13-Point QED Inspection Checklist

  1. Usability: The ebook does not open on a blank page and doesn’t crash or freeze in the ereader.
  2. Information hierarchy: Content renders in such a way that the relative importance of the content (heads, text, sidebars, etc.) is visually clear.
  3. Order of content: None of the content is missing or rearranged.
  4. Consistency of design: Consistent application of fonts, styles, and white space.
  5. Links: Hyperlinks to the web, cross references to other sections in the book, and the table of contents all work and point to the right areas. If the ebook has an index, it should be linked. The QED inspection guarantees a spot check but responsibility for 100% compliance rests with the publisher.
  6. Cover: The cover refers only to the current digital edition.
  7. Consumable content: Interactive content, such as fill-in content in workbooks, puzzles, and quizzes, is allowed but with clear directions to readers on how to use it. These elements should not be static and simply replicated from the print version of the book without reworking it or including alternate instructions for the reader on how to use it.
  8. Print references: Content does not contain cross references to un-hyperlinked, static print content or page numbers (unless the ebook is referencing or intentionally mimicking its print counterpart).
  9. Breaks: New sections break and start at logical places.
  10. Images: Art is appropriately sized, is in color where appropriate, loads relatively quickly, and—if it contains text (art with labels, maps, etc.)—is legible. If images are removed for rights reasons, that portion is disclaimed or all references to that image are removed.
  11. Tables: Table text fits the screen comfortably and—if rendered as art—is legible.
  12. Symbols: Text does not contain unsupported characters. Special characters should be Unicode, embedded fonts, or images with a fallback so that they render across devices.
  13. Metadata: Basic metadata for the ebook (title of ebook, titles of sections, author, etc.) is in place and accurate.

QED Judging Process

The QED seal supports a customer’s ability to access their ebooks how they want, when they want, and on the screen they want.

If your ebook was developed for a specific ereader(s) or app, be sure to note this in your application. Otherwise, to ensure that reflowable ebooks meet the demands of the customer, they will go through the above check-list on multiple ereaders, as applicable.

These ereaders include iBooks, Nooks, Kobos, web-based ereaders, and Kindles and their variations: Mobile-sized screens, eink reader-sized screens, and tablet-sized screens.

Formats and platforms such as apps, Adobe DPS apps, iBooks Author ebooks, Inkling ebooks, and interactive ebooks (EPUB3 and Kindle) will be inspected for user-experience issues comparable to the other items in this check-list. PDFs and ebooks that are meant for marketing other content are not accepted.

The QED seal will only be awarded to the specific format that is submitted. For instance, if an EPUB file is submitted without a Kindle version, the seal cannot be used on the Kindle version unless both were submitted and awarded. Or, if an EPUB2 version is submitted, the seal cannot be used on the corresponding EPUB3 version unless both were submitted and awarded.

All EPUB2 and EPUB3 ebooks must validate on the latest version of epubcheck.
Any ebooks that require purchasing will be rejected. A redemption code is required for the complete content.

2 thoughts on “13-Point QED Inspection Checklist

  1. Dee

    I found your website via a link on Ingram’s Spark website. What is the best epub conversion software to use to convert pdf files to epub files. Thank you.

  2. Kip W

    Your LightningSource requirements and procedures are clearly spelled out, and it’s easy to know how to meet your specs. Is there anything like that for IngramSpark ebook requirements? I’ve set up an ebook using InDesign’s export, and the rejection report that came back contains nothing that relates to the process in any way that I can discern. Some guidance would be appreciated (I’ve looked at the IDPF report, and it seems to presume that I set the entire file up by hand using XML or something).



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