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Old 05-12-2015, 02:44 PM   #1
user2178319
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Question regarding kepub format

I have a problem that’s specific to Kobo and would love some advice from anyone familiar with the kepub format.

I’m currently making epub files though I would like to begin sending Kobo kepub files since, as the guidelines explain, kepubs use Kobo's Webkit rendering engine rather than the default ADE engine. This not only adds a lot of enhancements, like reading statistics, but also resolves a lot of formatting issues.

At the moment I’m “converting” to kepub by simply changing the file extension from .epub to .kepub.epub. This works well except I don't get the cover thumbnail on the home screen. The only way I can get the thumbnail to appear is to add the "properties" attribute to the relevent line in the OPF: properties="cover-image". This causes further problems though since I'm currently making epub2s (with plans to switch over to epub3 in the near future) and the "properties" attribute isn't valid according to the epub2 spec.

So, my questions are:

Does anyone have any experience with Kobo's kepub format and what has your experience been?

If you are working with kepub, could help with a workaround for this issue of the cover thumbnail?

Additional note: I’m currently QAing on a Kobo Glo HD

Thank you in advance for any help anyone can provide.
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Old 05-12-2015, 03:44 PM   #2
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If you are selling in the Kobo store, surely Kobo should automatically turn your books into KEPUBs for sale?

If you are just trying to test them before publication, then try calibre and the KEPUB Output plugin.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
If you are selling in the Kobo store, surely Kobo should automatically turn your books into KEPUBs for sale?

If you are just trying to test them before publication, then try calibre and the KEPUB Output plugin.
Thanks so much for the quick response. In this case, the publisher is selling the book directly of its website and anticipates that most people will be loading it onto a Kobo. We would like to provide a book that's best suited for the Kobo, though I'm not sure that's possible.

Also, thanks for the note about the Calibre plugin I actually tested that out and it caused the same validation error since it add that same line to the cover file in the opf.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user2178319 View Post
Thanks so much for the quick response. In this case, the publisher is selling the book directly of its website and anticipates that most people will be loading it onto a Kobo. We would like to provide a book that's best suited for the Kobo, though I'm not sure that's possible.

Also, thanks for the note about the Calibre plugin I actually tested that out and it caused the same validation error since it add that same line to the cover file in the opf.
Are you the publisher of the ebook? That is do you have the publishing rights to the ebook?

Who is the book's author?
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:13 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the quick response. In this case, the publisher is selling the book directly of its website and anticipates that most people will be loading it onto a Kobo. We would like to provide a book that's best suited for the Kobo, though I'm not sure that's possible.

Also, thanks for the note about the Calibre plugin I actually tested that out and it caused the same validation error since it add that same line to the cover file in the opf.
Then I suggest you use the KEPUB Output plugin, since it apparently does several things important to making a good KEPUB beyond merely renaming.

As for the validation checks -- just build yourself a nice EPUB2/3 and make sure that validates, then when it comes time to upload the finished product, upload the EPUB and a KEPUB built from the EPUB. Don't worry about validation errors, KEPUB isn't EPUB and hence doesn't need to validate.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user2178319 View Post
In this case, the publisher is selling the book directly of its website and anticipates that most people will be loading it onto a Kobo. We would like to provide a book that's best suited for the Kobo, though I'm not sure that's possible.
The ability to "side load" a kepub is not one I believe that Kobo intended to be used for direct sales of a book, but rather as a tool for a publisher to test his content.

Expecting users to sideload this are frankly asking for issues.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:14 AM   #7
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What are you really intending to do?

If you are planning to sell the book through the Kobo shop, then you supply an epub to them and they do the work of producing a kepub. That will then be downloaded to the Kobo ereader/app of anyone who buys it. And the epub will be available for direct download.

If the idea is to supply a kepub formatted book in someone elses shop, it is a bit different. You need to add the spans for the reading position and cover property for it to work properly as a kepub on a Kobo ereader. And you need to make sure it is loaded to the Kobo ereader with the correct name. The hassle here is making sure that the ".kepub.epub" extension doesn't get lost.

