Since it was impossible to include everyone, we offer this listing below as a mere snapshot of the emerging business models in this exploding field. Browse this list to get an idea of how today's book publishers sell their wares--both printed and electronic--online. By spending just a few minutes on the Internet yourself, you will probably find even more companies . . .
WHO: www.agoodbook.com, "Your basic $4.95 download"
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books downloadable for $4.95; the site has an association with www.amazon.com
WHAT FORMAT: PDF, HTML.
WHO: www.amazon.com, "Earth's biggest selection"
WHAT THEY SELL: printed books, CDs, gifts, DVD and video, electronics, software, toys, video games, tools and home improvement equipment.
WHO: www.americanmpc.com (MPC Research)
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books only (average price $9.95). Subjects include space and ocean exploration, science and technology, U.S. and Russian military, U.S. national parks and monuments
WHAT FORMAT: e-books available on CD-ROM.
WHO: www.bb.com (BiblioBytes)
WHAT THEY SELL: FREE e-books in many categories
WHAT FORMAT: HTML.
WHO: www.bn.com (Barnes and Noble)
WHAT THEY SELL: printed books (including out-of-print titles) from various publishers, electronic books, CDs, prints, posters, software, magazines, gifts, calendars, Rocket eBook reading device ($199)
WHAT FORMAT: e-books are downloadable and can be read on a Rocket eBook reading device.
WHO: www.book24x7.com (Books 24x7.com)
WHAT THEY SELL: technical reference e-books and printed books (through partnership with barnesandnoble.com) for IT professionals. For e-books, publishing partners include Artech House, Macmillan Computer Publishing (Que and Sams), O'Reilly & Associates, Osborne/McGraw-Hill and Sybex
WHAT FORMAT: a browser can view the entire content of an e-book before purchasing. On subscription basis: multi-seat subscriptions are $149 per seat annually, two to 10 seats (visit their Web site for price quotes for more than 10 seats); single-seat subscriptions are $24.95 per single month or $17.95 per month (minimum of two months), and $199.00 annually.
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books only on various subjects (price range--$8.95 to $16.95). The site also features free excerpts and free subscriptions to the E-book Excerpt via e-mail
WHAT FORMAT: PDF, executable file (.exe).
WHAT THEY SELL: a beta test site of Librius, the books2read Bookstore offers books, periodicals and newspapers. Librius provides free software for reading on handheld or desktop computers. First-time visitors can install the software before downloading
WHAT FORMAT: currently Palm OS and Windows CE computers are supported. Coming soon: reader software for MS Windows, EPOC/Symbian, Mac and Linux platforms.
WHO: www.booksamillion.com; call 800-201-3550 to order by phone
WHAT THEY SELL: printed books, magazines (over 2,000 titles), calendars
WHAT FORMAT: the site features discounts, bargains, reviews and the "millionaire's club," which, for an annual fee of $5, offers 10 percent off everything.
WHO: www.bookstore.com, "A clean and well-lighted place for books"
WHAT THEY SELL: printed books
WHAT FORMAT: Web site of the independent bookstore in San Francisco. In addition to selling books, the site offers links to the sites of other booksellers, listings of upcoming readings, book tours, etc.
WHO: www.borders.com, "Ten million books, CDs and videos"
WHAT THEY SELL: printed books, CDs, videos.
WHO: www.cascadepublishing.com (Cascade Mountain Publishing)
WHAT THEY SELL: printed and e-books
WHAT FORMAT: free e-book reader software with a purchase of an e-book; books are downloadable to be viewed on Windows 95 or 98, Mac, or any of the Palm Pilot devices, WinCE devices, Palm-size PCs or a Psion 5.
WHAT THEY SELL: Over 200 classic e-book titles. Average price is $14.95. Large print available
WHAT FORMAT: HTML.
WHO: www.ebookcentral.com, "Buy an E-book, Save a Tree!"
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books only in many categories; focus on health, philosophy and spirituality. Average price--$7.95 to $9.95
WHAT FORMAT: PDF. Free PDF previews available.
WHAT THEY SELL: printed books, training materials and print-on-demand documentation for business, finance, science and technology. Promises to match the price for any same title offered by barnesandnoble.com and www. amazon.com, plus offers additional 5 percent discount for that title.
