If you’re an indie or self-published author, a Kindle version of your book is a top priority because Amazon sells a ginormous volume of books and nearly everybody you know has a Kindle or will get one for Christmas. An ePub version is important, too! Why is that?
The ePub file format has become the de facto standard for electronic books. Most other eReader devices now support ePub, which has rapidly supplanted a variety of proprietary formats that don’t play well together. The Kindle is the glaring exception. If you’re not convinced, see the growing list of ePub devices at Wikipedia and Adobe.
I have a Kindle New Generation, and after I saw the Color Nook, I bought one immediately. I do like the Kindle’s light weight, navigation buttons, and battery life, but I prefer the Nook for its backlit touchscreen, brilliant and clear color display, and support for ePubs that I buy from a variety of sources. If I can get a Nook book for a reasonable price, I get it at Barnes and Noble. When I do eBook conversions, I consider both formats equally important.
If you think I’m standing out in left field by myself, please read this article from a kindred spirit at ZdNet: EPUB: The Final Barrier For Kindle Adoption.
I think authors currently prefer to deal with Amazon because of the favorable royalty structure and customer service, but if they want to reach out to more readers, ePub is a must-have no-brainer, not a frivolous extra. That’s just my opinion, but as a fellow traveler with those who enjoy reading and are picky about how they do so, I think Amazon will have to support ePub in the future to keep its remarkable Kindle user base.