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Best of ebook design earns developer $2,500 from Rakuten Kobo

Toronto, ON – March 22, 2018 – Third annual ebookcraft design competition crowns a winner

Katy Mastrocola, a Production Associate at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, has been awarded the grand prize for ebookcraft 2018's So You Think You Can Code contest, taking home $2,500 from Rakuten Kobo and subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud and Firebrand Technologies. Demonstrating strong application of digital publishing best practices, from semantic markup to accessibility, Katy's handling of the messy EPUB provided by the judges put her submission above the rest.

Katy is the third person from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to win the prize. Since she was unable to accept the prize in person at the ebookcraft conference in Toronto on March 22, two of her colleagues accepted the prize on her behalf.

Competitors from Canada and abroad were invited to put their ebook design skills to the test by applying best practices and standards to a rough-around-the-edges EPUB file leading up to the conference, demonstrating how a user-friendly, accessible, and beautiful ebook can look and function. For 2018's competition, a record number of files were judged by a panel of industry experts from Canada and the US — Joshua Tallent (Firebrand Technologies), Monique Mongeon (BookNet Canada), and Naomi Kennedy (Penguin Random House) — for criteria ranging from typography to semantic inflection.

According to the judges' statement, "Katy's submission was notable for her near-perfect application of semantic markup and semantic inflection, and her fine typography work. She made use of the ACE by DAISY accessibility checker for EPUB files and achieved a perfect score across the board. Katy's file also passed EpubCheck and nearly scored perfect on her use of standards; she even took the time to update the file's metadata elements."

"Of particular note was Katy's inclusion of MathML to address the fun equations we added to the appendix. It was encouraging to see a submission that attempted to handle the equations in a way that was both readable and accessible. Katy also caught most of the little issues we inserted into the file, showing her commitment to the quality of her craft."

More information on ebookcraft and SYTYCC can be found at

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ebookcraft is a two-day conference for the ebook production community organized by BookNet Canada and eBOUND Canada.

BookNet Canada is a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards and education to serve the Canadian book industry. eBOUND Canada is a not-for-profit organization that aims to advance publisher engagement in the digital marketplace.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for this project. / Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise du Fonds du livre du Canada (FLC) pour ce projet.

Media Contact:
Zalina Alvi
Marketing & Communications Manager
BookNet Canada 
(416) 362-5057 x. 2250