Every so often I get an urge to do a news item. Hope you like. It won’t be regular unless someone pays me. Sasha says, don’t hold your breath, don’t look at me…
Google announced today that they have launched ebookstores here in the UK, and in New Zealand and a number of Asian countries in the region as well.
They will be selling epub versions of ebooks, which is the open standard accepted widely by the publishing industry. Major publishers like Penguin, Random House, and Hachette have already signed up to provide content. For anyone who doesn’t know about the different formats, here’s a quick summary:
Amazon sells its own proprietary format (AZW), Mobi (also owned by Amazon) and PDF, possibly a couple of other smaller players. It doesn’t sell epub format.
Epub format is sold practically everywhere else – Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Waterstones, Google, most other distributors / sellers.
Apple iBook Store uses epub with DRM (digital Rights Management), but iPads, etc. can also handle PDF.
You can also download Kindle apps that work on Android or iPads, etc., so there’s a reasonable choice of reading systems, especially if you’re using a tablet or smartphone. Dedicated ebook readers like the Kindle are limited in what they can handle.