A few days back one of the MobileRead forum members contacted Fictionwise and asked when they will start selling ePub formatted books. As they noted in the post, BooksonBoard are currently the only online bookstore that are selling commercial ePub books.
UPDATE: We should not forget that O’Reilly have a small selection of titles that come as an eBook bundle, included in that bundle are books in the ePub format.
Fictionwise replied by stating that “We are currently making our plans for epub compliance over the coming months.”
However, it seems that one of the biggest hurdles for them is how to encrypt their titles, “each vendor is currently using their own proprietary encryption scheme for epub.” DRM isn’t going to go away anytime soon so it’s understandable that they need to work out these issues before they can move forward.
An interesting point they made was that there are still very few publisher supporting ePub at this time, yes more will follow suit, but until they do the number of available titles will be limited.
Hot on the heels of Penguin’s announcement, Harper Collins UK now have plans to release their titles in both print and eBook format this coming September. Thanks to Graeme Neil’s article over at theBookseller.com for uncovering this excellent piece of news.
According to his article, Victoria Barnsley, HC UK C.E.O., says that HC is also looking in to clearing the rights to release their 2,500 title back catalogue, ready for this autumn.
If you’ve any doubts that EPUB will not become the eBook standard then you should take note of these movements within the industry – EPUB is certainly getting some influential backing. It looks to me that the book [and music] industry are finally listening to their customers? Let’s hope the trend continues!
It’s great that publishers are moving over to the EPUB format but perhaps we can also help it along a little more. Why not start converting public domain titles to this eBook format? This will certainly encourage reader applications to be written, and the more eReaders there are, the more people will want EPUB eBooks!
I’m working toward creating conversion scripts to create EPUB files myself, which I’ll talk more about in the future.
Keep your eyes on epubBooks.com as I’ll be trying to bring together more resources and tutorials to help you in creating EPUB documents.