Digital Standards at the Speed of Ebooks (Roundtable 7/14/11)

The DBW Roundtable is a live, interactive webcast featuring some of the most outspoken industry professionals gathering to discuss and debate the hottest publishing issues of today.

In this bi-weekly 1-hour WEBcast, the Roundtable offers insight into the greater book publishing ecosystem with actionable case studies from practitioners in publishing.

When a publisher creates a new digital product, they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Bodies like BISG, NISO, the IDPF, and others endeavor to create agreed upon standards for identifiers, content, and coding languages that can give guidelines on product creation. However, the pace of implementation of new standards like HTML5 may seem painfully slow when compared to the rate of digital change.

In this special episode of the Roundtable, Laura Dawson, Content Chief at Firebrand Technologies, will engage in a conversation with Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of the National Information Standards Organization, on a number of issues surrounding standards.

Attendees will learn:

  • The main standards book publishers need to know about.
  • Why using standards is important for the shelf-life of your ebooks.
  • How you can start integrating standards into your publisher’s workflow (even when the final specification might not be complete)

On the agenda for the Roundtable:

  • Identifier standards (like ISBN and ISTC): Why are they important? What’s the status on ISBNs and ebooks? What’s the status on ISTC and ISNI?
  • Content standards (like ePub and HTML5): Why are they important? What’s the status on ePub 3? When will Kindle read ePub files? Why do you need to know about a web language like HTML5 if you’re in book publishing? Also, what about the elephant in the room: Adobe CS5?
  • Standards progress and the standards process: If HTML5 isn’t complete, how can Apple require it and ePub 3 include it? Can we use standards before they are ratified? Is that even possible? What are orphan standards that nobody adopts, and what happens then? What about de facto standards, like the Kindle format for ebooks?
  • Standards bodies: NISO, IDPF, BISG, GS1. Who are they and what do they do? Why do book publishers need to be acutely aware of their work?

This edition of the Roundtable will appeal especially to publishers involved with digital, managing editorial, production, operations, and editorial. This is not intended to be a highly technical presentation, but will offer high-level insight into the systems that shape your workflow.

This edition of the Roundtable will be broadcast on July 14th at 1 PM EST / 10 AM PST.

Register For the Roundtable!


  • Laura Dawson, Content Chief, Firebrand Technologies
  • Todd Carpenter, Managing Director, National Information Standards Organization (NISO)


  • Matt Mullin, Community Relations Manager, Digital Book World

Join the Roundtable for provocative discussions every two weeks that set the tone for another exciting year in the publishing industry!


3 thoughts on “Digital Standards at the Speed of Ebooks (Roundtable 7/14/11)

  1. Kimberly Hampton

    I am always so interested in these roundtable discussions, but it’s hard to take out time from the middle of a work day. I don’t suppose you ever record these presentations/ conversations? I would love to be able to review it asynchronously. Such great topics!

    1. Yvette M. Chin

      Hi Kimberly,

      We try to add the audio of the session to the bottom of the original announcement post by the end of the day. So check back to listen in. Thus, we do provide the simple/straightforward audio to the whole community. DBW Members, however, have access to the full archive, where the slides are keyed to the audio stream.

      Thanks for your interest! –Yvette

      1. Ellen

        Do you have audio for the New Workflows for Editorial and Production session? I don’t see it anywhere. Thanks.



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