WHAT THEY SELL: over 3,000 e-books by contemporary authors; print-on-demand paperbacks; free classics; selected titles as RocketEditions (sold through Barnes and Noble and Powell's); 1stbooks library memberships
WHAT FORMAT: e-books by contemporary authors: PDF; free classics: TXT. The site also implements the new Adobe Web Buy and PDF Merchant. Coming soon: a line of RocketEditions in OEB format.
WHO: www.franklin.com (Franklin Electronic Publishers)
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books--dictionaries, Bibles, educational and medical reference, personal organizers, Rocket eBook reading device ($199.95)
WHAT FORMAT: downloadable in RocketEdition format to Rocket eBook; on CD-ROM.
WHAT THEY SELL: a Simon & Schuster imprint that "simultaneously" publishes online and in printed form in five categories: mystery, history, science, science fiction and American popular fiction
WHAT FORMAT: Open eBook (OEB), Microsoft Reader.
WHAT THEY SELL: printed books--new authors as well as out-of-print titles. Partners include: Barnes and Noble, Lightning Print, Ingram Books, Writers Digest, Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN) and Kinko's Corporate Documents Solutions.
intech/ (Intech Publishing)
WHAT THEY SELL: print books and e-books, videos, music, coffee, magazines, etc. The site also contains a drug store, technology store and herbal soap store. Links to the www.amazon.com's selections available
WHAT FORMAT: Cyber Book format developed by Intech Publishing.
WHO: www.net-books.com (Keystone Projects)
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books in such categories as adventure, detective, horror, romance, etc.
WHAT FORMAT: WinBook format (for Windows only), WinBook Viewer is included free in .exe file together with the e-Book when it is purchased. Screen shots available for viewing before the book is purchased, as well as free titles for download.
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books only, including both their own and other publishers. Topics include science and engineering, finance, and health
WHAT FORMAT: CD-ROM or downloadable for viewing with Mathcad software available from Mathsoft.
WHO: http://tale.com (Mind's Eye Fiction)
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books in various categories. Read the first part for free, then either choose to pay to subscribe and read the rest, or read the rest for free, but with ad banners displayed
WHAT FORMAT: HTML, ASCII, OEB, AportisDoc.
WHAT THEY SELL: netLibrary provides access to more than 9,700 trade, scholarly, academic and reference e-books. The company has agreements with more than 100 publishers, including Harvard Business Press, ABC-CLIO, Cambridge University Press, Columbia University Press, Marcel Dekker, Houghton Mifflin, The McGraw-Hill Companies, The MIT Press, O'Reilly and Associates, and Oxford University Press. netLibrary sells digital versions of hardcovers from various publishers to academic, public, private and special libraries, and library consortia throughout the world. By checking out an e-book, members have exclusive access to that title during the check-out period. E-books are automatically checked back into the collection when the check-out period expires. Also, only one person can use one e-book copy at a time.
WHAT FORMAT: stores content in rich text format similar to XML (Extensible Markup Language) and serves e-books over the Internet one page at a time in HTML. netLibrary's reading system and e-book content are OEB-compliant.
WHO: www.nitelinks.com (Nitelinks)
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books, including children's books
WHAT FORMAT: HTML, downloadable or on CD-ROM. Nitelinks Story Reader software required (downloadable for free from the site).
WHO: www.novel.com (NovelNovels)
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books, Rocket eBook reading device ($199)
WHAT FORMAT: HTML, downloadable directly off the site or available on a floppy.
WHO: www.qvision.net (Quiet Vision Publishing)
WHAT THEY SELL: "electronic paperback" books on CD-ROM. Children's titles and classics
WHAT FORMAT: in Electronic Paperback format available on Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, OS/2, Mac with Windows emulation or Linux with Windows emulation. Electronic Paperbacks come in two basic formats--Read Aloud and Silent Reading. A Read Aloud Electronic Paperback presents the same text that is in a Silent Reading Electronic Paperback plus a voiceover (Read Aloud Electronic Paperbacks come in unabridged version only).
