"Format war" over e-books

<p>The publishing industry is facing a &ldquo;format war&rdquo; over e-books, according to Simon Juden.<br /><br />Interviewed in today&rsquo;s <em>Guardian,</em> the chief executive of the Publishers Association said that &ldquo;A format war could hold back the development of the e-book market&rdquo;.</p><p>He said that the industry must agree on a cross-platform file format: &quot;I strongly urge all device manufacturers to implement the ePub format.&rdquo; ePub is supported by the Sony Reader, but, without unapproved conversion software, not by the Kindle.<br />&nbsp;<br />Speaking at the London Book Fair, Richard Palk, Sony business contents and services manager, said &quot;ePub has become the de facto UK consumers&#39; format of choice.&quot; <br />&nbsp;<br />&quot;We strongly believe that there should be a single format available to all,&quot; said Neil Jewsbury, commercial director of Waterstone&#39;s which sells e-books in the ePub format. &quot;We are pleased that Sony and the digital publishing industry agree that ePub is the most accessible and user-friendly format.&quot;<br /><br />Jewsbury also argued that e-book pricing should not devalue books: &quot;Many customers are unaware that digital books are subject to VAT, while standard books are VAT-free, and we welcome every opportunity possible to lobby for the abolition of this additional tax.&quot;&nbsp; </p>