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Free E-Books Offered to Raise Industry’s Environmental Awareness
April 28, 2008

To commemorate Earth Day, which was celebrated April 22, is offering free e-books in partnership with and Abbey House Press. The partners are hoping the initiative helps spur the publishing community’s efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and protect forests, according to a statement issued by “Greenhouse-gas emissions can be dramatically reduced over time through the advance of e-books and other means of delivering content digitally,” says Bob LiVolsi, president of The free books were provided by Abbey House Press’ Abbey House Classics imprint and can be accessed through and at “Each year, approximately 30 million trees are used

New Service Digitizes Galley-Distribution Process
April 28, 2008

Rosetta Solutions Inc., a Seattle-based publishing services company, announced last week a new product that will connect publishers and “professional readers” while streamlining the galley-distribution process. The online initiative, NetGalley, enables book publishers, reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers, bloggers, educators and others to access and share content and information about new book titles. NetGalley will be launched commercially May 28 at BookExpo America in Los Angeles. Rosetta Solutions says it has already received commitments from book publishers including St. Martin’s Press, Hachette Book Group, Bloomsbury USA and Sourcebooks to participate in the service’s pilot program. In addition, Publishers Weekly has agreed to be the first

Harlequin Readers Find New Ways for Romance with Technology from LibreDigital
April 25, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas– April 23, 2008 – Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. has selected the LibreDigital Internet Digital Warehouse solution to provide readers with new ways to access Harlequin titles across digital channels, including online and mobile. Beginning April 2008, Harlequin will make some of its most popular series—such as Harlequin Presents and books by New York Times bestselling authors like Debbie Macomber, Heather Graham and Mercedes Lackey— available for browsing online. “Romance readers are having a love affair with digital,” said Brent Lewis, Vice President Internet & Digital, Harlequin. “With technology from LibreDigital, we can give readers an experience similar to walking into a bookstore and

Community-Sourced Book Publisher Launched
April 11, 2008

WEbook, an online platform for authors, editors and writing groups to collaboratively create written works, has launched at According to the company, it will publish the best works generated on the Web site in print, electronic and audio formats. “Whether it’s a fully collaborative writing project or a case of a talented writer sharing her work with a few friends to garner their private feedback, WEbook is the first online destination that provides the tools to unleash members’ full creative potential,” says Sue Heilbronner, president of WEbook, which is backed by Greylock Partners Israel and numerous individual investors. “It also gives active

PMA Speaks Out Against Amazon’s POD Policy
April 11, 2008

PMA, The Independent Publishers Association, which represents more than 4,000 independent publishers, has issued a statement denouncing Amazon’s recent policy aimed at publishers who use print-on-demand (POD) technology to sell directly on The online retailer has directed that these publishers must either print their POD titles exclusively through Amazon’s BookSurge subsidiary for fulfillment of orders placed through its Web site, or incur additional cost to print elsewhere and maintain inventory with Amazon. “This policy imposes a significant financial burden on tens of thousands of small and independent publishers who can least afford it,” says Terry Nathan, PMA executive director. “Without the opportunity to

Can Giving Books Away Pay Off? No Starch Press Publisher Bill Pollock on his decision to offer two of his key titles as free downloads.
March 28, 2008

Bill Pollock, publisher of No Starch Press, is taking a leap of faith that he hopes will pay off for his San Francisco-based company, which specializes in computing titles. After a long struggle against pirated versions of his titles appearing on peer-to-peer (P2P) filing-sharing services, Pollock made a decision last week to essentially give books away for free. He created an official publisher-provided torrent—an electronic file used in online file-sharing—of two of the publishing house’s key titles, author Leander Kahney’s “Cult of Mac” and “Cult of iPod,” available for free download on one of the world’s largest file-sharing communities, The Pirate Bay. As Pollock

Riding the Second Wave of E-Book Publishing: A Q&A with Springer Science President of eProduct Management and Innovation Olaf Ernst
March 14, 2008

