Hachette Book Group standardizes on Open epub Format

Today Hachette Book Group announced that it will no longer be delivering eBook content to distribution channels in proprietary file formats, becoming the first major publisher to announce adoption of the IDPF epub standard. This move, coming hard on the heels of formal approval of the core standard just weeks ago, underlines the costs and hassles publishers have faced dealing with a plethora of incompatible proprietary eBook file formats, and many other publishers are expected to follow suit. Additional coverage from The Book Standard and Publishers Weekly.
The increasing mainstream adoption of digital publishing and eBooks – noted in today’s Telegraph – stands to be significantly accelerated by convergence to open interoperable standards for eBooks. Hachette’s move also signals the breadth of support for open standards: this is not one or a few companies getting together to dictate a solution. The IDPF’s nearly 100 members include publishers, technology vendors, trade and textbook publishers, educational institutions, libraries and other governmental bodies, and this group unanimously approved the new epub standards earlier this month. The point is not to advantage any single vendor or publisher, but that the industry as a whole can only grow if we create an open, healthy ecosystem that inspires confidence on the part of publisher and consumers. There’s more work to do – DRM is still a tough nut – but with epub providing the open standard complement to PDF for reflow-centric text-based content, we are well on our way.