Amazon Kindle Support

Over the last few years the focus of epubBooks has been to provide very high quality EPUB ebooks from many of the great classic authors such as Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Author Conan Doyle and Beatrix Potter, and for all for free, but up until now we’ve not supported the Amazon Kindle.

In truth, I’d always hoped that Amazon would start supporting the EPUB format and allow their Kindle users to upload all our titles directly to their eReaders. Although there have been rumours, nothing ever came of them and I’m not honestly expecting that to change in the next few years. Therefore, we’ve decided to bite the bullet and start providing ebooks in both the EPUB and Kindle MOBI formats. [Read more…]

New EPUB3 eBook Editions

A couple of months back I set to work on finishing the ground up rewrite of my PG eText to EPUB app and this week I reached a stage where I’m happy enough with the results to start releasing new editions of all the titles currently on epubBooks, along with starting to upload new ebooks.

The new pipeline I’m using (TXT > DocBook > EPUB) means that I can utilise the DocBook XSL project, and thus epubBooks now delivers all ebooks as EPUB3. The DocbookXSL stylesheets lack some of the more interesting EPUB3 features to allow them to be compatible with EPUB2 eReaders, which for the moment is good for everyone. [Read more…]

EPUB3 Books & eReaders

Even though the specification for EPUB v3.0 was finalised last October, we’ve yet to see any production ready EPUB3 books out in the wild. The likely reason for this is that EPUB3 compatible eReaders have only come on the scene recently and without an eReader, there’s no way to test how the ebooks look – a bit of a catch-22.

Version 3.0 ebooks may seem non-existent at the moment but this will no doubt change before the end of the year, so now is a really good time to look at how we’re going to transform our Masters to EPUB3 – you do have your books in a master format right?

This last week I decided to convert one of the titles from epubBooks.com to EPUB3 and set to work on Gulliver’s Travels (download link below). I’ve only found two ways to view my newly generated EPUB3 ebook; Azardi and iBooks. [Read more…]

Amazon Kindle/EPUB Rumour…true?

Rumours are abound right now that Amazon is on the verge of providing support for EPUB ebooks on their Kindle eReader. What’s getting peoples tongues wagging is a post from an eReader blog* stating that Amazon is telling publishers to start providing them with titles in the EPUB format.

As vague as the details are from that post, there is some substance in the concept that Amazon are preparing to add EPUB support.

Back in April Amazon announced the introduction of their new Library Lending Program in co-operation with OverDrive, who [currently at least] deliver their ebook titles as EPUB files. The OverDrive blog also states, “[y]our existing collection of downloadable eBooks will be available to Kindle customers”. We also know that the Kindle Previewer software (for ebook developers) will import EPUB files, which internally converts them to MOBI.

Liz Castro, well-known ebook developer and author of EPUB: Straight to the Point, has her own thoughts on how the Kindle will support EPUB, believing that Amazon will just convert titles to their proprietary MOBI format for use on the older Kindles.

In my opinion, Amazon can do better than just convert the EPUB’s. [Read more…]

EPUB3 First Public Draft Released

After many months of hard work, the EPUB Working Group has released the first Public Draft of the new EPUB® 3 specifications for review. This is a substantial update on the current spec and has core changes that include;

  • HTML5 support
  • Rich Media and Interactivity
  • Layout Improvements
  • Global Languages
  • Accessibility Improvements

EPUB is a XML and Web Standards based delivery format for digital books and publications allowing content to be used on many Reading Systems, which include Apple iOS, Android, Desktop computers and dedicated eReaders.

The new EPUB3 is a major revision to the current standard and with a move to HTML5 based content, now provides support for key emerging technologies including video, audio, scripting, interactivity, styling and layout enhancements, vertical writing, improved accessibility and MathML support.

The WG has also made big improvements on how the EPUB 3 spec is structured, now providing 5 documents; EPUB 3 Overview, Publications 3.0, Content Documents 3.0, Open Container Format 3.0 and Media Overlays 3.0. You will also find an, EPUB 3 Changes from EPUB 2.0.1 document, which should help everyone better understand the changes made from the old spec.

It must be noted that this is just the first public draft and the EPUB WG are now open for both IDPF members and general public to comment on.

[Read more…]