Thanks to the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the EPUB format for eBooks has become the widely accepted standard. On the audiobook side, Apple products have popularized the MP3 format. Retailers, it seems, also prefer this format. Barnes & Noble and Waterstones, only sell their audiobooks in MP3 format. OverDrive has found that even libraries are four times more likely to purchase MP3s rather than other audiobook formats when given the choice.
In addition, OverDrive, the only digital distributor to offer eBook and audiobook apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone, has found that every major operating system prefers these formats. For this reason, EPUB and MP3 formats are exclusively available for mobile devices, which means reaching this extensive audience starts by supplying the preferred formats.
Providing these formats will also keep your titles and content competitive. Suppliers to OverDrive’s online catalogue, Content Reserve, in the month of May added 44 percent more EPUB titles than other eBook formats and 20 percent more MP3 titles than other audiobook formats.
If, as a publisher, you’d still like to offer multiple eBook or audiobook formats, OverDrive has the capability to offer channel restrictions. In this situation, you could potentially offer more than just MP3 or EPUB formats to the library or retail channel.
The bottom line is that MP3 and EPUB formats help you reach the broadest audience possible. They offer consumer familiarity that equals less customer service, which definitely affects the retailer’s or library’s bottom line. If you want to give yourself the most opportunity to make sales, you should be supplying MP3 audiobooks and EPUB eBooks.
For more information on the EPUB format and digital distribution, download OverDrive’s Intro to Digital Distribution (PDF).