Sydney, New South Wales, 3 September 2012
Xmplar launches cop-e-boox XML software
Digital editors Xmplar have released cop-e-boox, a bundle of open-source stylesheets and templates for learning XML digital publishing.
Cop-e-boox integrates with desktop publishing software and lets users select document and page layout styles to produce ebook formats. The stylesheets support PDF and EPUB 2.0 ebooks as well as XHTML web pages from a single-source publishing workflow. Small publishers can use cop-e-boox with lightweight commercial XML packages and are not locked into any proprietary system.
Based on XML standards, cop-e-boox is a cost-effective entry into structured authoring, and is supported with practical training in XML markup to kick-start production. A browser-based interface makes it easy to change text, table and graphics styles for complex book layouts.
Xmplar’s lead editor, Dave Gardiner, is excited by the potential for making XML publishing software more accessible. “We’ve developed a basic product that opens up structured authoring to more publishers because we’ve made it easier to use complex stylesheets,” says Dave.
“XML publishing has been slow to take off because of software and training costs. But now that there are affordable desktop packages with excellent functionality, publishers can start XML production at minimal cost.”
Dave says that XML publishing has been limited by the complex technology of stylesheets, which produce ebook formats from XML markup. “Our entry-level product puts technology in the hands of average users rather than specialist developers”.
He also says that XML publishing works best for ebooks with basic design. “The more ebook formats you produce, the more viable XML workflows are. That’s why our base product supports three ebook formats, with more on the way,” says Dave.
Development of the next production version of cop-e-boox stylesheets is already underway, with the addition of HTML5, EPUB 3.0 and CSS3 standards.
Cop-e-boox can be freely downloaded from www.xmplar.biz/copeboox.html
Sydney, New South Wales, 1 September 2011
Xmplar launches ebook production for digital publishers
Digital publishers in Australia now have an affordable way into ebooks, with the launch of Xmplar, a “grass roots” editing business with a focus on desktop ebook publishing.
Principal and lead editor of Xmplar, Dave Gardiner, has spent the past few years developing desktop publishing workflows that put editors at the centre of digital publishing. His experience as both a freelancer and in-house editor has identified opportunities to strengthen ties between freelancers and publishers.
“Current trends in Australian publishing, including industry surveys, all point to a critical need for editorial input to ensure that ebook authors are in the best position to get published,” says Dave. “There is increasing demand for editors with technical skills, and the services that Xmplar is developing now puts digital desktop publishing within reach of editors and publishers.”
The costs of setting up systems and training staff can make the move to digital workflows difficult for publishing companies. Xmplar is taking a different approach by promoting cost-effective desktop publishing workflows that are led by specialist freelance editors.
“Editors can make ebooks—we have the knowledge and software to help create epub ebooks and websites. We act as the technical bridge between authors and publishers to ensure that the quality of ebooks doesn’t slip,” Dave says.
“We’re filling a gap in the market by developing entry-level services—it’s a timely convergence of publishing needs, desktop software and skilled editors. Publishers don’t necessarily need to spend big bucks to set up their own production systems—there can be cost savings by outsourcing ebook production to editors, yet minimal risk because quality assurance is a priority.”
The business focuses on developing structured XML (extensible markup language) content, which is a technology at the core of digital publishing. Documents can be produced for clients as PDF files, epub ebooks and web pages. Editing ensures that ebooks include metadata, which is essential for marketing and accessing documents online. Editors with web and graphic skills can design XHTML pages by developing cascading stylesheets for text and page styles, and create compelling and readable content. Optimising ebook content for e-ink e-readers, Android tablets and browsers will also be a major focus as the business develops efficient processes for production and testing.
Xmplar will be exhibiting and providing software demonstrations at the New Horizons National Editors Conference, being held at Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, 7–9 September.