Wattpad adopts open e-book standard

Wattpad—the online site for publishing, sharing, and reading e-books—says its e-book distribution network will support EPUB, the International Digital Publishing Forum’s free and open XML-based standard for digital books and publications.

The decision means more content from the Toronto-based e-book reader software maker. “It is all about the content since the reading experience on various iPhone e-book apps are pretty close now,” said Wattpad co-founder Allen Lau in an e-mail interview.

Specifically, EPUB support lets Wattpad more “easily ingest” content based on the already popular EPUB e-book standard, Lau explained. “This openness helps e-book content to flow more easily between different systems,” he said. “At the end, everyone benefits.”

Wattpad’s free app for the iPhone and iPod touch was released in April, competing with Amazon’s Kindle app, Barnes and Noble’s eReader, and Lexcycle’s Stanza. Wattpad is the only ebook reader available on every mobile platform. It currently offers more than 200,000 open source and public domain books to readers, many of which are original and exclusive to the ebook site.

If current trends continue, Lau expects Wattpad will reach one million titles by 2010.

Updated at 2:12 p.m. PT to correct the date Wattpad is expected to reach one million titles.

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