Oodles of commercial ePub books…but not from Waterstones!

During 2008 the EPUB eBook format gained huge acceptance and we heard rumours touting that there would be 20,000 available EPUB titles by the end of the year. Waterstones were saying this prior to the release of the Sony Reader in the UK.

As we head into 2009, Waterstones still shows less than 7000 titles in their catalogue, when viewing all available eBook titles. However, I get the feeling that this will change quite soon.

A few days back BooksOnBoard made an announcement on WebWire that they now have 30,000 titles available for the iPhone. After doing a search on their site I found that almost 20,000 of those are in the EPUB format. Great news for ePub fans, but we need more. Still, BooksOnBoard was the first retailer to make commercial ePub formatted books available and their entire online eBook collection consists of almost 300,000 titles. Perhaps they will be the first to reach 100,000 ePub books!

No doubt other online retailers such as Waterstones will be soon following suit – will 2009 be the year of the EPUB format?

ePub books finally reach mass market status

New eBook Standard Now Available For Mass Market Audience was the title from yesterdays WebWire press release on the ePub book catalogue at BooksOnBoard.com. With almost 200 eBooks in the ePub format this is the first real source for mass market books to be released in the new eBook standard.

It’s a little unclear if the ePub versions have DRM restrictions, but as the site states;

DRM Adobe ebooks can be read only on Adobe Reader 7, Adobe Acrobat 7, or Adobe Digital Editions [...] We recommend Adobe Digital Editions for Adobe format eBooks, both pdf and ePub versions…

We must presume that they have DRM in place.

The market is still waiting for better ePub readers and until we get those it won’t matter how many ePub books they release. Let’s hope that the Sony Reader (PRS-505) receives its Digital Editions firmware update soon and that other dedicated readers, such as the Amazon Kindle and Cybook follow suit.

Yes, we still have a long way to go but it does look like we’re on the right track.