Distributing e-files 30X faster

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Ingram, an eBook distributor, specializes in print and online product distribution across the globe. They offer customized services to meet publisher needs and they take care of the entire distribution process, be it sales or marketing. Ingram approached Newgen to solve their unique problem of validating the e-files they receive on a daily basis from different publishers and self-publishing authors.

The Challenge

The biggest concern for Ingram was e-file validation before digital distribution. It was found that they receive about 20,000 titles every week from different publishers and authors for distribution. And, out of these, at least 10–15 per cent of the input EPUB had validating issues and the distributor was unable to take them for direct publishing. This was when Ingram started looking for a partner who would offer cost-effective services with quality, someone who would align with their standards for fixing validation issues in a short span of time (about a day or two).

Some of the key validation issues faced were the following:

  1. Inconsistency in the entry between OPF and NCX
  2. Failure to extract the EPUB files
  3. Corrupted EPUB package
  4. Unwanted <span> and Unicode entity values
  5. Image resolution issues

The Solution Delivered

Newgen developed a web portal that would enable Ingram to deliver 20,000 titles daily. The automation led to minimal human intervention, thereby reducing human errors. This API-based web portal, powered by Slim Framework, also fixes tagging issues automatically and creates the EPUB per the latest IDPF standard. The backed validation and fixing process of the portal was built in NodeJ along with a database powered by MySQL.

Here are the key features of the EPUB fix tool:

  • Automation
    Automation validation against the EPUB check version.
    Autofixing of issues based on API coding within the system.
  • Quick Access
    Extract the text content of the EPUB file in the original book.
    Easily calculate the character count, elements and images.
  • Deliver Error-Free Files
    Validate the links thoroughly and fix issues, if any.
    Check for the IDPF family of errors and correct the issues.
    NAV and NCX checking and validation.
  • WCAG Compliance with Required Standards
    Ensure that fonts and attributes align with the specified guidelines.
    Check for Unicode in UTF-8 format.

The Impact Created

Through the web-portal platform, validation was done with minimal human effort resulting in reduced time. For instance, validation of 2500 titles took only 2 hours, which was 30 times faster than manual effort. Ingram was impressed with seeing the result delivered to them within a short period of time.