Holiday Blackout Dates

It’s that time of year again—the time for vacations and gift buying. Around the holidays, some eBook vendors go on break, during which time no new content will be processed. The holiday blackout dates (for the vendors that have provided them) are:

Amazon: Dec.23-28
Apple: Dec.22-29
Barnes & Noble: Dec.25 & Jan.1
Kobo: Dec.22-29

There will be no distributions to these sites during these dates. To ensure that new content is live in time for the holidays, distribution-ready eBook files and metadata should be sent to your Digital Publishing Representative no later than Monday, December 14.

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EPUB Validations

To make sure that files are accepted by all vendors we distribute to, ePubs need to validate to EpubCheck v. 3.0.1, which some vendors still use to validate files.

There are errors that appear when validating to 3.0.1 that don’t appear when validating to 3.0 or 4.0.1. For example, a common problem that prevents validation is the stylesheet being a template formatted for Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). Since the major sites and devices do not run Digital Editions, it is not necessary to format the ePub specifically for display in that program. If you are unable to provide files that validate, we work with a vendor that can convert your files for you.


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New Amazon file requirements

Amazon has updated its guidelines for ePub/Mobi files. The vendor now requires that all interior images in the ePub be high resolution (at least 300 dpi or 300 ppi). Also, Kindle does not support CMYK, so RGB should be the default color profile for cover JPEGs and internal images.


While Amazon recommends redoing images in backlist titles so that they meet the current specs, this is not required at this time. If Amazon ever decides to suppress titles for having low-res images, your digital publishing representative will notify you.


Amazon’s image guidelines should not conflict with other sites’ image requirements. For example, Apple has the same requirements about using RGB color space. The main thing to be mindful of is size—image size (images should be under 4 million pixels) and overall file size (since larger files take longer to download). Also, the maximum file size for Mobi files is 650 MB.

If you have any questions about Amazon’s (or any other vendor’s) file specs, please consult your digital publishing representative.

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iBooks VAT in Europe

On January 1, 2015, value-added tax (VAT) rates for electronic books sold through Apple iBooks will change in most EU territories. VAT will be based on the customer’s country of residence instead of being 3% across all EU territories.

Beginning January 1, 2015, the following VAT rates (current as of November 30, 2014), based on the customer’s country of residence, will be applied:

Country/VAT Rate Applied to eBooks
Austria 20%
Belgium 20%
Bulgaria 20%
Croatia 25%
Cyprus 19%
Czech Republic 21%
Denmark 25%
Estonia 20%
Finland 24%
France 5.50%
Germany 19%
Greece 23%
Hungary 27%
Ireland 23%
Italy 22%
Latvia 21%
Lithuania 21%
Luxembourg 3%
Malta 18%
Netherlands 21%
Poland 23%
Portugal 23%
Romania 24%
Slovakia 20%
Slovenia 22%
Spain 21%
Sweden 25%
UK 20%

*Note that VAT rates in EU member states may change at any time depending on relevant legislation. The standard VAT rate is used for all EU countries except France and Luxembourg, which have authorized a lower electronic book VAT rate.

If you have any questions about the changes, contact your Fusion representative.

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Holiday Processing Times

Christmas is approaching, which means people are rushing to finish their holiday shopping. It also means there is a limited window for getting eBooks live before the sites go on break.

A few of the vendors have announced their holiday blackout periods:

Amazon:  Dec 19 – Dec 28
Apple:  Dec 22 – Dec 29
Kobo:  Dec 22 – Jan 2

During this time distributions to these sites will be suspended.  To ensure all new titles and promotional pricing scheduled for this period are available on the sites, please plan accordingly and deliver all content and metadata updates by Monday, December 15.

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