Debate: eBooks vs. Web Apps For Interactive Content

Bill McCoy (International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)), Sanders Kleinfeld (O'Reilly Media, Inc.)
Location: Broadway Ballroom South Level:
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Should publishers develop and deliver highly interactive digital experiences as eBooks or as apps coded by Web developers? When is your digital content a “book”, and when is it an “app”, and is there a meaningful distinction to be made between the two anymore? Is the difference between “born digital” content and “enhanced” titles a matter of degree or a fundamental dichotomy? As E Ink-based dedicated eReaders give way to much more capable tablets and smartphones, what are the opportunities and risks in leveraging the new capabilities to deliver more engaging experiences to readers? Sanders Kleinfeld, author and Publishing Technology Engineer at O’Reilly Media, and Bill McCoy, Executive Director of the IDPF, the organization that develops EPUB, will discuss the issues and debate the pros and cons of app vs. eBook approaches. The focus will be on practical guidance for publishers on the teams, tools and workflows they should be putting in place now.

Photo of Bill McCoy

Bill McCoy

International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)

Bill McCoy is Executive Director of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the trade and standards group responsible for the EPUB standard interchange and delivery format for eBooks and other digital publications. Mr. McCoy was previously General Manager, Digital Publishing at Adobe Systems. McCoy has been involved in publishing technology for over 20 years, and has contributed to the establishment of numerous industry-standard platforms including EPUB as well as PDF, OpenType, and PostScript.

Photo of Sanders Kleinfeld

Sanders Kleinfeld

O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Sanders Kleinfeld has been employed at O’Reilly Media since 2004 and has held a variety of positions, including roles on O’Reilly’s Production, Editorial, and Tools teams. Currently, he works as Publishing Technology Engineer, maintaining O’Reilly’s XML-based toolchain for generating EPUB and Mobi formats of both frontlist and backlist titles. He also helps coordinate O’Reilly’s digital distribution efforts to electronic sales channels, and is currently assisting in R&D efforts surrounding HTML5 and EPUB 3, helping to develop next-generation ebook content for O’Reilly and its publishing partners. In his spare time, Sanders loves to read, but primarily print books.

Sanders is the author of HTML5 for Publishers (O’Reilly, 2011)


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