Ebook Workflow Guide: Third-Party Production of Born-Accessible Ebooks

This simple resource discusses what you need to do when working with a third-party producer.

  • Subject(s):

    Ebook Production

  • Resource Type(s):

    Foundations and Rationale

  • Audience:


Working with a Third-Party Ebook Producer

Whether you send your books out for conversion to a third-party producer or conversion house, as many Canadian publishers do, or you convert the books in-house, the workflow you will follow to prepare books for accessibility features will not differ drastically. The guidelines presented in the “Ebook Workflow Guide: In-house Production of Born-Accessible Ebooks” still apply. However, instead of discussing accessibility features with your in-house team, you will need to discuss them with your conversion partner. The sample questions provided in the “Introduction to Third-party Production of Born-Accessible Ebooks” are a great starting point for this conversation.

Each company’s workflow requirements will be different: They may want you to map your InDesign paragraph styles to the appropriate HTML semantics or they may not. They may want you to provide a set of accessibility metadata or they may create it for you. They may offer to write image descriptions (for a fee) or they may not have the capacity for that at all. Having a conversation about accessibility is an important step in the creation of born-accessible ebooks.

Global Certified Accessible

After going through intensive training, some vendors are classified as Global Certified Accessible (GCA). Working with GCA vendors will definitely help ease the conversion process. Nevertheless, having an accessibility-focused conversation with your producer is still important, so both sides can be confident that their workflows align and the final product will be as accessible as possible.

Did you know?

Contact the APLN Librarian for a list of GCA-certified vendors!

Next Steps


Reviewing EPUBs for Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance of Completed Ebooks

Once your ebook has been created, it is time to do a quality assurance check for accessibility. This resource contains both simplified and advanced checklists to help you review your ebooks.

Subject(s): Ebook Production
Resource Type(s): Checklist

External Links to More Information

Communicating with Conversion Houses & Ebook Producers

This page contains a checklist of items to help ensure a book is marked up following accessibility guidelines and best practices. It also includes a listing of questions listed by topic to help publishers assess a conversion house’s knowledge of accessibility and what they can implement.

Want to discuss this resource?