With the International Digital Publishing Forum’s EPUB 2.1 work underway, many more non-US stakeholders are contributing their input to update the EPUB standard to accommodate non-Roman characters (e.g., Japanese, Korean, Hebrew). And on the sales and distribution side, consideration is being given to practices and requirements of international markets by groups like the BISG.
Looking back, Waterstone’s, the High Street bookseller in the UK, was the first major retailer to launch with a 100% EPUB only inventory. Since Waterstone’s launch in September 2008, EPUB production at publishers around the world has increased and more outlets for EPUB have opened their doors.
Unlike the US, with its “legacy eBook business”, it can be argued that many international publishers did not experience the same growing pains in determining that EPUB would be their only digital eBook file format output. As a result publishers and retailers from Brazil, to India, to Norway are open for business with EPUB eBooks.
As the consumer markets and devices for EPUB continue to develop globally we expect to be navigating novel issues that will arise — from consumer privacy, to tax requirements, to implementation of the “agency model”.
Nevertheless, OverDrive is ramping up its “local language” content acquistion and distribution efforts, so whether you are a publisher with EPUB eBooks in Vietnam or a retailer who wants to sell to EPUB eBooks in Belgium, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.