Science & Tech

Amazon introduces Kindle EPUB support in the most ‘Amazon’ way possible

When you’ve downloaded an e-book up to now decade, it’s doubtless it was an EPUB file. Effectively, except you got it from Amazon in fact.

For years now, the corporate has used its proprietary AZW format for ebooks — however now it’s opening up its doorways. Kinda. A current replace of its Ship To Kindle documentation (noticed first by Good E-Reader) revealed that Amazon’s ereaders will help EPUB recordsdata by “late 2022.”

Since its launch in 2007, EPUB has been poised to develop into the e-book format file of selection, with The Guide Trade Examine Group (BISG) — a US commerce group that goals to streamline publishing — declaring EPUB must be the sector’s commonplace.

In fact, Amazon — being Amazon — ignored this.

The web retailer has usually used the aforementioned AZW format, its personal model of MOBI. It is a file system created by an organization referred to as Mobipocket, which Amazon bought again in 2005.

Now you will have a urgent query at this level: why the hell does the Amazon Kindle lastly providing EPUB help matter?

Effectively, it’s all about shopper selection and freedom.

There are many different locations you should buy ebooks past the Kindle retailer. This not solely consists of different giant retailers like Kobo and Barnes & Noble, but in addition buying them instantly from publishers themselves. The latter specifically is essential as a result of, as The Verge identified, authors could get a much bigger reduce from these transactions.

Up till now, if you happen to wished to get a third-party e-book on an Amazon ereader, you doubtless needed to convert it utilizing a third-party piece of software program like Calibre, earlier than utilizing the Ship to Kindle perform to get it onto your system.

Whereas Calibre is an excellent software, it’s a step too far for most individuals. For instance, I can’t think about my dad and mom ever downloading the software program and utilizing it to transform an e-book they purchased elsewhere.

Amazon’s upcoming help of EPUB recordsdata means this step is now not wanted.

Technically, you need to be capable to obtain an e-book within the common format and simply ship it to your Kindle, all with out the necessity for third-party conversion.

Good, proper? Effectively, sure — but in addition no.

Amazon being Amazon

Whereas the corporate has made it simpler to place different firm’s ebooks on Kindle units, it’s not any simpler to do the reverse.

Let me clarify. Reasonably than supporting native EPUB recordsdata, Amazon is as a substitute changing them to KF8 (or AZW3).

What this implies is that if sooner or later you determine to flee Amazon’s walled backyard, it’s going to be robust (though not unimaginable) to get all of your ebooks off the Kindle and onto one other ereader.

However, in fact, that’s what the corporate desires.

The Kindle is a well-liked system as a result of it makes the digital studying expertise so seamless. Options like Whispersync (the place you’ll be able to transfer easily between a digital novel and an audio one), the benefit of buying on the Kindle Retailer, and having the ability to learn throughout a number of units make the service best for most individuals.

Opening up EPUB ‘support’ on this most Amazon of the way is merely sating the small proportion of Kindle energy customers who wish to get their books from elsewhere. Successfully, Bezos’ behemoth is sliding open the door a crack to let some air in, however not letting any out.

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