As an early adopter of e-book technology, Springer Science+Business Media has distinguished itself as a digital leader in the science, technical and medical (STM) market and the book publishing industry as a whole. As more and more publishers are now adopting digital distribution strategies, the Germany-based Springer Science—which offers the largest STM e-book and journal collection—continues to move forward and expand the possibilities of e-commerce. Olaf Ernst, Springer’s president of eProduct management and innovation, spoke with Book Business Extra about Springer’s experiences in the e-book market, and what he refers to as the “second e-book wave.” Book Business Extra: E-books have been

BISG Publishes Document on Identifying Digital Book Content
February 1, 2008

The Book Industry Study Group Inc. (BISG) has announced the publication of “The Identification of Digital Book Content,” a new document exploring how digital publications should be identified. The publication was commissioned by the BISG and the Book Industry Communication (BIC), a London-based industry organization, and written by industry consultant Michael Holdsworth. According to the BISG, the publication is intended to stimulate debate throughout the book industry on how digital book content should be identified, and to encourage the development and implementation of identification standards for such content as more books are made available in digital form. “The idea for a discussion

HarperCollins and MySpace Launch Interactive, Online Community for Teens
January 3, 2008

HarperCollins imprint HarperTeen has partnered with MySpace to launch MySpace/HarperTeen. This new, interactive, online community provides teen readers with an opportunity to connect with one another on message boards and forums, as well as to interact with authors via author blogs and live chats. A “Weekend Read” bulletin informs readers of new releases, and, every Friday, users receive a book recommendation. Those who read the recommended title can then discuss it on the message boards the following week. ( “With millions of teens spending their time online every day, it makes perfect sense for us to partner with MySpace to build

The Evolution of Electronic Publishing: Michael Smith on his new role as executive director of the IDPF
December 7, 2007

Last month, the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), a trade and standards organization for the digital publishing industry, announced Michael Smith as its new executive director. Smith, who replaces Nick Bogaty, is charged with directing the IDPF’s efforts to promote the newly adopted Open Publication Structure 2.0 and .epub file format, which the organization approved as the official digital publishing industry standard in September. In October, Hachette Book Group USA was the first publisher to announce that it had adopted the new standard. Smith, who previously managed e-book and book production for Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. for its North American, U.K. and Australian

The Amazon Kindle Has Arrived
December 6, 2007

After months of media anticipation and speculation, introduced its portable reader, Amazon Kindle (, to the marketplace Nov. 19. With Kindle, users are able to wirelessly purchase, download and read books, newspapers, magazines and blogs without a computer, access to a Wi-Fi hot spot, or syncing. The Kindle wireless delivery system, Amazon Whispernet, uses the same nationwide high-speed data network as advanced cell phones. Amazon pays for the wireless connectivity, so there are no monthy wireless bills, data plans or service commitments for customers. “We’ve been working on Kindle for more than three years. Our top design objective was

7 Tips for Utilizing Social Media
December 1, 2007

Social media is one of the tools book publishers need to have in their Web 2.0 arsenal. Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Gather not only draw millions of visitors, they also provide those visitors with a platform to converse and connect around shared interests and passions. On Gather (, which President and COO Carl Rosendorf describes as “MySpace for grown-ups,” “Books” is one of 11 “essential” channels that visitors can navigate to find content and conversation of interest. Gather’s “Books” group boasts more than 45,000 members, who read, contribute and/or comment on original content such as book reviews, articles and

22 Tips for Building Communities
December 1, 2007

The rise of niche marketing in the book world has led to a new appreciation of the power of audiences to drive interest in featured authors, titles and subject areas. Publishers are discovering a variety of ways to create communities, whether by building on time-tested marketing strategies or crafting innovative online features to encourage participation and create buzz. This feature shares tips from several experts on developing audience-building strategies that work. TIPS FROM ... Linda Leonard, Director, New Media, Random House Children’s Books Random House Children’s Books recently relaunched Teens@Random (, a Web site for fans of young-adult literature that makes extensive use of

