It’s fantastic to see more and more publishers beginning to distribute books in ePub format, but call the format by its real name!
I’ve seen “ePub in disguise” in a few places, most recently this release from Pan Macmillan:
If you click on the arrow, the site brings up a very long page explaining what all the various file formats are. Discussing “Adobe Digital Edition” format:
ADE uses a format based on the Open Publishing Standard with the extension .epub, and so ADE files are also known as .epub or ePub. ADE will also display your PDF files in a double-page, single page, or fit-to-width view — or you can specify your own custom fit.
(Although it’s not mentioned on the book page, on the digitalist blog it was stated that this book is DRM-free. I’m assuming, therefore, that this is truly just plain ePub, although there’s no way for me to be sure other than buying a £9.99 ebook.)
Now I worry a lot about making ebook technology comprehensible to the average person, so I sympathize with the urge to simplify. But:
- “ePub” is a pretty good label (other than that no one agrees on how to capitalize it). It’s short and evocative.
- Nowhere on the ebook help page does it actually say which format you need for what device. If I bought a shiny new Sony PRS-505 in the UK, which format do I want? What about on my iPhone? My Kindle? (It’s a UK site, but it’s also an ebook. There’s no reason why an American couldn’t buy it.)
The whole value of the ePub format is that it isn’t vendor-specific. Disguising it under Adobe’s name just makes it harder for buyers to know they can read it on their Sony Reader or Stanza/iPhone, and that the book isn’t suddenly going to be useless when some proprietary device finally gives out.