2

towerofbabel Ficbot—proud owner of an Asus, an eBookwise and other gimzos with clashing e-book formats in use—isn’t the only one with opinions on the eBabel mess.

The Association of American Publishers took a helpful step with an open letter to the IDPFsupporting ePub as a distribution format.

“Many publishers already want to begin a transition process toward the use of the EPUB file format and hope that such a transition can be completed by October 2008,” said the letter signed by Ed McCoyd the association’s director of digital policy.

ePub’s current champ among the majors: Hachette, which is already using ePub for distribution. May this follow at the consumer level! Meanwhile, over in the U.K.,  HarperCollins (relevant link) and Penguin (link) will soon start using ePub as a consumer format in September.

What’s missing: from the AAP note: A focus on ePub as a consumer format. But I suspect that’ll come in time. Meanwhile, yes, while it’s nice to suggest that the IDPF work out quality standards for conversion into proprietary formats from ePub, that’s hardly the way to make e-books as easy to use as audio CDs.

Another caveat: AAP say that “for books that do not have reflowable text, publishers may still send another proprietary file format, most likely a PDF, in order to preserve pagination and layout.”

 
2