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Old 08-10-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
Rolando
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Will Kindle get ePub support?

Has anybody heard any scuttlebutt about Kindle software being upgraded to support ePub? I don't see the downside to Amazon, since people are already converting ePub to mobi. It would just be nice not to have to deal with the conversion process.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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Nope, and I doubt it will happen. Amazon wants to keep things as simple as possible. They also want to sell books, and they don't sell epub.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:19 PM   #3
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Technical vendor lock-in is a popular way to generate monopolies without getting hit by anti-trust.

It would be a lot better if the entire industry converged on a single standard, so that the publication quality of eBooks was heightened.

But in a narrowminded context it is easy for companies to focus on:

1. As large margin per sale per customer as possible (even when the customer base potential is enormous)

2. A large market share compared to the competition as possible (even when the competition isn't doing too well)

The sales target for Amazon should be about 1 billion books sold every week, but I guess they are pretty happy with their crappy sales figures they have today :-P
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:53 PM   #4
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I wish Amazon *would* add epub support. Specifically Nook epub support.

Why? Because while Amazon fully honors its warranty on the Kindles regardless of whether the requestor is the 'original owner', B&N does NOT!

Further, Amazon, if the 1-year warranty has expired, the new owner can STILL get the Kindle (2) repaired for a $135 fee. B&N? Yep, you guessed it - NOT!

So I've got this broken Nook-which if the original owner had not sold it to me-would still be under warranty. But it's NOT!

Yes... Please Jeff Bezos, I beg you! Create epub support on the Kindle and drive B&N out of business! Thrust a stake through its vampire heart, cut off its head, sew communion wafers into its mouth and leave the rotting corpse to turn to ashes with the rising of the sun!

Derek Benner
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
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It would be a lot better if the entire industry converged on a single standard, so that the publication quality of eBooks was heightened.
I don’t quite see how those two things are connected.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:34 PM   #6
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I just don't see the advantage for Amazon in supporting ePub. First they'd have to update the software, and test the heck out of it. I'm sure that's not trivial or cheap.

Also, what would Amazon gain? They already support non-DRM ePub through conversion, and it works really well as far as I can see. To support DRM ePub would mean at the very least paying Adobe to use ADE, and giving up some control over the Kindle. I just don't see that happening. Adding several other DRM schemes so customers could shop at other stores would be both a support nightmare and self-defeating.

I would like to see them add support for Overdrive's DRM. That would at least allow mobi files and PDFs to be borrowed from the library without any hassle. But, I just don't see ePub coming to the Kindle, though I wouldn't mind being wrong.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I don’t quite see how those two things are connected.
In a multiformat world you tend to target the lowest common denominator approach, rather than utilizing the full potential of the format and media. The publication path today might look something like this:

A high quality pipeline:

Frame Maker -> pdf or print.

Path with tagged and extracted content:

Frame Maker -> DocBook -> ePub, HTML and Mobi

The downgrade happens because Frame Maker has more features than the other formats, but lacking in other areas. At the same time the material is written for a different media. DocBook although good, downgrades the material even further, then you have a last conversion step where you'd probably utilize XSL and just try to find simmilarities with all 3 to ease conversion and maintenance.

(And that's a really good multiformat route, a lot of commercial mulitiformat releases are much much worse).

Compare for example, Three men in a boat, with your average commercial epub:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48377

It just feels like a higher quality publication and getting it done requires tuning the book to ePUB.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:52 PM   #8
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I would like to see them add support for Overdrive's DRM. That would at least allow mobi files and PDFs to be borrowed from the library without any hassle. But, I just don't see ePub coming to the Kindle, though I wouldn't mind being wrong.
Sadly my library isn't adding any more mobi. Only ePub. I don't know if that's widely true, though.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:04 PM   #9
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More on the topic of a ePUB support benefits

This is from the Adobe FAQ:

Converting InDesign documents for Kindle compatibility:
  1. Export InDesign document to EPUB
  2. Convert EPUB to alternative MOBI format
  3. Preview on Kindle device (optional)
  4. Upload to Amazon store

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/digitalp...ntokindle.html


Note, the optional part of the recommendation. How would actually looking at a book prior to publication potentially impact the quality?

I consider this a a huge problem with eBooks ... a lot of them don't really have a publisher like a paper book would have ... just a dump computer script and Amazon just makes it worse by sticking to their own format.

