That’s right, Penguin.co.uk have setup a webpage on their site saying that, “by the end of this year we’ll have thousands of titles available in the shiny new ePub format” – Shiny new ePub format!
Okay, so this isn’t the full launch, just an ‘eBook Taster’ but still, they have six taster titles to download and try out.
God’s Own Country by Ross Raisin
The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
The Stories of English by David Crystal
King Dork by Frank Portman
King of Swords by Nick Stone
Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble
Just pop along to the Penguin.co.uk eBook Taster page and give those ePub books a test drive.
I did this myself and I have to say they look great. The only exception is the paragraph indents in one of the books are a little too large, indenting almost half way along the line.
One thing I do like about what Penguin have done, is that they have kept the original page numbers in the right hand margin. For me this is a great idea as it will help in more academic circles and will be good for referencing any particular page.
Penguin give no exact date but do say the doors will open in a few weeks.
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.
It seems like Penguin UK will lead the way in advancing the .epub book format, reports theBookseller.com – this is great news for ePub!
Penguin UK plans to simultaneously release all their new titles in ePub along with the print edition starting in September, although the price of digital and print will be the same. Among the first releases will be the classic, The Three Musketeers by Dumas and Zoe Heller’s new novel, The Believers.
Another point noted in the article is that Penguin UK are currently working on releasing their 5,000 strong back list during this year and next — more great new for eBooks!
This article was brought to my attention via the TeleRead blog. David Rothman’s article makes some interesting points, in particular he wonders what kind of DRM will be applied – if any – and will Penguin Group USA follow suit any time soon.