Sony Converts eBook Store to .epub, Joins Forces With OverDrive
Sony has announced that it will convert its eBook store to the industry-standard .epub format by the end of the year. "Adopting an industry-standard format and Adobe Content Server 4, a popular, cross-platform server software solution that copy-protects downloadable e-books, allows Sony to make its eBook store compatible with multiple devices and its Reader devices open to multiple sources for content," a company press release stated.
“Our intention is to lead by example,” says Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading business division. “Our Readers have long supported industry-standard formats such as .epub and PDF. Now, what is quickly becoming the de facto standard for e-books will be available in our store.”
Sony’s Reader was the first dedicated reading device to support the .epub format.
“A world of proprietary formats and [digital rights managements (DRMs)] creates silos and limits overall market growth,” continues Haber. “Consumers should not have to worry about which device works with which store. With a common format and common content-protection solution (DRM), they will be able to shop around for the content they want regardless of where they get it or what device they use.”
Current Sony Reader models PRS-505 and PRS-700 as well as the recently announced Reader Pocket Edition and Reader Touch Edition, which will go on sale later this month, support the .epub and PDF formats. Sony also will provide an update path for owners of the first edition Reader, model PRS-500.
Library Patrons to Access Books Via Sony Reader
Sony also announced this week a joint marketing agreement with Cleveland, Ohio-based OverDrive, a global digital distributor of e-books and audiobooks to libraries. The two companies will cross-market OverDrive's library network and the Sony Reader.
Thousands of libraries in OverDrive's network offer e-books compatible with the Sony Reader. Reader users now may browse or search their library's Web site, check out their selected e-book with a valid library card, and download it to a PC. Once downloaded, the e-book then may be transferred to the Sony Reader via free Adobe Digital Editions software.
"Sony Reader customers will benefit from a whole new world of e-books when they find and use the download services at their public library," says David Burleigh, OverDrive's director of marketing. "We're excited to spread the word about downloads as well as our service's compatibility with one of the leading e-book reading devices on the market today."
"Because our Reader supports industry-standard formats, we can continue to surprise and delight our customers with new options for premium content," says Bob Nell, director of business development for Sony's digital reading business division. "The library is a great way to experience your perennial favorites as well as new releases and best-sellers for free."
OverDrive will train librarians on how to help patrons use the Sony Reader with their download service. SonyStyle stores around the United States also will increase outreach efforts to reach new patrons with in-store messaging about the library download services.