I’m looking for an Epub3 ebook

I put this request out on twitter a little while ago but it doesn’t seem to have produced an ebook (perhaps I should be more patient).

Epub3 is the new ebook standard (it’s due to be approved early next year), and it’s great and all. But how well will it work on the many existing ereaders? That’s what I want to find out.

I’m looking for an Epub3 ebook that has some or a lot of interactive components, active content, or basically anything that you can do in Epub3 but not with the existing standard. I want to see how well a 3pub ebook works on existing hardware. I could probably make one, but I don’t know all the nuances of Epub3. I’d like to avoid introducing invalid content.

My stable of ebook readers is quite large, and I’m planning to try the new ebook on most of them. I’m really curious about how each device will respond when it’s given strange content. I could make a few guesses, but data trumps hypothesis any day.

If you have an ePub3 file handy, please share.

Update: I’ve just been pointed at this page. It has a number of sample Epub3 sample files; I’m going to try the Moby Dick one first.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. jorgen14 June, 2011

    I bet the publishers are really looking forward to the new challenges of epub3! They have only just about solved the problems with the current version of epub.

    When you find an epub3, put it where we can download it and test it on our readers.

    1. Nate Hoffelder14 June, 2011

      Absolutely. But first I need permission.

  2. airvege14 June, 2011

    I was wondering the same…


  3. jorgen14 June, 2011

    Nice typesetting. The Moby book looks good on a Sony PRS-650 and a BeBook Mini.

    Is there anything special to look for?

  4. jorgen14 June, 2011

    I suppose I should add:

    The extracts at the front all look good.

    I looked for media overlay files (including audio files) in chapter 1 and 2 on the Sony, but didn’t notice any. This obviously need an epub3 reader.

    I then browsed fast through the first 300 pages (easy on the Sony) and then jumped to page 600 and browsed the rest.

    In other words: I can read the book without problems but can’t take advantage of multimedia additions; this was as expected.

  5. jorgen14 June, 2011

    I renamed the .epub file to .zip and listed the contents. Yes there is an audio file and an overlay for chapter 1 and for chapter 2 in it. Firefox can’t see these files either, of course.

  6. Mike Cane14 June, 2011

    Annnnnd place your bets as to whether or not the brand new Nook Touch and Kobo Touch can ever handle these files. Think McFly! NO SPEAKERS! Duh!

    1. jorgen15 June, 2011

      Well, do we really care about multimedia in books? OK, I can see that for example history books might benefit from audio / video files that illustrate the period covered. I can also imagine some avantgarde books that might be interesting – Jeff Vandermeer springs to mind. However, in general I think the answer is no. Multimedia is a solution looking for a problem as far as books are concerned. It would also be a serious waste of space unless needed and a link to the Internet may be simpler and cheaper in the long run.

      If multimedia is what you want, you should anyway buy a tablet, not an ebook reader.

      1. Jostein29 June, 2011

        A lot of people read audio books. Especially the blind. EPUB3 will support this.

        If all you want is headlines and paragraphs, there’s of course no *need* to use EPUB3. But that’s not really an argument to not use it either. If you are able to write HTML – then you are able to make a valid EPUB3 publication.

  7. […] 16th, 2011 by Nate Hoffelder · No Comments · Epub3 // A couple days ago I wrote a post asking for an Epub file that had content which was made to the Epub3 standard. Now, the standard […]

  8. ePUB3 eBooks8 July, 2011

    My partner and I have foreseen the need and have gotten the ball rolling.

    The blog is underway; hopefully a library & shop to come. 🙂

    Please stop by and mention The Digital Reader in your comment for faster approval.

    Guest Authors are welcome as are relevant and decent self-promotional activities (for now anyway).



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