Posted on by & filed under epub, epub3, idpf.

Now that EPUB 3 is an IDPF Proposed Specification it seems like a good time to update some of our EPUB blog posts. One of the most popular was Best practices in ePub cover images, which helped clarify how to include a cover image for most ebook readers. While cover image markup wasn’t specified in EPUB, I’m happy to report that EPUB 3 clearly explains how to include a dedicated cover image.

Note: If you’re new to the EPUB 3 specifications, the best place to get a clear introduction to the four parts of the specification is the EPUB 3 Overview. Marking a specific image is a metadata problem at the publication level, so we’ll be referring to the EPUB Publications 3.0 specification. As expected, it includes “Publication metadata — mechanisms for including and/or referencing metadata applicable to the entire Publication and particular resources within it.”

Without further delay, here is the markup to mark an image as the cover in EPUB 3:

The new properties attribute is added to an otherwise “normal” OPF item and is all that’s required to mark an image as the cover. While including a cover image is still optional in EPUB 3, you may only mark one image as the cover.

Most of the metadata improvements in EPUB 3 are based on this properties attribute. Its uses range from noting that content includes MathML or JavaScript to indicating the type of publication.

If there are specific EPUB 3 topics you’d like to see us write about, please leave a note in the comments—Thanks!


8 Responses to “Covers in EPUB 3”

  1. Graham Toal

    Is the automatic hyphenation/soft hyphen character issue sorted out in Epub3?

  2. Thomas Rasche

    How are book subtitles best dealt with in Epub3? They could be included with a meta data property, but is there a recommended way so that a reader recognizes them, to display them sensibly (eg subtitles display in smaller font under the main title etc)?
    Here’s an example by B.Obama:
    Title: Dreams from My Father
    Subtitle: A Story of Race and Inheritance

  3. Hannes Eder

    What’s your position these days on the use of the so called SVG-hack? From where I’m standing, it still seems like the only viable option to make covers look real nice in ADE, and it doesn’t seem to mess things upp in other e-readers as far as I can tell..

  4. Keith Fahlgren

    @Hannes: I do think the SVG workaround causes problems with some current EPUB reading systems, but I hope that it will become unnecessary when ADE is revised to support EPUB 3.

  5. Thomas Rasche

    an epub3 question…

    can device orientation be recognised in epub3? For example together with @media queries and/or screen widths?

    E.g. if a book refers to a map throughout (e.g. Lord of the Rings):
    -Can that map be made to appear if the ereader is turned to landscape? Portrait displays just text.
    -On a fixed screen that doesn’t have landscape/portrait, could this be recognised? Here, the map can be viewed with a pop-out?

    Thanks, Thomas

  6. Tzviya

    EPUB3 question: Would you please discuss mapping to print pages? I believe this is an accessibility function picked up from DAISY. An example of proper tagging would be great. Thanks.