Archive for March, 2009

500,000 free Google Books available for Sony Reader – in EPUB!

The news is out that Sony will be offering free public domain eBooks from their only bookstore, from Google Books (Forbes, WSJ, NYT). Google already offers free online viewing and PDF downloads of the public domain books they’ve scanned: the real news here is that these ebooks (over 500,000 of them) will be made available as EPUB downloads. This means they will be able to reflow and adapt to different size screens. On the Sony Reader and EBL software, it’s Adobe Reader Mobile technology that implements the EPUB rendering, so these eBooks will be fully compatible with the many other devices and smartphone applications that are also planning to integrate Adobe’s technology, as well as with Adobe Digital Editions. This marks a major milestone in the rapid adoption fo EPUB as the standard format for reflow-centric publications, and a further step towards recognition that with PDF for paginated documents, and EPUB for reflow-centric documents, the industry is ready to move on from the “Tower of eBabel” of proprietary eBook formats that have plagued publishers and impeded consumer adoption.

Adobe Buzzword – now with EPUB support

I’m jazzed that Adobe Buzzword, the cloud-based document editor that’s part of our free Acrobat.com service, now supports EPUB export. For more on this and all the other new features check out the team’s What’s New document (open access – no Acrobat.com account required).
A big shout out to Aspose, who develops the file import/export filters used by Buzzword. They did the work to add EPUB export to their commercial engine, which you can license to embed in your own server or client application.
Some folks are wondering how best to utilize the EPUB export. If you post EPUBs as web links or attach to emails, compatible software such as Adobe Digital Editions that registers for the .epub extension / MIME type enable users to directly open these files. If you have a Sony Reader model 505 or 700, you have native EPUB support, and can directly transfer EPUB (and PDF) documents to your device from Sony’s EBL software or Adobe Digital Editions. In the coming months, many device and smartphone applications will be coming onto the market that support EPUB via the new Adobe Reader Mobile SDK. Depending on the device, email and/or browser support for EPUB may be available.
Of course if you are using Buzzword to create a commercial eBook, you probably are already aware that EPUB has quickly become the preferred format for submission to aggregators and distributors, and is fully supported, along with PDF, by Adobe Content Server 4, and all of our Content Server solution providers.