New eBook Standard Now Available For Mass Market Audience
At last, eBooks have a standard-based format and BooksOnBoard (www.BooksOnBoard.com) is the first to offer it for mass market titles. This week, BooksOnBoard, the premier eBook and downloadable audio book shop, unveiled its rapidly growing selection of eBooks built on the EPUB standard.
“Ebook readers are voracious!” according to bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt, whose newest novel, To Taste Temptation, is currently being offered in Adobe EPUB format utilizing Adobe Digital Editions from BooksOnBoard. “With the release of each of my books, I’ve heard from more and more readers wanting to know when and where they can buy the book in ebook format. The ebook market is obviously growing in leaps and bounds.”
Bestselling authors with select titles now available in the new Adobe EPUB based format include - in addition to Elizabeth Hoyt - James Patterson, Jimmy Buffett, David Sedaris, Stephenie Meyer, David Baldacci, Tom Rob Smith, Jane Porter, Susan Crandall, Carol Higgins Clark, Deborah Bedford.
Industry analysts and authors predict accelerating market adoption of eBooks, driven in part by advances in technology and a much broader selection of titles. The last 24 months have seen as much as a doubling of eBook downloads.
The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) maintains industry standards for text-based digital reflowable books and publications and developed the EPUB standard. EPUB is an XML-based file format designed to reflow according to screen size. IDPF standards are non-proprietary and open standards intended to benefit the consumer, publishers and companies along the Digital Supply Chain.
“We are excited the consumer now has the option to purchase and enjoy an EPUB version of a title,” states Michael Smith, Executive Director of IDPF. “With BooksOnBoard now offering EPUB versions this completes an EPUB circle. It begins with the publishers creating EPUB files, software ability to render and enable EPUB with benefits, retailers bringing EPUB to the consumer and ultimately the consumer enjoying an eBook, which reflows according to their screen size and text preferences.”
BooksOnBoard is the first retailer to offer EPUB standard-based mass market eBooks. These are in the Adobe EPUB format, which is rendered through Adobe Digital Editions. The new EPUB standard-based titles are distributed by OverDrive, the leading digital media services company for libraries, schools, publishers, and retailers.
“OverDrive is delighted to support BooksOnBoard, one of the leading innovators in the digital media space,” says David Burleigh, OverDrive Director of Marketing. “We expect the new industry standard EPUB to become the dominant eBook reading format and congratulate BooksOnBoard for being among the first to offer it.”
Currently, eBook readers have many formats from which to choose. This means there is no guarantee that a particular title will be available for a certain format. eBook readers and industry leaders have pushed hard for a shift to a universal standard which can be read on a variety of software.
“Chaucer groupies may never cuddle up to ebooks. But my science fiction fans have early-adopted like Jawas on a lost ’droid,” says Robert Buettner, bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Jason Wander series. “I have gotten fan wishmail lobbying for more and favorite ebook formats. Evidently, wish granted.”
EPUB standard-based eBooks incorporate well-developed standards that provide for the important needs of both readers and publishers: open standards, permanence, accessibility, reflowability, and high typographic quality. Other features that have created a stir in the electronic publishing industry include the ability to embed images, objects and Flash multimedia files, portending things to come.
“Readers of eBooks will be the ultimate winners,” according to Bob LiVolsi, CEO of BooksOnBoard. “This shift to EPUB ensures that more titles will be available to be read on a variety of software. For now, eBook readers will need to download the free Adobe Digital Editions software, which renders EPUB on screen. Other formats will be able to render the EPUB standard in the near future, as will some dedicated e-ink readers with new firmware releases. EPUB makes eBooks more accessible to everyone.”
LiVolsi adds, “It is important to remember that this is a step forward. While a significant one, more needs to be done by the industry to accomplish ultimate standardization for our customers. We are very protective of our customers and their digital reading needs. We are working closely with Adobe, MobiPocket, and OverDrive – all significant contributors towards standardization.”
BooksOnBoard (www.booksonboard.com) is an online retailer of eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, and Cybook ebook readers. Known for strong customer support, free online tutorials, and aggressive prices, BooksOnBoard has the largest eBook catalog online with over 200,000 titles. BooksOnBoard is also one of the few eCommerce websites to offer an RSS feed. For the latest from BooksOnBoard, subscribe to the RSS feed: http://www.booksonboard.com/rss/bob_rss.xml
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