Hachette Hoping to Change Ebook Ecosystem With EPUB3 Program

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Hachette is hoping to change the standards of ebooks and e-reading platforms by adopting the EPUB3 ebook standard for all its ebooks by March 2013.

“We announced our program as a means to push adoption in the supply chain,” said a Hachette spokesperson. “The intent is to show our partners we are committed to the format.”

Hachette recently announced that it would publish a handful of its novels in the EPUB3 ebook format this winter and would publish all its novels going forward in the format come March 2013. The EPUB3 format is not currently fully supported by any major e-reading platform, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which are thought to have close to 90% ebook market share in the U.S. when combined. Apple, which is thought to be the third-largest ebook seller in the U.S., does support some but not all of EPUB3.

So, will Hachette books work on these platforms come March 2013?

“We will be working with our partners over the next several months to address this challenge,” said the spokesperson. “Our position is that EPUB3 will be the primary format for these books. However, each of these books already exists and is available for sale in the market. If a retailer is able to support and sell the EPUB3 version, they can replace the existing one with the EPUB3 version.”

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