Get your Epub3 here!

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 hasn’t been enacted yet, so basically I was asking if anyone had made one by hand. An ebook turned up almost immediately, and I updated my old post with a link. I also made sure to pass it around on twitter.

As I watched that ebook get passed around on twitter I got the impression that i wasn’t the only one who wanted to try the new content. So here is that ebook again, just in case you didn’t see my updated post. I’m also going to go a step better with a bunch of demo videos. If the ebooks demoed in the videos are released I will of course post them.

The Epub3 sample is hosted on the official Epub3 project page on There are several sample Epub3 files there, but the only one I’m interested in is  Moby Dick.

Update: You can now find a second demo in iBooks with the title Les Balades en Yvelines.

The first 2 videos were found via

Walrus Epub Demo#3 – Kadath from Walrus Books on Vimeo.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor 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. Nick16 June, 2011

    Thanks for the link. Downloaded the moby dick file straight to my ipad and I got a message that the file format is not recognised. Any ideas ?

    1. Nate Hoffelder16 June, 2011

      I don’t know. I’m getting the same error. it looks like iBooks is too picky.

    2. jorgen17 June, 2011

      You can read the book in Stanza or Bluefire reader on an iPod. HTML5 will of course be ignored.

  2. Robert17 June, 2011

    The Moby Dick sample doesn’t have an NCX file. Is it not part of EPUB3 or is this just a malformed sample? Hmmm…

    1. Nate Hoffelder17 June, 2011

      The release notes mention that this ebook went through several revisions, so i guess the NCX isn’t supported anymore. I’ll ask on Twitter.

  3. Robert17 June, 2011

    I found this regarding changes for EPUB3 vs 2.0.1
    5.5. NCX specification incorporated

    In OPF 2.0.1, NCX was defined by reference to the DAISY specification. As the expectation is that EPUB3 will supersede DAISY over time, NCX is now normatively defined as a section of [Publications30] .

    5.6. NCX support required by Reading Systems

    NCX was mandatory in EPUB2 Publications but supporting it was defined as a “should” for Reading Systems. It is now a “must”.

    1. Robert17 June, 2011

      Yet, elsewhere the EPUB3 spec says this:

      “Every EPUB Publication contains a special XHTML Content Document called the EPUB Navigation Document, which uses the HTML5 nav element to define human- and machine-readable navigation information.

      The Navigation Document supersedes the NCX document [OPS2], and the inclusion of NCX documents is only recommended for forward compatibility in older Reading Systems.”

  4. Robert17 June, 2011

    The Moby Dick sample does contain a toc.xhtml file and that file DOES use the new “nav” element but it does not include a NCX. I guess they aren’t that concerned with “forward capatibitilty in older reading systems.” Consequently, ADE and others simply claim this sample does not contain a TOC.

  5. […] you’re interested in looking at an Epub3 compatible app, check out iBooks and try one of the demo ebooks I found a few months back. iBooks is mostly compliant with the Epub3 standard, but Apple never […]


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