ePub The Standard For Apple iPad (Updated – Thurs 28th Jan)

What will Apple’s iPad mean for self-publishers? Well, it’s early to over-speculate and second-guess publishers, particularly e-publishers and independent and small presses. Apple have spent the past few weeks getting major New York publishing houses on-board. Indeed, rumors suggest some of those deals were only signed off in the past few days. We have not heard all the responses and opinions and the first iPad devices will not ship to customers until March this year. One thing that is clear is Apple’s decision to support epub, an open standard format of e-book I believe should ultimately become the global standard for the sales and distribution of e-books. Having multiple formats for e-books creates a ghetto mentality from manufacturers in the e-book business, and if anything, will stifle the development of e-books universally.
Yes, the Kindle format has also been good for self-published authors, but in many ways though it has had a significant head-start on Apple’s iPad, you get the feeling sometimes it’s more about Kindle devices sold for Amazon than Kindle books. Kind of like shooting ducks in a barrel. That’s why I believe the development of e-books needs to be lead by format rather than device.

In many ways, though Apple have a lot of catching up to do, the iPad may prove in the longer term to be the better friend to the self-published author.

This as an update from the Adobe Blog on Apple’s iPad using ePub:

“It looks like Apple is continuing to impose restrictions on their devices that limit both content publishers and consumers. Unlike many other ebook readers using the ePub file format, consumers will not be able to access ePub content with Apple’s DRM technology on devices made by other manufacturers. And without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web.”

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