When you export to ePub, there's an option to "preserve local
overrides." If you make sure that's checked, it should preserve your
italics on export.
That said, it would be better to create a character style just for
italics, and apply that to all italics in the book. (And other character
styles for other styling elements such as bold, superscript, etc.)
That way, you'd be avoiding local overrides.
Okay, off to Google "Character Style". Thanks!
Okay, so I'm still kind of confused. I can set up character and paragraph styles but I'm still using a FONT to delineate ITALICS. I need to tell the ePUB converter that font1.regular should be styled without any special styling, and that font1.italic should be in italics. Because there is no italic setting in InDesign, I still don't know how to make there automatically be italics in the ePUB except to create an entirely different file and manually convert every single instance of italics to italics in XML in a text editor. This seems mindbogglingly tedious. Is my question making sense?
Did you set up your Character Style including export tags?