Publishing Business Group Telco — Minutes

Date: 2019-06-04

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Wendy Reid, Luc Audrain, Tzviya Siegman, Ivan Herman, Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平), George Kerscher, Liisa McCloy-Kelley, Wolfgang Schindler, Garth Conboy, Julie Blair, Bill Kasdorf

Regrets: Dave Cramer, Rachel Comerford, Jeff Jaffe, Avneesh Singh


Chair: Luc Audrain

Scribe(s): Wendy Reid, Luc Audrain


Luc Audrain: Le’ts start, for the news, Avneesh has been elected to the AB, great news! Leonie Watson has also been elected, lots of accessibility advocates on the AB

Tzviya Siegman: The others elected include Elika (fantasai), Charles, and Judy, all very good people

Luc Audrain: On the agenda, on the topic of audiobooks

1. Audiobooks

Luc Audrain: Wendy is taking care of contacting publishers

Wendy Reid: I have been able to speak to a few European publishers as well

Luc Audrain: I know French audiobook publishers, I would like to contact more
… can we share a list?

Wendy Reid: Sure!

Luc Audrain: We also raised the question of tools, the spec is one thing, and publishers do not always produce their own files
… there is a question of tooling, how will this be produced?
… generally publishers use suppliers like studios who do the recording and production of MP3s and track lists
… the tools should be conformant to the spec
… it would be good to have a list of the main tools suppliers are using, and then contact those suppliers to consider producing files using the spec
… or help them to understand/use generic tools that comply with the spec
… we could also help explain the expected results to be conformant to the spec
… the most prominent company is ProTools
… does anyone have contact information for these people?
… do they attend things like BEA or other conferences?
… I’ve never met them at any bookfair

George Kerscher: I spoke to people at ProTools many years ago, but it’s a big software company
… I would expect that we could initiate contact with them and explain what we are doing
… and ask them to support the standard and provide to them technical guidance
… also with APA in the US, once the leadership has transitioned we could write an article for their newsletter
… both of these items for communication will help drive adoption
… I’d like to have some documentation before speaking to ProToosl

Luc Audrain: Would you have any names?

George Kerscher: I have some contacts
… I can take on the task of contacting them
… I can do it over the next few weeks
… Find out what they want/need

Luc Audrain: I can help as much as I can
… feel free to copy me

George Kerscher: I’ll take it as an action item

Luc Audrain: On the APA question, we have had some issues there.
… we are waiting for the new person in charge
… the transition is not complete

Wendy Reid: APA new director in contact
… there were concerns in their mind
… so reach publisher directly
… Leslie to talk to APA again
… APA providede a list of companies in the audiobook industry

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: We shouldn’t look negatively on that, our spec is not a driving need for the organization
… it’s always nice if an org is willing to take this up, but I understand the reluctance
… we should talk to the distributors

Wendy Reid: I don’t have any distributor contacts

Luc Audrain: Which distributors?

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: We need to talk to CoreSource, many publishers aren’t worried as they rely on distributors to handle that part of the process

Tzviya Siegman: I just want to address the point about distributors, Ingram used to be a member of the W3C, Firebrand is also problematic
… distributors were helpful with EPUB, but we did much of our work with publishers well, it needs to come from all parts of the supply chain
… it helps to be a distributor, but if the publisher says they want to stick with the standard, it might cut them out
… the W3C has anti-trust policies, the concern is understandable, but we are talking about technical standards not pricing issues, we wouldn’t be here if that were an issue
… I hope we can continue working with the APA to come to an understanding

Bill Kasdorf: In terms of the sensitivity of CoreSource and Firebrand, I have good relationships with both, if there is a way I can be helpful, let me know
… to my mind, it’s in the distributor’s interest to eliminate chaos
… the more standard the better, from their POV
… I doubt they would feel threatened.