Marvel Spins a New Service on the Web
November 16, 2007

Marvel Comics, a division of Marvel Entertainment Inc., launched a new online subscription service, Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, this week. For a monthly fee, subscribers will have access to thousands of Marvel titles, including the first-ever issues of “Amazing Spider-Man,” “The X-Men” and “Incredible Hulk,” as well as more recent titles. The site ( offers subscribers a variety of features, including search and recommendation features, personalized reading-list tools and multiple online viewing options. For a limited time, Marvel is offering readers the opportunity to experience the online subscription service at no cost with a free sampling of 250 titles. “With

Hachette Is First Publisher to Provide E-book Content in New .epub Format
November 2, 2007

New York-based Hachette Book Group USA has become the first publisher to adopt the International Digital Publishing Forum’s (IDPF) new e-book format, “.epub.” The IDPF announced in September that it had adopted the Open Publication Structure 2.0 e-book specification, which includes the .epub format, as an official industry standard. Hachette is a member of the IDPF committee that adopted the new format. According to the IDPF, the .epub format allows publishers to produce and send a single digital publication file through distribution, as opposed to the multiple files previously required. The format also benefits consumers by allowing them to read unencrypted digital books with

John Wiley & Sons Partners with Safari Books Online
November 2, 2007

John Wiley & Sons Inc. has reached an agreement with Safari Books Online, an on-demand electronic reference and learning platform, to offer selected Wiley business and technology titles in Safari’s Books Online Library ( As a result of the deal, Safari customers now will be able to access and search the contents of these titles, including Wiley’s “Bible” and “For Dummies” series. Sebastopol, Calif.-based Safari Books Online is a joint venture of two other technology publishers, O’Reilly Media Inc. and Pearson Technology Group. Safari’s library offers a fully searchable database of titles from these two publishers, as well as its other publishing

Barnes & Announces Two New Digital Partnerships
October 19, 2007

Barnes & ( has announced two new partnerships that further expand its capabilities in the digital world. These partnerships come on the heels of a redesign of the Web site (, which the online retailer unveiled at the beginning of this month. Mobile commerce service provider Digby will market books, CDs and DVDs on BlackBerry smartphones through a newly established Barnes & Noble Storefront, which is available as a free download to all current Research in Motion BlackBerry smartphone users. The Storefront is updated daily and includes rich content, such as product descriptions and images; a mobile shopping

Sony Introduces a New “Reader”
October 5, 2007

Sony Electronics has unveiled a new version of its e-book reading device, the Reader Digital Book. This second edition of the Reader offers users a host of upgrades from the previous model, including an enhanced display that delivers crisper, clearer text and images, and restyled controls for quick, easy navigation. A new USB-based, mass-storage capability allows users to directly transfer documents, images and other files to the device. An auto-sync feature also lets users set up file folders that can be automatically synchronized when the device is connected to a PC. “For people on the go, this device is compelling because Goes 2.0: A Q&A with CEO Marie Toulantis on this week’s launch of a revamped Barnes & Noble Web site
October 5, 2007

Barnes & ( launched a newly designed Web site this week, with a host of new features and an emphasis on interactive content and community. The site has been in the works for approximately six months, according to CEO Marie Toulantis. The world’s largest bookseller partnered with New York-based agency R/GA to bring the project to life. After speaking with a number of potential agencies, “We selected R/GA [because] we felt they had the best experience in the interactive field, and they had done some really great work [in the past],” says Toulantis. “We thought they had a

STM Publishers Embrace E-media’s Phase II
October 1, 2007

When your stock-in-trade is information that drives innovation, people expect you to be on the leading edge. And so it is with the scientific, medical and technical (STM) publishing sector. While the STM market faces similar challenges to the rest of the publishing industry, its willingness to embrace electronic platforms and develop innovative revenue streams has positioned it well in the face of new competition brought about by the expansion of digital media. “The biggest challenge has been mastered, and that is the transition from paper to electronic for STM content,” notes Derk Haank, CEO of Springer Science + Business Media, the world’s