The long term viability of the EPUB format is in serious doubt and this has prompted Russia’s largest e-book company to do something about it. LitRes has developed the “.fb3” format and will be marketing it later this year.
The .fb3 format is an open XML-based ebook format, also called FictionBook and is very popular in Russia. The previous version of this format uses .fb2 as its file extension.
In 2017, investment in the project could reach up to 50 million rubles and the company said the main selling points are the increased market demand for high-quality e-books will allow publishers to implement complex layout, tables, lists and images. In addition, LitRes will develop infrastructure that will allow publishers to embed the release of an electronic version in the production process of the printed book with the preservation of the original layout, regardless of the device used for reading.
I think Litres is in the perfect position to make this new e-book format work. The company controls over 56% of all e-book sales in Russia and its closest competitor, Google Play, only has a paltry 12% market share.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.