Another one bites the dust: Happy and satisfied with ebookcraft 2019

Thanks to our friends at eBOUND Canada: Not only did they write this great ebookcraft wrap-up post, they're also a presenting partner of ebookcraft 2019.

As we welcome the mild(ish) weather and (nearly blooming) blossoms of spring, we bid farewell to our favourite time of year: ebookcraft season. New knowledge was acquired, great connections were made, tweets were tweeted, and a doughnut wall delighted us all, but alas, ebookcraft 2019 has come to an end.

The fun began with hands-on workshops led by some of the industry’s best minds. Participants put their heads together to take on some of the challenges unique to digital publishing and to cultivate new skills including XLST fundamentals, automation scripting, SVG 101, and levelling-up accessibility (just to name a few).

We harnessed the combined experience of the ebookcraft community to come up with some #eprdctn solutions, thoughts on how to remediate backlist ebooks with accessibility in mind, and a discussion on how to make digital book publishing more efficient. 


Attendees brushed up on skills and learned new tricks in preparation for the So You Think You Can Code competition. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500 CDN from Rakuten Kobo, a Kobo Forma e-reader, a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, and a three-month subscription to FlightDeck courtesy of Firebrand Technologies. BookNet and eBOUND will also sing the praises of the winner from the (virtual) rooftops for days and days. The winner will be announced on April 2, so keep your eyes peeled!

Day 2 began with a bang, and by bang we mean a bangin’ good breakfast by Paintbox catering. Smoothies and fresh fruit parfaits were the best brain food to prepare for a day of thoughtful discussions and presentations.

Some more of the day’s highlights:

In a discussion about what it takes to make a great EPUB, Dave Cramer from Hachette took us for a stroll down ebook memory lane, stopping along the way to give credit where it’s due:

In 1949,    Ángela Ruiz Robles   , a teacher from León, Spain, patented the Enciclopedia Mecánica .

In 1949, Ángela Ruiz Robles, a teacher from León, Spain, patented the Enciclopedia Mecánica.

eBOUND Manager of Technology Shannon Culver partnered with National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) Librarian Sabina Iseli-Otto to discuss what accessibility means to the publishing industry and the importance of creating more inclusive options for reading, and increasing equitability and access to texts.

Teresa Elsey then told us all about “bulletproof ebooks," which are digital books that can withstand whatever the marketplace throws at them. How can you achieve this? Teresa says build the simplest EPUB you can stand. The ebooks that will cause problems are complex and have enhancements; the ones that will just work are plain, old, reflowable text.

We learned how diverse device use on a global scale creates a lot of room for experimentation, and how book production workflow can benefit from these developments.

NNELS accessibility tester, Ka Li, gave us insight into the user’s perspective, which helped industry professionals get a firsthand look at how accessibility features are actually used and how they fail.

Did you miss out on the conference this year or maybe you weren’t able to make it to all the sessions you had hoped to attend? Don't you worry because, as always, we’ve got links to everything you need to get caught up:

  • The presentation slides can be found on Sched. Just click through on the session you missed to find the documents attached.

  • All of the recorded sessions will be uploaded to YouTube in the next couple of weeks, so make sure that you subscribe to the BookNet Canada channel.

We’d really appreciate your feedback on ebookcraft 2019 — it helps us to make next year's events even better! We have a survey for attendees: Fill it out before April 4 and you'll have a chance to win one of these great prizes:

  • A free ticket to next year's conference (to be held in Toronto)

  • 1 of 3 $25 Kobo gift cards

  • 1 of 3 #AmReading & Chill tote bags and digital copies of the full #AmReading research series

  • A free copy of The Canadian Book Market 2018

A special thanks to Elder Whabagoon, Ojibway Elder of the Lac Seul First Nation, for the ceremonies that marked the official beginning and end of Tech Forum & ebookcraft 2019. We'd also like to thank our speakers, organizers, steering committee, MaRS Discovery District staff, and attendees for making ebookcraft possible. ebookcraft is presented by eBOUND Canada and BookNet Canada, with support from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Literary Press Group of Canada, and Brady Type.

Keep in touch! Subscribe to the Tech Forum & ebookcraft mailing list or follow @ebookcraft on Twitter. We hope to see you all again in 2020!