The Publishing Innovation Awards Introduce the QED Seal

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Digital Book World announced today its 2nd Annual Publishing Innovation Awards and the founding of the QED, a standard for excellence in digital book production.

Recognizing innovation, usability, user experience and quality design, the Publishing Innovation Awards celebrate excellence in digital publishing in 14 categories, up from 5 last year. New categories highlight ebooks, enhanced ebooks, and book apps, both traditionally and self-published. Category winners will be spotlighted at an awards gala during the Digital Book World Conference + Expo in New York in January, 2012. A full list of categories and entry details can be found at the Publishing Innovation Awards website.

The QED is the first-ever independent, third-party assessment of an ebook’s basic production standards. QED stands for “Quality, Excellence, Design” in ebooks. To earn the QED standard for excellence, ebooks must pass muster in a multi-format, multi-platform 13-step quality assurance (QA) process. Ebook entries will be thoroughly and independently vetted on devices from mobile to eInk to tablet. The QED is a reader-centric award that lets ebook consumers know that their purchase will render correctly, no matter where or how they choose to read.

Why the QED?

“A well-crafted ebook is essential both from the reader’s perspective, as well as the publishers’—a reader will respond to a well-crafted, beautifully designed ebook. They will feel like they got their money’s worth when they interact with a professional-quality product. A quality ebook is going to be increasingly crucial as a component of a publisher’s brand going forward.”

—Pablo Defendini, Interactive Producer, Open Road Integrated Media

When consumers purchase an ebook today, they have no way to know that a title optimized for a tablet will look great on their phone. The QED signals to an ebook reader that the title will render well in whatever their preferred reading format and that they can buy with confidence. It is an emblem that publishers, authors, and content creators can affix to their ebook cover and metadata that assures readers they can read that title where they want, how they want.

Ebook titles entered into the Publishing Innovation Awards will go through a thorough, professional 13-point design review with an eye towards readability across multiple devices and in multiple formats. The QED is judged on the criteria established on the recommendation of the Publishing Innovation Awards advisory council, who are respected leaders in the digital production and design space.

QED consideration is included in the entry fee for all entries in the Ebook and Enhanced Ebook categories.

“As digital publishing continues to grow at unprecedented rates, we’re excited to extend the Publishing Innovation Awards to comprise categories of significance to publishers and consumers,” said David Blansfield, President, F+W Media. “With such significant growth across multiple platforms and formats, the time has come to provide an independent assessment of the quality of digital production, so that consumers know before they buy that a digital book achieves a minimum level of excellence, rendering equally well across all platforms and devices. The QED designation provides consumers with that assurance.”

The Publishing Innovation Awards and the QED standard for excellence are supported by an advisory panel of publishing and digital industry experts, including Joshua Tallent, CEO of Ebook Architects; Colleen Cunningham, Senior Book Designer, Adams Media; Liza Daly, CEO of Threepress Consulting; Anne Kostick, Founder, Foxpath IND; and Peter Costanzo, Director of Digital Content, F+W Media.

Founded in 2010, the Digital Book World Conference + Expo is the industry-leading annual event exclusively focused on the challenges and opportunities inherent in digital media. Its mission is to provide a forum for publishing executives and related professionals to illuminate issues and trends, share insights, find solutions and seize opportunities in the fast-changing, fast-growing digital publishing marketplace.

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