They should do like Sony did and drop their own format and go full speed with EPub.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I consider this a a huge problem with eBooks ... a lot of them don't really have a publisher like a paper book would have ... just a dump computer script and Amazon just makes it worse by sticking to their own format.

They should do like Sony did and drop their own format and go full speed with EPub.
I don't follow your logic. How does Amazon not supporting ePub make matters worse as far as eBooks not having real publishers?

Converting to ePub at this point would be an enormous and costly undertaking for Amazon. There will be 700,000 ebooks in Amazon's catalog very soon. That's a huge number of ebooks that would need to be converted and proofed. And if they don't do this conversion they'd have to sell and support two formats.

I just don't see ePub making any sense for Amazon.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:30 PM   #11
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I don't follow your logic. How does Amazon not supporting ePub make matters worse as far as eBooks not having real publishers?

Converting to ePub at this point would be an enormous and costly undertaking for Amazon. There will be 700,000 ebooks in Amazon's catalog very soon. That's a huge number of ebooks that would need to be converted and proofed. And if they don't do this conversion they'd have to sell and support two formats.

I just don't see ePub making any sense for Amazon.
1. EPub is a more advanced format, so there's no degredation that I'm aware of going from mobi to EPub. At least all my mobipocket books converted fine.

2. Converting 700 000 books would take Amazon a few hours. Their E2C Elastic Compute Cloud (Which they offer as a product) could easily convert more than 30 million books every day. (Even as a private individual you can hire 1000 powerfull servers from them for a few hours without prior notice if you feel like it ... they DO have the computing power to do this easily).

3. A lot of the books are not proofread by anyone, just dumped into the Amazon store by publishers. When customers complain about missing pages and unreadable books, responsibility is shifted to the publisher. Amazon is not a publisher, they take 30% or something for providing a shopping cart and alot of market power. And this is my whole point, someone writes the books in the first place and if that's EPub then all books would have been of a higher quality.

Last edited by tovare; 08-10-2010 at 08:35 PM. Reason: typo dey->they
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:46 PM   #12
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I just don't see the advantage for Amazon in supporting ePub. First they'd have to update the software, and test the heck out of it. I'm sure that's not trivial or cheap.

Also, what would Amazon gain? They already support non-DRM ePub through conversion, and it works really well as far as I can see. To support DRM ePub would mean at the very least paying Adobe to use ADE, and giving up some control over the Kindle. I just don't see that happening. Adding several other DRM schemes so customers could shop at other stores would be both a support nightmare and self-defeating.

I would like to see them add support for Overdrive's DRM. That would at least allow mobi files and PDFs to be borrowed from the library without any hassle. But, I just don't see ePub coming to the Kindle, though I wouldn't mind being wrong.
They would gain by helping to kill of Barnes & Noble. That alone is worth every bit of effort in adding epub support to the Kindle.

No, I'm not making a joke.

Barnes & Noble delenda est!

Derek
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:54 PM   #13
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I believe Amazon is doing the right thing in NOT supporting ePub at this point. Their customer experience is simplicity. Adding a second format -- pdf or ePub -- complicates what is now a seamless and hassle-free purchase and reading experience.

I would like Amazon to figure out a deal with Overdrive to distribute Kindle DRM books through libraries.

If the world ends up with two formats, well, then, there it is. But there is no reason for Amazon to bother distributing more than one.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by delphidb96 View Post
I wish Amazon *would* add epub support. Specifically Nook epub support.

Why? Because while Amazon fully honors its warranty on the Kindles regardless of whether the requestor is the 'original owner', B&N does NOT!

Further, Amazon, if the 1-year warranty has expired, the new owner can STILL get the Kindle (2) repaired for a $135 fee. B&N? Yep, you guessed it - NOT!

So I've got this broken Nook-which if the original owner had not sold it to me-would still be under warranty. But it's NOT!

Yes... Please Jeff Bezos, I beg you! Create epub support on the Kindle and drive B&N out of business! Thrust a stake through its vampire heart, cut off its head, sew communion wafers into its mouth and leave the rotting corpse to turn to ashes with the rising of the sun!

Derek Benner
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:04 PM   #15
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If mobi was as good as ePub that'd be all fine and dandy, but ePub is better, which is a problem.
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