Introduction


Assets and alternate formats management in Cantook Hub have been improved in order to respond to and build upon several requests from publishers who expressed the need to better distinguish and manage different formats of a publication’s digital files, and to be able to configure which file would be sent to which bookstore.


Improvements are focused on two aspects:

  1. Improvement to files and alternate format management
    1. Files from former Alternates tab are moved to EPUB tab.
    2. Detection and display of file attributes (EPUB 2.0 or EPUB 3.0, fixed layout or reflowable text, iBooks and MOBI).
  2. Improvement in sending files to bookstores
    1. Improved detailed display of which file will be sent to which bookstore.
    2. Possibility to send a specific file to a certain bookstore and override the platform’s default choice for this bookstore.


This document explains all of the improvements to assets management.



1. Files from former Alternates tab moved to EPUB tab


Files that used to be in the Alternates tab (EPUB, iBooks, MOBI) are now moved to the EPUB tab since they are all variations of the main EPUB file. As a matter of fact, these alternate files are sent using the standard EPUB’s ISBN to bookstores who request them. The Alternates tab has been removed from the interface.


Here are all the changes accompanied by a screenshot from the new assets management’s interface:




1.1 A new format must be created in order to be able to add files

Before adding any file to a tab, the format must have been created with an ISBN (or EAN / custom key). The “Files” section will only appear once the new format is saved.


1.2 Many variations of a same file may be added

Several files may now be uploaded to any digital format. It is possible to add new variations of a format and to replace existing ones using the buttons provided for this purpose (as highlighted by yellow boxes on the screenshot above).


1.3 Keeping the original file names

In order to make it easier to clearly distinguish each file, the original names given by the publisher (while uploading to the platform) are maintained and displayed.


1.4 File attribute detection

All the file attributes are now detected and displayed: EPUB 2.0 or EPUB 3.0, fixed layout or reflowable text, iBooks and MOBI.


1.5 “I don't want to associate a file at this moment” checkbox changed to “Start the release plan before uploading the file”

Enabling this option will initialize pre-ordering for the publication before any files have been uploaded, using the same rules as the former “I don't want to associate a file at this moment” checkbox.


MOBI tab

A MOBI file that is uploaded to the MOBI tab instead of the EPUB tab must have its own ISBN and will be sent to the bookstore network (pull retailers), not just Amazon.


Batch importations

Batch importation tools are also supported. File naming file conventions [hyperlien : http://help.cantook.net/support/solutions/articles/120404-importing-publications-in-batch] allow publishers who batch upload publications to override the default bookstore preferences.



2. Improvements to sending files to bookstores


Two improvements have also been made to deliveries to retailers who host files (Apple, Amazon, Kobo, etc.), also referred to as “external platforms.”


2.1 Formats and attributes preferences for each external platform

External platforms have been set up according to their preferences for receiving particular types of files and attributes. For instance, Apple prefers iBooks files but will take EPUB 3.0 if the iBooks format is unavailable, or EPUB 2.0 if EPUB 3.0 is unavailable. Preferences for external platforms may or may not include fixed layout files.


2.1.1 All bookstores connected to the platform through API who do not host files (now referred to in the new interface as “Bookstore network”), including retailers who sell to libraries, will receive the same default file. Cantook will choose the best option amongst available variations (see the “Store preference” column in screenshot below).



2.2 Overriding a bookstore’s preference to send another file

Publishers now clearly see which file is automatically sent to which external platform and may choose to override this preference with another file they consider more appropriate or with a customized file.


For instance, if there are both EPUB 3.0 and EPUB 2.0 files for a publication, a publisher could send the EPUB 2.0 file to Apple using the dropdown list under the “Your preference” column. The EPUB 2.0 file would then be sent despite the EPUB 3.0 format being prioritized in Apple’s preferences. It is also possible to not send any files to a retailer by selecting “Do not send any file” from the dropdown menu (see screenshot below).


A publisher can also override the platform’s choice for bookstores by selecting the name of the desired file in the "Your preference" dropdown at the "Bookstore network" line (see screenshot below).



Transfer


During the transfer to the new interface, all files from the Alternates tab will be moved to the EPUB tab and comply to the following rules:

  • in accordance with Apple’s preferences, the alternate iBooks file will be automatically sent to this bookstore only
  • in accordance with Amazon’s preferences, the alternate MOBI file will be automatically sent to this bookstore only
  • the alternate enhanced EPUB file will be sent to external platforms according to their individual preferences, but the preference will be automatically overridden in the following cases:
    • if present, the enhanced EPUB file will override the default file sent to Apple, as was the case before the transfer to the new assets management;
    • if the enhanced EPUB file was sent to Google and Kobo before the transfer to the new assets management, the override will apply to these bookstores as well;
  • the standard EPUB file will be sent to external platforms according to their individual preferences.


Advantages


The new assets management provides a series of new advantages:

  • improved overall clarity of what is being sent to each bookstore
  • improved display of file attributes (versions and layouts)
  • possibility to send customized files (variations) to specific bookstores
  • publishers will have more flexibility in choosing what to send to every bookstore for each publication.


Mostly, it presents a more versatile architecture that will fulfill asset-related challenges and issues to arise in the years to come. 


Conclusion


With these significant improvements, Cantook Hub now offers several new options to ensure every bookstore receives the most appropriate file according to its preferences. The master concept which defines file deliveries to external platforms will no longer be based on where the file has been uploaded (EPUB tab versus Alternates), but rather on both file attributes and formats, as determined by external platform preferences. The possibilities are countless.