November 1 – November 8, 2007 Edition

Hachette USA Adopts
Digital Publishing Forum’s
New e-Book Standard

/11/01/07–Hachette Book Group is among the first trade publishers to adopt the new .epub file format for all of its e-books. The new format will allow publishers to produce and send a single digital publication file through various distribution channels and make the files usable by consumers without the addition of any complicated software or hardware conversion or special devices.

The .epub format was developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the trade and standards association for the digital publishing industry. “.epub” is a file extension of an XML format which allows unincrypted digital books to “reflow” to various devices. In technical terms, the system uses three open standards: Open Publication Structure (OPS), Open Packaging Format (OPF) and Open Container Format (OCF). In practical terms, the OPS structure will mean ease of use for consumers who want to download e-books, regardless if the device they may be using. IDPF also will allow for a variety of consumer reading features. Previously, publishers have had to convert e-Book files into ten or more file formats in order to allow various devices and sales channels to access the material.

Michael Smith is the newly-appointed executive director of IDPF and Steve Potawsh is president. Smith will spend time in both the IDPF’s existing New York office, and in Toronto where an additional office will be opened. David Young is chairman and CEO of Hachette Book Group USA.