We have some rather breaking news with online giant Amazon and their highly successful line of Kindle e-readers. It seems many publishers have been told by the company that in the near-future, they should be submitting their books to Amazon in EPUB format and not exclusively MOBI. They also went on to let us know that Amazon was indeed planning something BIG and that soon the Kindle ereader will have the full capability to read ePub books. This news has been confirmed by at least 4 publishing companies we have spoken with during the last few days.
The Amazon Kindle, for the last six years and more, has exclusively sold books on its Amazon Bookstore in the Mobi format. They also devised applications for major platforms such as Android, iOS, PC, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7 for reading their books. Sometimes they even offered Amazon promo codes to get big discounts on specific titles. This insured that if you had purchased a Amazon Kindle e-reader or ebooks from their store, you were locked into the Amazon ecosystem.
Four publishers in the last week have confirmed that Amazon has indeed told them they now have an option to submit eBooks to be listed in the Amazon store in ePub format. Two of the companies we spoke with are very big in the publishing world and spoke to us regarding this new development during an interview in the last few days on a totally different subject. With many companies all telling us the same thing off the record it is confirmed that the Amazon is moving in this direction.
It would make sense that Amazon will continue to distribute books still in MOBI format since they developed the technology and so much of its online infrastructure is based around it. MOBI/AZW is known to have similarities with the ePub data structure and has most of the code embedded into its format. The ePub format is more or less the industry standard for ebook formats and almost every other online ebook store aside from Amazon sells their books in that format. With Amazon embracing ePub technology it further substantiates that ePub is by far the most popular format to read ebooks.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.