Reminder About EPUB Validation

Publishers that are providing distribution-ready files should make sure the ePubs validate and are free of errors before sending them to NBN. The latest ePub standard is 4.0.1, but some vendors are still using 3.0.1 to validate files and will reject files that don’t validate to that version. To check ePubs that are less than 10MB, you can use this IDPF validator. Common validation warnings and errors are below:

WARNING: Filenames contains spaces. Consider changing filenames such that URI escaping is not necessary
SOLUTION: Remove the spaces from the files names of the .html and .jpg files inside the ePub.
EPUBCHECK VERSION: 3.0.0, 3.0.1, 4.0.1

ERROR: element “font” not allowed anywhere; expected the element end-tag, text or element “a”, “abbr”, “acronym”, “applet”, “b”, “bdo”, “big”, “br”, “cite”, “code”, “del”, “dfn”, “em”, “i”, “iframe”, “img”, “ins”, “kbd”, “map”, “noscript”, “ns:svg”, “object”, “q”, “samp”, “script”, “small”, “span”, “strong”, “sub”, “sup”, “tt” or “var” (with xmlns:ns=”http://www.w3.org/2000/svg“)
SOLUTION: Instead of using a font tag, set the font size in the CSS stylesheet using the font-size property, and then apply that style to the line or paragraph that had the font tag.
EPUBCHECK VERSION: 3.0.0, 3.0.1, 4.0.1

ERROR: Non-standard stylesheet resource ‘OEBPS/page-template.xpgt’ of type ‘application/adobe-page-template+xml’. A fallback must be specified.
SOLUTION: Remove the reference to the page-template stylesheet.
EPUBCHECK VERSION: 3.0.1; This error is due to a glitch in epubcheck 3.0.1 but some vendors are still using that version, so files with this error won’t go up on those sites.

ERROR: OEBPS/Fonts/Fontname: referenced resource missing in the package (or /OEBPS/template.css: Referenced resource could not be found in the EPUB.)
SOLUTION: The font file is missing from within the ePub, In most cases, you can simply remove the src=”…” text from the place of reference since the ePub isn’t loading the font anyway.
EPUBCHECK VERSION: 3.0.0, 3.0.1, 4.0.1

ERROR: Referenced resource could not be found in the EPUB.
SOLUTION: A link or reference is made to content not provided within the ePub. This can be caused by several things including: 1. an improperly embedded font, 2. missing image file, or 3. incorrectly written hyperlink to a web address. Add the missing content or remove the reference.
EPUBCHECK VERSION: 3.0.0, 3.0.1, 4.0.1

ERROR: File name contains the following non-ascii characters: […]. Consider changing the filename.
SOLUTION: Change the file name of the image or html file that so that it contains only US keyboard characters.
EPUBCHECK VERSION: 3.0.0, 3.0.1, 4.0.1

If you have any questions about if your eBooks have validation errors, your Fusion representative will be glad to help.

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Filed under ePUB creation, File creation, Submission Requirements, Tech Tips, Uncategorized

Pre-orders

When a content file (e.g. ePub, Mobi) is distributed with a future pub date, it will go up for pre-order on sites that allow it. (The major sites like Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo, etc. all allow pre-orders.) However, if there is only a front cover and no content file, the eBook can still go up for pre-order on sites like Amazon and Apple. It is important that the content file be delivered on time to prevent pre-order sales from being canceled.

Apple allows books to be submitted at most 1 year before the release date. They require the content files to be delivered at least 10 days before the release date. If the ePub is not submitted and live on site before the release date, the book will drop from iBooks and customers will no longer be able to pre-order the book.

Amazon requires the file to be received at least 3 business days before the release date. Otherwise, they push the release date out 7 calendar days and send notification to customers of the date change. They will do that for a total of 21 days, after which they will cancel the pre-orders if the content file isn’t live on site. During the pre-order stage, customers will be unable to preview the Kindle edition because the Kindle Look Inside feature isn’t activated until the release date.

In order for the files to be distributed and live on time, please send content files at least two days before the vendors’ cutoff dates.

If you have any questions about pre-orders, please contact your Fusion rep.

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Holiday Blackout Dates

It’s that time of year again—the time for vacations and gift buying. Around the holidays, some eBook vendors go on break, during which time no new content will be processed. The holiday blackout dates (for the vendors that have provided them) are:

Amazon: Dec.23-28
Apple: Dec.22-29
Barnes & Noble: Dec.25 & Jan.1
Kobo: Dec.22-29

There will be no distributions to these sites during these dates. To ensure that new content is live in time for the holidays, distribution-ready eBook files and metadata should be sent to your Digital Publishing Representative no later than Monday, December 14.

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EPUB Validations

To make sure that files are accepted by all vendors we distribute to, ePubs need to validate to EpubCheck v. 3.0.1, which some vendors still use to validate files.

There are errors that appear when validating to 3.0.1 that don’t appear when validating to 3.0 or 4.0.1. For example, a common problem that prevents validation is the stylesheet being a template formatted for Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). Since the major sites and devices do not run Digital Editions, it is not necessary to format the ePub specifically for display in that program. If you are unable to provide files that validate, we work with a vendor that can convert your files for you.

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Filed under ePUB creation, Submission Requirements, Uncategorized, Vender specs

New Amazon file requirements

Amazon has updated its guidelines for ePub/Mobi files. The vendor now requires that all interior images in the ePub be high resolution (at least 300 dpi or 300 ppi). Also, Kindle does not support CMYK, so RGB should be the default color profile for cover JPEGs and internal images.

MY OLDER TITLES HAVE LOW-RES IMAGES. SHOULD I RECONVERT THEM?

While Amazon recommends redoing images in backlist titles so that they meet the current specs, this is not required at this time. If Amazon ever decides to suppress titles for having low-res images, your digital publishing representative will notify you.

HOW WILL THESE SPECS EFFECT DISTRIBUTION TO OTHER VENDORS?

Amazon’s image guidelines should not conflict with other sites’ image requirements. For example, Apple has the same requirements about using RGB color space. The main thing to be mindful of is size—image size (images should be under 4 million pixels) and overall file size (since larger files take longer to download). Also, the maximum file size for Mobi files is 650 MB.

If you have any questions about Amazon’s (or any other vendor’s) file specs, please consult your digital publishing representative.

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Filed under Submission Requirements, Vender specs