The last thing you can do is the same as above but just stick with the extension epub and give some instructions for sideloading to a Kobo ereader. This means that other users will have the extra spans, but that is only an issue for the if they edit the book. The cover-image property will also be there, but I am willing to bet that no ereader application or device cares about this. If the epub validators complain, it should only be a warning or info, not an error.

The latter two have the problem that PeterT raises; Kobo do not fully support sideloading kepubs except as a test for publishers.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:47 AM   #8
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Kobo do not fully support sideloading kepubs except as a test for publishers.
What is the practical difference???
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:18 AM   #9
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What is the practical difference???
Probably none. The difference is really in whether Kobo will accept a bug report for sideloaded kepubs and the possibility that they might remove the capability in the future, or limit is somehow. I don't think that will happen, but, if you rely on it and Kobo does drop the support completely, it would be a problem. Especially for a shop selling books to be used this way.
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:07 AM   #10
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Also note that the procedure of sideloading kEpubs is only documented for eReaders; not for iOS, Android or Windows 8. Additionally for Kobo Desktop on Windows the procedure is even more convoluted.

Seriously, it's a BAD idea.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:21 AM   #11
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This is all amazing feedback. Thank you so much. I have to admit though, I'm still a bit uncertain about one issue, so please bear with me:

Lets assume that the publisher (not me) wants to upload the books to Kobo and sell directly from it's website. The feedback so far indicates that Kobo will automatically convert epubs to kepubs. However, the Kobo guidelines say that epubs use the Adobe DRM and kepubs use the Kobo DRM. If you go to the Kobo store and look at the publication info on most/all of the books for sale, they all say they "Download options:EPUB2 (Adobe DRM)" or "Download options:EPUB3 (Adobe DRM)", which leads me to assume that Kobo doesn't automatically convert epubs to kepubs when they're uploaded.

I don't know if there's a question embedded in this follow up, but if anyone can shed some light on whether Kobo does convert to kepub that would be amazing.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:28 AM   #12
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There are for direct download from the Kobobooks. You cannot download kepub books from the Kobobooks. There are only available for Kobo ereaders and Kobo application, desktop or mobile.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:37 AM   #13
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Kobo will automatically convert your ebook to kepub.

Kobo will automatically download the kepubs to people's devices. Kobo will use its own DRM for this. You cannot manually download a kepub.

The download buttons (epub2/epub3) are for manually downloading the epub2/epub3. This file will not have been changed by Kobo. This may involve Adobe's DRM, or none at all. The download is to you computer or other device, but not you ereader.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:02 AM   #14
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Kobo will automatically convert your ebook to kepub.

Kobo will automatically download the kepubs to people's devices. Kobo will use its own DRM for this. You cannot manually download a kepub.

The download buttons (epub2/epub3) are for manually downloading the epub2/epub3. This file will not have been changed by Kobo. This may involve Adobe's DRM, or none at all. The download is to you computer or other device, but not you ereader.
Got it. I have a Kobo for QAing, but I've never purchased a book directly through the Kobo store.

Do people shopping in the Kobo store know that if they download directly through they're device they're getting a kepub, which is better suited for the Kobo since it uses Webkit, and if they download off the website they're getting an epub (in most cases) that uses Adobe's inferior engine when loaded onto a Kobo?

That's a mostly rhetorical question, no need to guess at what other people know or don't know.

One last thing, can anyone point me to where Kobo explains its relationship to books that it sells off its website? In other words, if a valid epub that was downloaded off Kobo's website and loaded onto a Kobo by the customer contains formatting/rendering issues does Kobo bear the same responsibility for handling those issues as it does if the book was a kepub and downloaded directly onto a user's device?

Again, thank you so much!
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:33 AM   #15
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Actually, Adobe's RMSDK is much better then ACCESS engine Kobo uses. I wonder where did you get that idea?

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=256757
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