April 4, 2013, 10:48 AM

Sony targets kids with a dedicated e-book section

Sony Reader’s digital book store adds a special Kids Corner site.

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Sony Electronics Inc. is tapping into the fastest-growing segment for digital book sales by launching a dedicated shopping portal for children called Kids Corner.

Launched last month as part of the Sony Reader Store, Kids Corner sells e-books in the EPub 3.0 format. That format is readable on most e-readers, smartphones and tablets, excluding Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindles, which use a proprietary format. EPub 3.0 lets publishers insert interactive elements like video and music into e-books.

Children’s and young adult e-book revenue grew 196.4% during the first eight months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, according to the Association of American Publishers, a publishing industry trade group that tracks sales. That makes the category the fastest-growing segment of the e-book market.

Digital titles, including illustrated books for reading on devices using Apple Inc.’s iOS operating system, like iPads and iPhones, can be sampled and purchased in the Kids Corner. Most titles are also compatible with tablets and smartphones operating on the Android platform. With the new EPub 3.0 integration, many children’s titles also include interactive elements. “The enhanced books make reading even more immersive and interactive for children,” says Natascha Helbig, director of the Sony Reader Store.

Sony Electronics is No. 16 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Amazon is No. 1 and Apple is No. 3.

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