The ePUB format was developed as an industry-wide standard for eBooks. It is based on a variety of other technologies and standards, like Open eBook and XHTML 1.1, but its uniqueness is in how it combines these standards to provide a solid formatting foundation for eBooks of just about every shape and size.
The ePUB standard is maintained by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), a non-profit organization made up of technology and publishing companies. ".epub" is the file extension of an XML format for reflowable digital books and publications.
Why ePub Conversion
ePUB: An emerging de-facto standard
ePUB is the new industry standard format. It is gaining wide acceptance among major publishers and retailers across the world. As an open, standard format, it offers consumers interoperability between software and hardware for unencrypted reflowable digital books and other publications.
ePUB books can be read on Windows and MAC computers with ADE (Adobe Digital Edition) e-reader; on Linux computers with software like FBreader; on iPods with Stanza. These can be read natively on dedicated devices like the Sony Reader, the iPhone (using the Stanza application), the Hanlin eReader, the Cool-ER and the upcoming Plastic Logic device.
- Barnes and Noble recently unveiled a new e-book reader called Nook which is ePUB compatible. B &N is further converting its entire library to ePUB.
- Sony Electronics, which sells e-book devices under the Reader brand, plans to start selling digital books only in the ePUB format.
- Google has also announced that it would adopt the ePUB digital book format for its distribution of digital books.
- iRex is soon going to launch a new 3G enabled touchscreen eReader which is again based on ePUB standard.
ePUB compatibility is the single most important bit of news here, and the reason is simple. ePUB standard e-books can be read on any device or reading application that is compatible with ePUB, thus enabling readers to buy e-books or obtain free e-books from a wide range of online sources. The readers can easily create a library of books independent of whatever reader they may have - they are no longer locked into a format/reader. So, having your titles converted to ePUB seems a very sensible thing to do.