Publishers hoping for one e-book format

June 1, 2010

Publishers hoping for one e-book formatIt seems that even book publishers are getting frustrated by all of the different e-book formats out there, and the total incompatibility between proprietary systems.

Wired reports that the big talk at last week’s BookExpo America in New York City, the big talk amongst publishers was the silliness of so many different e-book formats.  “Our fondest wish is that all the devices become agnostic so that there isn’t proprietary formats and you can read wherever you want to read,” David Shanks, chief executive of Penguin Group USA told Reuters. “First we have to get a standard that everybody embraces.”

While this would be nice for consumers, and could lead to more sharing of books, it is of course a financial thought for the publishers.  Instead of spending the money to produce the book in multiple formats, they could do it just once and then sell it on every e-reader out there.  It’s nice to say it’s for the consumer’s sake, but make no mistake this is more about the bottom line of the publishers than anything.

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