Friday, January 16, 2009

Have You Ever Been Shortcovered?

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had an article on electronic books.

The story started out discussing the success of Amazon's Kindle, but talked about the size of the e-reader being a disadvantage. It doesn't fit in a pocket and takes up room in a purse.

The article suggests the solution may be to read books on cellphones or other pocket devices. The number of titles available in electronic format continues to grow along with applications to make accessing them possible. The WSJ points to the Stanza and eReader appls in particular.
But, as with past cellphone or PDA e-book systems, most of those on the iPhone and Touch focus primarily on older, classic, or out-of-copyright titles, rather than on the sort of current, in-demand titles available on the Kindle. Some fresher titles are available, but the selection of popular books is relatively thin.

Now, two companies are launching new e-book apps that aim to bring current and popular titles from major publishers to the iPhone and Touch . . ..

One, called Shortcovers, is from the large Canadian bookseller Indigo Books & Music. Due to show up in the App Store in the next few weeks, Shortcovers is a portal to sampling, buying and reading books, and will have a companion Web site. It will allow readers to get free samples of blogs, magazines and books -- say, the first chapter -- and then buy either the entire work or other individual chapters or sections, which the company calls "shortcovers."
Shortcovers anticipates having 200,000 chapters or other free excerpts available at the time they launch with 50,000 full titles available for purchase (the rest will need to be ordered as physical books). You can buy a shortcover (example: a chapter of a non-fiction book you are interested in) for $.99.

The second new company is called Iceberg and comes from a company called ScrollMotion. Iceberg is already on the market and provides individual e-books for your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Go here to read the whole WSJ article.

I am flying to Florida this afternoon to visit my mother. I don't anticipate blogging again until Tuesday. Have a good MLK Day.

No comments: