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Digital Reading Ecosystem Expands For Sony’s Reader


NEW YORK.- Further evidence of the broad support for its open approach to digital reading, Sony today announced relationships with a variety of traditional and digital publishers who provide content in industry standard formats to create a universe of reading material compatible with the Reader.

All of these sites will offer content in the EPUB format, the International Digital Publishing Forum’s (IDPF) XML-based standard format for reflowable digital books and publications. EPUB has gained acceptance among major trade book publishers with dozens of publishers already producing the majority of their eBooks using the standard. Sony recently announced that the company is transitioning its entire content library to the EPUB format, giving consumers the freedom to purchase or download free eBooks from the eBook Store by Sony and read them on any EPUB-compatible device.

“From the beginning, we have said that an open format means more choice for consumers,” said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s Digital Reading Business Division. “Now, working with other industry leaders, we can provide a device that is compatible with the widest selection of content available. Readers can shop around for what interests them rather than be locked into one store.”

Sony’s eBook Store already provides access to more than one million public domain Google Books in EPUB format and, starting today, Sony’s Library Finder application will go live. Library Finder offers visitors to the eBook Store by Sony easy access to their local library’s collection of eBooks. Thousands of libraries offer eBooks optimized for the Sony Reader, and visitors can now find these libraries by typing their zip code into the Library Finder. Through the selected library’s download website, visitors can check out eBooks with a valid library card, download them to a PC and transfer to their Reader.

Other sites offering EPUB content include:

• Independent Bookstores – More than 200 participating members of the American Booksellers Association—including stores such as Tattered Cover (Denver, CO) and Vroman’s Bookstore (Pasadena, CA)—will have the ability to sell e-content to consumers beginning this fall. The stores using ABA’s IndieCommerce platform will offer content in the EPUB format and protected by Adobe’s Content Server 4 (ACS4) digital rights management, which is compatible with Sony e-Reader products. In addition, plans are underway to make Sony’s e-Reader devices available for purchase from independent bookstores in time for this holiday season. ABA is a not-for-profit trade organization devoted to meeting the needs of its core members – independently owned bookstores with storefront locations – through education, information dissemination, business products and services, and advocacy.

• BooksOnBoard – BooksOnBoard, the largest independent eBook bookseller and member of both the ABA and IDPF, has been a staunch supporter of the EPUB standard through its founder Bob Livolsi. BooksOnBoard was the first eBook site to offer the EPUB standard to its burgeoning customer base and has sold more EPUB formatted books than any other online bookstore. BooksOnBoard believes that the EPUB standard significantly benefits the publisher, authors and most importantly the consumer.

• NetGalley – NetGalley is an innovative and easy-to-use online service and connection point for book publishers, reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers, bloggers and educators. NetGalley delivers digital galleys and promotional materials to professional readers and helps promote new and upcoming titles. Starting today, NetGalley will support the Reader with the ability to download a protected PDF file and this fall the company will offer digital galleys in EPUB format.

• Powell’s Books and – Powell’s Books is the largest independent bookseller in the world. Innovative since its inception in 1971, it was one of the first booksellers online (beginning in 1994), and one of the first to sell eBooks for reading devices (the Rocket eBook) in 1999. Powell’s offers EPUB content for a wide range of compatible devices, including the Sony line. Powell’s is an important player in the open access world of eBooks, where titles are provided by a wide range of publishers in a competitive retail environment, read on a range of devices, and downloaded and owned by millions of people around the world.


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