away from the walled gardens the major ebook retailers have erected. If you still don’t see why that’s such an important issue you need to read more about the pros and cons of DRM and the opportunity in building a direct sales channel for your customers.

JavaScript, a key component of HTML5, is rendered easier to use because many things that used to require heavy JavaScript programming can now be done straight in HTML5.

JavaScript is what you can use to take a static print book and turn it into a rich, living ebook. Better yet, if you think digital-first you’ll want to weave JavaScript’s rich capabilities into your product right from the start.

[HTML5] is, by design, iterative, meaning it will undergo continuous development and nothing built in HTML5 now will be made obsolete by a later, “final” version.

So don’t believe the misinformation out there saying HTML5 is a moving target, today’s investment will become worthless tomorrow, etc. You’ve got a terrific set of rich content building blocks available today with HTML5 and CSS3 so there’s no reason to wait.

Why outsource? Given the complexities, challenges, and need for a strategic approach to HTML5 conversion, most publishers choose to outsource the work to a vendor with specific expertise in the field.

I believe outsourcing will only gain momentum in 2013. Here are a few reasons why: Industry consolidation, reduced profitability, ever tighter budgets, rapidly-changing protocols and standards, focusing on what a publisher does best. In short, many publishers are going to be forced to re-think their structure and what they want to invest in. I’m not suggesting that production departments go away but I definitely believe there are many benefits to outsourcing including the fact that it brings you in contact with a specialist who has probably already solved the problems you’re facing.

I’ve only scratched the surface of SPi Global’s whitepaper here. I encourage you to read the entire document to learn more about HTML5 and why it’s the platform of the future. You can learn more about HTML5 and SPi Global by attending TOC NY in February where they’re presenting both a keynote (Top 10 Reasons to Plan for a Successful Migration to EPUB 3/HTML5) and breakout session (How Do I Successfully Migrate To EPUB 3/HTML5?).

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Comments: 3

  1. This is only one half of the need for standardization, although a very important one. We also need to make sure that we have a standard format for ebooks that can be read in whatever HTML5 reading apps are developed (EPUB3, anyone?). It will be great to have a single app that I can use whether I am using Mac, PC, Windows RT, iOS, or Android (and syncs between them via the cloud). But if I still have to figure out what format to buy or buy separate apps for each book, this will be less than optimal for users.

    This is one area where we desperately need to emulate the physical book space. With physical books no one worries about whether their book is compatible with their bookshelf at home or that if they move the book from one bookshelf to another it will suddenly be unreadable. All this proprietary-ness is getting in the way of ebook adoption.

    Personally, I can’t wait for the day when I can buy an ebook from anywhere and know that it will work in whatever my favorite ebook reading software or platform is. And while publishers and retailers continue to focus exclusively on their own needs to the exclusion of their readers’ needs, we won’t get there.

    • Howard, I’d like to think that publishers and retailers will stick with an HTML5- and CSS3-compliant format. If they do it’s reasonable to expect that content will render just fine in all HTML5-compliant browsers, right? You’re absolutely right about the problem with feature and version creep. We definitely need to avoid that and have a standards base everyone can live with. That won’t happen anytime soon thanks to the existing walled gardens but I’d like to think there’s room for a (new?) player to emerge who embraces this open model. If consumers realize the benefits perhaps they won’t lock themselves in so much with proprietary platforms.

  2. Odd that a white paper on HTML5 was published as a PDF document.

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