Acting to see as many backlist ebooks accessible as possible
In the context of the European Accessibility Act publishers are producing more and more accessible ebooks. But many titles were produced before and are still on sale, this is what we call the backlist and it is particularly important because the sales generated by those books can be very low but they remain on sale thanks to the low cost maintenance of digital warehouses. Making backlists accessible can quickly become expensive and challenging when millions of ebooks are concerned.
ABELAB is an 18-month research and development project, starting in January 2023 and ending in June 2024. It is funded by Creative Europe and three partners: The European Digital Reading Laboratory (EDRLab), Fondazione Libri Italiani Accessibili (LIA) and the national library of the Netherlands (KB).
The main objective is to provide guidelines to European publishers for boosting the conversion of their currently on sale ebooks into accessible formats.
Project partners are experts in various fields: technology for EDRLab, accessibility for Fondazione LIA and public services for the National Library of the Netherlands. Their knowledge and experience of different markets and contexts (France, Italy and the Netherlands and more generally European) will also be useful for the success of the project.
All information on the project activities and outcomes is available on the abelab webpage.
ABELab related articles
- ABELab press release: EU ebooks titles analysis and accessibility gaps: ABELab report released (November 20, 2023 · 2 min)
EAA: What’s to be fixed in ebooks of the backlist? EDRlab News.
3.5 millions of ebooks in the European backlist EDRlab News.
How many ebooks in Europe need an accessible life and how to make it happen? International Publishers Association Blog
- DPUB Summit 2023 session video: Digging into the backlist issue: ABE Lab a research and developement project.