Digital Publishing Salon


With the release of EPUB 3.3 as a W3C standard upcoming, we need to look at the future needs of digital publishing standards overall. EPUB is over 20 years old, and has been adopted as the primary format of many segments of the publishing industry, particularly trade and education.

In the past we have taken the approach of “if we build it, they will come”. While a noble thought, we now have the experience and knowledge that this approach doesn’t work for the publishing industry, and any future work we do should be informed by industry and user needs.

In the past, we have also worked hard to replicate the experience of the print book as the publishing industry worked to evolve in the digital age. Now that the digital age is very much here, the next phase of digital publishing should focus on the use cases and possibilities digital publications present in their own right. Digital publications need to be their own distinct and valuable format, viewable on many different types of devices, and no longer constrained to be static.


The Publishing Activity at W3C would like to hold a discussion session on the future of digital publications with the goal of creating a five-year roadmap. This event should bring together the various stakeholders of the publishing industry: publishers from all segments, distributors, alternate format providers, retailers, reading systems developers, tool developers,  librarians and education platform providers. With these stakeholders, we want to determine what the publishing industry needs to continue adoption and innovation in the digital publishing space.

This event will cover a few topics:

The goal of the workshop is not to have a solution to the “problems” of digital publishing, but a roadmap of work to further digital publications into the future. The focus should be on identifying stakeholder needs, with priority put on the reading experience of the reader, our end user.

Areas of Exploration Might Include:


We invite stakeholders in the publishing industry, including publishers (trade, education, higher ed, professional, STM, etc.), retailers, distributors, reading system developers, tool developers, alternative format providers, and any other interested parties.

The goal is to get engagement on the future of digital publishing in the hopes of building a charter for a W3C Working Group to follow EPUB3.  We encourage current W3C members to participate, and invite a diverse representation of publishing industry representatives as well.


Tuesday 13 September, 8 AM - 12 PM PDT


There are two registration systems: one for participants who intend to join in person in Vancouver and a separate registration for participants who will join via Zoom only.