Amazon Kindles will soon support ePub file format via Send to Kindle

This weekend, a report from Good e-reader It seems to refer to something really wild. After 15 years, Amazon would finally have bowed to the competition and supported the electronic ePub format used by the vast majority of online libraries, publishers, and competing services. But it turns out that Amazon won’t natively support the ePub format. Instead, per Update for sending to Kindle documentsAmazon Kindle will soon support the use of the Send to Kindle function to convert ePub files to Amazon’s own digital book file format.

We were so close! Which is wild because we’ve been close to this, and also this far, since both the Kindle and ePub file format were launched in 2007. Sony, Barnes & Noble, and other e-readers makers have been quick to support ePub, the primary technical standard for the international digital publishing forum . Amazon has chosen to support other file formats, including .Mobi, which it acquired with the French company Mobipocket in 2005, and .AZW, which is essentially an Amazon-branded version of .Mobi.

What this means in practice is that for the past 15 years, if you want to put an ePub file on your Kindle e-reader, you first have to convert it, usually with the very powerful but very frustrating and ugly Caliber. It’s been a great workflow, but has become more and more annoying over the past few years.

Publishers now sell e-books more regularly directly to consumers, often at a lower price than Amazon, Rakuten or Barnes & Noble might charge. Smaller publishers have even made it something of a selling point – authors will sometimes get a larger portion of the sale directly from the publisher than they might get from a larger digital bookseller, so you can better “support” your favorite author by buying directly from the publisher . But since you can get e-book files very quickly on a Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Pocketbook e-reader, or one of the plethora of e-readers coming out of China at the moment, you still need to stop and do the caliber step if you want the same book on Kindle.

Now, it will be a little easier to get an ePub on your Kindle. Amazon will allow you to send ePub files to your Kindle via the Send to Kindle function, and the ePub file should then be converted to a KF8 file. Which, although technically an ePub is not Is that true ePub file as it is only supported by Kindles.

I don’t know about you, but I kind of feel like Amazon puts a big Amazon-branded glass wall between me and the content just so I’ll never forget the Amazon e-reading experience. Which is one of the many reasons why I am fond of Android E Ink tablets. I can just put an ePub on my tablet without jumping through Amazon-branded hoops to do so.

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