The Publishers Association, the trade organization for British book publishers, announced plans to partner with Adobe Systems in an effort to discuss and expand the interoperability of e-book formats across the various operating systems and hardware. The Publishers Association also announced preliminary plans to organize a seminar on interoperability to be held in Britain in January 2010.

Ursula MacKenzie, CEO and publisher at Little, Brown and chair of the PA’s Trade Publishers Council, said the PA will enter into discussion with Adobe about the EPub standard and other issues driving growth in the consumer e-book market. MacKenzie emphasized how e-book interoperability will benefit consumers by providing greater flexibility in the ways that e-books can be enjoyed, purchased, and shared.

MacKenzie said: “It’s vitally important that the publishing industry leads the debate about e-book interoperability. By working closely with industry partners, we have a real opportunity to jointly develop a thriving e-book market which capitalises on the technology available to enhance the experience of readers—including readers with print disabilities.”

The PA’s proposed seminar will be aimed at technology, retailers, services providers, hardware producers, wholesalers, and other stakeholders in the e-book value chain. For more details about the proposed seminar, contact Anita de Silva at