Post David Rothman’s article on Kobo’s tips on better ebook sales, Kobo is also stepping up to support better ebook design and production. Rakuten Kobo is sponsoring BookNet Canada’s inaugural Ebookcraft So You Think You Can Code competition. The challenge is “to transform our disastrous EPUB into a glorious, beautifully designed, platform-agnostic, fully accessible ebook.” Entries are being judged on considerations like “fine typography, provision of accessible content for all elements,” device agnosticism, “rich navigation,” and “ingenuity/creativity of design.”
Kobo’s contribution to the contest is a $2,500 cash prize, with other prizes including a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud ($900 value) and a three-month 25-titles-per-month subscription to FlightDeck ($120 value). Evidently Kobo is determined to stay in the game versus Amazon, even as far as fostering ebook creation. “Do you think you have the e-production skills to make the sleekest, most innovative ebook around? Do you want to put those skills in front of the industry’s leaders?” the sponsorship notice challenges.
Unfortunately, the competition has already closed for submissions, but “the winners will be showered with prizes (and nerd glory!) at the end of the ebookcraft conference on Thursday, March 31, 2016. After that, the source code for all submissions will be made publicly available.” Furthermore, the eligibility criteria invited submissions from the U.S. and UK as well as Canada – excluding Quebec, for some reason – so the finalists should represent a good broad field. More power to their ebooks.