Nook to Support EPUB3 in Coming Months, Year?

Kashif Zafar, head of ebook sales, Nook. Photo credit: Nicole Fonovich

Barnes & Noble may be following Kobo in moving toward supporting the EPUB3 standard for its Nook ebooks.

“We’re very supportive of open industry formats,” said Kashif Zafar, head of ebook sales at Nook at the Children’s Publishing Goes Digital conference at Digital Book World. “We are in line to make sure migration happens successfully and effectively in the coming months and year. When the Nook Color came out we wanted to lead the way with picture book formats. Nook is very supportive of open industry formats now that EPUB3 is maturing.”

While Zafar didn’t come out and say that Nook would support EPUB3 any time soon, but his statement suggested that Nook would transition to supporting it and eventually abandon the Nook Kids format.

Despite trouble getting mass adoption by the book publishing industry and ebook retailers, EPUB3 seems to be gaining momentum. In Oct., the International Digital Publishing Forum, the standards organization that has defined the scope of EPUB3, announced a new testing tool for it. In Nov., Hachette announced that it was committed to the EPUB3 format and launched a program to publish using the format. In Dec., Kobo said that it would be supporting EPUB3 fully by the third-quarter of 2013, making it the first major ebook retail platform to do so. And later in Dec., an Israeli book production firm, announced that it had developed the first Android e-reading app that fully supported EPUB3.

Barnes & Noble has not yet responded to request for comment.


More Tidbits From Nook Presentation

According to Nook research:

— 70% of parents who own a Nook are open to kids reading ebooks and 50% think kids prefer to read in print.

— Teen books account for over half of kids’ & teen category sales at Nook.

— Nook Kids estimates it has 60%-to-70% market share in kids illustrated ebooks.


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