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Amazon planning ahead for a switch to Epub?

I just got this tweet today. I've checked, and it's correct. That option is indeed missing in the latest version of KindleGen. I don't know that it was offered in the previous version, though.

I don't see a reason for stashing the Epub inside the Kindle file other than because they are planning ahead for a switchover. Actually, it would be more accurate to say they are giving themselves the option of a switchover.

FYI: KindleGen is a command line tool for making Kindle ebooks. If you're using MobiCreator or MobiGen then you will probably want to use this instead. KindleGen supports larger image sizes as well as the video and audio tags for embedded content (for ebooks like Nixonland).

6 Comments on Amazon planning ahead for a switch to Epub?

  1. Latest KindleGen Version is released more than a month ago (1.1 Built 99 – 8/21/2010) as far as I see…or did I miss an update? Thanks,


  2. That’s the version I have. Why do you ask?

  3. If you’re wondering why it took so long for someone to notice, I didn’t because I work from the OPF file created by MobiCreator.

  4. Our epub specialist here found this change while he was testing the update.

    There is a -donotaddsource option in kindlegen(Linux) V1.1 build 98, and we’ve been using it. It’s missing in 99, so the epub will always be buried inside the prc.

    Putting the epubs makes kindlegen 99’s prcs twice the size, of course.

    What do you figure they have in mind? Quick fixes if customers find typos? Eventual migration to the standard? Bringing Stanza into the store?

    You wouldn’t bother adding something like this to the tool (and making everyone work with 2x-large files) if you weren’t solving something, or preparing for something.

  5. I think Amazon will simply clone the workflow they use when “I” loan a friend a Kindle book. The book doesn’t really come from my Kindle at all; it comes from Amazon. For libraries, Amazon could deliver a Kindle book based on specs received from Library, via Overdrive, that says the library has that book to lend.

  6. Forgot to add– this would give Amazon a real leg up in library lending because currently borrowers must download to PC and then copy ebook to device.

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