Luc Audrain: I think it would be very helpful to contact them, I agree with tzviya it should come from the publishers as well

Wendy Reid: that would be great Bill

Bill Kasdorf: I can reach out to them before the AUP meeting

George Kerscher: With CoreSource I will contact you offline and I may want to get involved, I need to talk to Benetech first

Bill Kasdorf: Great

Luc Audrain: I will work with Wendy and others to get more contacts, including AudioLib in France, I will build some conformant files
… it would be interesting to see some real files
… (there would be a question, what do we call a checker for “Web Publications for Audiobook”?)
… I will work with them to gather some files and build samples

2. Future Profiles

Luc Audrain: What future profiles should we address for WP?
… what could be useful? This was addressed in the Asia call last week
… there were discussions about magazines, manga
… this is an ongoing discussion, it will be discussed at the Digital Publishing Summit in Paris
… EDRLab will speak on it
… and there is a community group in the W3C looking at this as well

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): To add, last week Kadokawa’s rep discussed the idea of searchable text in fixed-layout EPUB
… if a search capability can be added to manga
… in addition to search, the ability to look up keywords
… a new idea to look into
… for WP
… Also, at the DPUB Summit, I will be speaking with the COO of MediaDo about the status of EPUB manga, almost 80% of the digital publishing market in Japan
… 2 billion as a whole
… 45% of the entire manga market is digital
… we will be presenting on these facts, plus the growth of the digital book market as a whole from the adoption of EPUB
… also exploring why e-manga has become so successful

Garth Conboy: I just wanted to comment on Daihei’s statement on manga being mainly FXL
… it’s usually just a collection of JPEGs with the text baked into the images
… you could just place the text as a separate layer, it could be searchable, translatable
… it’s a big change to the market, but it’s supported by the existing standards

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): +1 to Garth

Luc Audrain: BDCoMa is not just about FXL, it’s more addressing authors that are already creating on the web
… how to standardize content produced on the web outside of a standard at all
… there’s markets in places like Korea for webtoons
… these ideas are flourishing in this area
… good to see after the workshop last year

Wendy Reid: +1 garth :)

Luc Audrain: we will have to look after all of the profiles in future
… we should keep considering new opportunities
… we will have the PBG event in Fukuoka, we can further discuss and publicise these questions

3. EPUB3 and EPUBCheck

Luc Audrain: We’ve received a testimonial from APL
… as they’re not a full member, we need to approve this testimonial?

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): It’s approved from last week’s call
… I was requested by W3C to get more testimonials
… this is a good one from APL

Ivan Herman: APL testimonial: “EPUB 3 is a de facto standard in Japanese eBook industry and we welcome the sustainable evolution of EPUB 3. APL looks forward to EPUB 3.2 as the first update of EPUB 3 by W3C and we support continuous maintenance with reasonable compatibility.”

Ivan Herman: signed by: Shinya Takami, EPUB-WG leader, Advanced Publishing Laboratory

Luc Audrain: No comments on this testimonial?
… this update means this is a clear evolution and we can forget EPUB 3.1

Tzviya Siegman: It’s the first from the W3C

Luc Audrain: It shows the work of the W3C

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): At the W3C Publishing website, I see industrial comments from Japan, but are there any others?
… What is the PR and communication activity happening in the US and Europe?

Luc Audrain: Good question

Ivan Herman: Daihei asked my question for me
… I have 5 testimonials from Japan
… it would be good to see other testimonials

Luc Audrain: tzviya mentioned she will have one from Wiley, and I am preparing one for Hachette
… Japan has adopted EPUB3 from scratch, the rest of the world is a bit more complicated with EPUB2
… I think it’s a good omen to see such support from Japan

Ivan Herman: b.t.w.: the new (and old) testimonials are also to be seen at:

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): I didn’t mean to brag, we just want to see EPUB3.2 adopted

George Kerscher: I thought Rachel was collecting some as well, I sent mine to her

