Save the IDPF. Save EPUB.


The IDPF/W3C merger is a change for the worse that must be stopped

Revitalizing the International Digital Publishing Forum

Draft Version, Last update: January 17, 2017

This document outlines the “Save the IDPF. Save EPUB” committee’s plan for revitalizing the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). We are actively engaged in an effort to stop the proposed membership exchange (or “merger”) between the IDPF and the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) and keep the IDPF going as an independent organization. This document provides a framework for doing just that. We recognize that the plan will be subject to review and approval by the Board of the IDPF, and that changes to the plan will be made. That said, our goal is to demonstrate that there is a way forward for a robust, independent IDPF. We will continue to refine the plan as time and circumstances permit.

This ten-point plan is focused on revitalizing the IDPF as a standalone industry organization.

  1. Reaffirm the mission of the IDPF - The IDPF has an important role to play in the book publishing, bookselling, author, library, school and reader communities—a role that includes thought, technical, and business leadership. We will reaffirm that mission and reassure IDPF members and the industry that the IDPF is back in business.
    1. Action Plan:
      1. Author an opinion piece to let the industry know that the IDPF is not merging with the W3C, reaffirm the mission of the organization, and invite new participation.
      2. eMail campaign to current and former members to clarify what transpired over the past few months and why the merger was stopped, outline our vision and plan, and invite new participation.
      3. Update the IDPF web site.
  2. Re-establish trust in the IDPF - We will repair the breach of trust that was created by the lack of transparency around the merger, and the proposed “give away” of the EPUB spec. We will reach out to supporters of the proposal to assure them that the IDPF will continue to innovate and partner with other relevant industry organizations.
    1. Action Plan:
      1. Identify key individuals on both sides of the proposed merger, reach out to them one-to-one, ask for their support and help rebuilding the organization.
      2. Create new issue-focused working groups, recruit new leadership, expand participation.
  3. Bring in new leadership - We will refresh the leadership of the organization with a team that’s committed to maintaining the IDPF as an independent organization, and maintaining control of the EPUB spec.
    1. Action Plan:
      1. Hire a new Executive Director who can grow the organization and welcome back to the Forum business, institutional, and entrepreneurial participation.
      2. Evaluate need for a Chief Technology Officer (full-time or part-time) to oversee EPUB spec maintenance and future development
  4. Reach out to current and potential partner organizations - We will work to ensure that the business role and technical focuses of the IDPF are widely understood and that the organization is maintaining effective business and technical partnerships.
    1. Action Plan:
      1. Reach out to Readium & EDRLab.
      2. Reach out to the W3C.
      3. Reach out to BISG.
      4. Reach out to other relevant publishing, education, information, software development, and technology associations.
  5. Review the finances of the organization - We will work to ensure the financial security and viability of the IDPF.
    1. Action Plan:
      1. Review the organization’s current financial status.
      2. Analyze the organization’s financial statements from the past 3 years of operation to understand the organization’s financial needs.
      3. Establish budgets for 2017 & 2018 that support the revitalization initiatives outlined in this plan.
  6. Raise new funding - We will raise new funding for the organization. We will approach current members and other potential sponsors to ensure that the organization is adequately capitalized for the next three years.
    1. Action Plan:
      1. Set an initial fundraising goal that together with membership dues covers 2017 expenses.
      2. Work to raise addition corporate/sponsor funding for 2018 & 2019.
  7. Grow membership - We will work to increase dues paying membership in the U.S. and internationally.
    1. Action Plan:
      1. Review current dues structure.
        1. Ensure that dues structure enables broad participation and asks larger corporate members to help ensure the long-term viability of the organization through multi-year commitments.
      2. Launch campaign to convert current non-dues paying members and recapture former members.
      3. Launch new membership drive in U.S. and international markets.
  8. Revitalize the EPUB spec - We will work to revitalize participation in the development/support of the EPUB spec, and the drive adoption of the spec by revitalizing the IDPF’s support for the EPUB ecosystem.
    1. Action Plan:
      1. Clarify EPUB development roadmap.
        1. Prioritize refinements of existing features and development of new features.
      2. Evaluate creation of “archival” version of EPUB to simplify basic support of the format.
      3. Create new working groups as required.
      4. Invest in/improve EPUB support tools, including documentation, testing tools, and validation of authoring and rendering tools.
  9. Promote the IDPF and EPUB spec - We will actively participate in industry conferences, and online seminars to promote the IDPF and its role in developing/supporting the EPUB spec.
    1. Action Plan:
      1. Re-engage with Book Expo, DBW, and other conference organizers to find new partnership opportunities.
      2. Create relevant webinars, videos, and other online content that can be used by the IDPF and partner organizations to promote the understanding and adoption of EPUB.
  10. Expand the eBook Ecosystem - We actively work toward the expansion of the eBook ecosystem.
    1. Action Plan:
      1. Act as a catalyst and facilitator for the creation of new businesses and partnerships that grow the eBook market.
      2. Develop and implement campaigns targeted at consumers that promote the eBook experience.

Click here to download this plan as a PDF