This is a FAQ I’ll be pointing people at in the future, and updating as needed.
EPUB is the name of a format for electronic books and other publications. It works pretty well, it has small file sizes, it’s compatible with business models that both require or don’t require DRM, and it’s actively maintained and improved by an international forum of publishers. The standard itself is open and free for anyone to implement. Sounds like a good idea.
Except that the market leader, Amazon, refuses to support it in their products. I have nothing against Amazon. My family owns two Kindles, and will likely pick up a third one before the end of the year. Nonetheless, this is customer-hostile behavior for a company, and damaging to authors. If your only ebook reader is a Kindle, you should diversify. Look into other tablets and/or desktop software that can read EPUB files, or convert ebooks between various formats. Calibre is one such option. If you know of more, please add to the comments here.
If you find it outrageous that Amazon’s products don’t support an open standard for ebooks, let them know. Click ‘Help’ on any of their pages, and follow the link labeled , and politely fill in the form that results. Or call their support line at (800) 201-7575. Or post on their discussion boards.