Ivan Herman: Send it to me so I can publish it on the website

George Kerscher: I’ll get it to you right away

Bill Kasdorf: Just a quick comment, I could probably get one from Rick at Vital Source

Ivan Herman: The testimonials should come from W3C members
… since they decided to leave, I don’t think it would fly

Luc Audrain: We should have a formal resolution to adopt the APL testimonial

Garth Conboy: +1

Luc Audrain: +1

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: +1

Wolfgang Schindler: +1

Bill Kasdorf: +1

Ivan Herman: +1

Wendy Reid: +1

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): +1

Wendy Reid: +1

Ivan Herman: APL is done.
… the other question I have, it’s great to have testimonials from publishers, we should have some from Retailers
… Kobo, Google, Apple, etc
… to have both sides of the spectrum represented

Luc Audrain: I have contacted Apple, I haven’t heard anything

Garth Conboy: I think we have written something about EPUB3, let me look into it

Luc Audrain: The Digital Publishing Summit is coming up! Please join us
… and we have an event in Fukuoka as well

4. events

Luc Audrain: we have to populate an event of 3 hours
… and ideas for the program committee?

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): I started communicating with the people discussed, Yoshizawa-san and Takami-san, Yoshii-san from Kodansha
… we have already discussed as chairs, and with Ivan
… we would like you to join us as well

Ivan Herman: I would be happy to

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): And one or two more people, like major publishers
… Creative publishing people
… because we are in Japan, and the focal point of progress with WP, we should look at new profiles
… I am trying to put together people who will really contribute to discussion
… relating to new ideas and Japan’s unique publishing situation
… some of the discussion will be in Japanese and translated
… I’m not planning on having all of the agenda in Japanese, but some of it
… the remainder in english

Tzviya Siegman: I wanted to suggest that since new profiles are not part of formal work, we should instead focus on completed work
… like EPUB3.2, what have we accomplished, EPUBCheck, Audiobooks, it’s a good idea to focus on our accomplishments

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): +1 to tzviya

Tzviya Siegman: not as exciting as what might be up and coming, but we should be cautious about presenting work that might not get standardized
… there’s upcoming work in archiving as well, I’m reluctant to present on exploratory work

Luc Audrain: I agree, we will have to start planning for the program, September is not far away
… I do not want to overload people
… I thought about switching the calls for PBG to instead focus on the event for now

Ivan Herman: You propose not to have PBG calls instead have program calls?

Luc Audrain: We discussed it with Daihei and Liisa, we wanted to have fewer calls
… we have to cancel sometimes because of holidays and things
… we have to get this event planned
… we cancel some of the calls to address the program instead

Ivan Herman: I am worried about that, we had good discussions today, we will break momentum if we focus on the summit instead
… the committee is mainly Japanese people, finding a time slot for European and Japanese colleagues is a challenge
… there is a possibility of a community group of having a F2F meeting, I was wondering if the BDCoMa group was planning a F2F
… just an idea

Luc Audrain: I will look into that

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: I was just going to say I agree with Ivan, we need to continue making progress on the BG topics, we should find something else for the program calls

Luc Audrain: We will find a way to organize the committee
… I’m wondering if we could do a translation of calls

Tzviya Siegman: The AB is looking into having simultaneous translation tools at TPAC, it’s a possibility

Ivan Herman: Will it work?

Tzviya Siegman: Maybe not, but we are going to try!
… we wanted it for the AC meeting, having something is better than nothing

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): I just want to confirm, I am happy to take the lead and work with Luc, and Liisa
… I will take the responsibility to contribute to coordinating the PBG F2F meeting in september
… Luc and I will organize together
… and try and address some of Tzviya’s questions
… try to balance the new and the current
… one thing I wanted to check, I am confused about the scheduling
… of the PBG call
… with the different times in each week
… are you suggesting we maintain this or go back to a single time?
… timezone wise it is impossible!

Luc Audrain: We need to find one that is efficient for both Europe and Japan
… thanks everyone, have a good day!