WHO: www.spree.com, "Your cashback connection"
WHAT THEY SELL: printed books, magazines, etc. (also see bn.com)
WHAT FORMAT: the site has links to bn.com and www.publishersclearinghouse.com. With their free subscription to www.spree.com, customers get discounts on the merchandise offered by the Barnes and Noble (www.barnesandnoble.com) and the Publishers Clearing House (www.publishersclearinghouse.com) Web sites.
WHO: www.starpublications.com (Starlight Writer Publications)
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books
WHAT FORMAT: E-book Reader and PDF.
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books (categories include fantasy, science fiction, new age). Average price--$5.95 to $7.95
WHAT FORMAT: PDF. Free PDF previews available.
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books. All books are $5 for credit card orders (plus $2.50 S&H if sent on a floppy via mail)
WHAT FORMAT: text-formatted (RTF) file version.
WHO: www.twbookmark.com (Time Warner Bookmark)
WHAT THEY SELL: printed books and audio books in many categories. The site also has links to many other bookselling sites.
WHO: www.virtualbooks.com (Virtual Books Publishing)
WHAT THEY SELL: e-books only--"mass-market commercial entertainment fiction"
WHAT FORMAT: PDF.
Providers of Software and Services to Online Booksellers
CDIS is an electronic publishing developer (CD-ROM, Web, content management systems) for the professional reference market, with expertise in data conversion, media-neutral data repositories and many search engines.
DelMar Data specializes in data conversion (including converting TIFF to PDF) and electronic data management.
Pollux Technologies offers e-book and other document creation in PDF format; data conversion, scanning/OCR, full-text searching, book marking and hyperlinking.
This site was created by a New York City-based literary agent Richard Curtis to help authors convert, format and encrypt traditionally published books for electronic applications, print books on demand and recover the authors' rights to their out-of-print books.
Everybook offers Dedicated Reader, an e-book device which supports PDF.
GGS Information Services offers data conversion to integrated databases, creation of computerized documents and their electronic delivery on CD-ROM, on microfiche, in print-ready format, and online via Intranet/Internet.
Glassbook offers the Glassbook Reader software for Windows or Mac notebook computers, Windows CE devices and handheld information appliances.
Harvest Information Technologies specializes in data conversion. The formats include HTML/SGML, Internet/WWW, CD-ROM, PDF, and more.
Hynet Technologies offers Hynet Directive 2.5, a content management system usable for the Internet, intranet and hard copy.
Infinite Ink's products include Infinite Press Reader, a browser-like application for viewing compressed Infinite Press Documents (IPDs) converted from OEB-standard HTML content, and the patent-pending DocLoc, a digital rights management system for publishers.
Innodata's services include conversion to and from paper, microfilm, microfiche, scanning/OCR, text and image hyperlinking, electronic conversion--SGML and custom-coding, electronic typesetting.
Serving as a "file cabinet" for e-book publishers, Microsearch offers text and image scanning, data conversion, indexing, full-text content retrieval capabilities, Web site design and hosting.
NetPubs International offers Internet services from developing integrated Internet sites and presenting online titles (journals, books, newsletters) to consulting on Internet security.
Night Kitchen is currently developing TK3 authoring software which will be free to the public.
Developer and distributor of the Rocket eBook reading device ($199).
Optimedia provides publishing software solutions online and on CD-ROM. Clients include Mosby-Year Book, Elsevier Science, Oxford University Press and The American Medical Association.
OverDrive Systems offers BookWorks, an electronic publishing system for electronic distribution of e-books, catalogs, directories and manuals.
Reciprocal Digital Clearing Service 2.0 offers a turnkey, outsourced solution for e-commerce. Reciprocal's digital rights management services integrate with such platform technology providers as InterTrust Technologies, Microsoft, Adobe Systems and Xerox.
SoftBook Press' products include the SoftBook Reader and an Internet-based document distribution system that includes content preparation tools, Web site software modules and document encryption and security services. SoftBook Press is also a co-creator of the OEB standard.
Versaware specializes in transforming printed content into electronic format. Digital content is sold via the company Web site and in co-branded e-book stores with such partners as Lycos, barnesandnoble.com and XOOM.com. Versaware recently premiered ebookcity.com, an online e-publishing portal.