E-Books and Interactive Publishing

Christian Publishers Make Majority of Catalogs Available on Kindle
July 25, 2008

Amazon.com Inc. announced that 11 Christian publishers will make a majority of their catalogs of books available for use on the Kindle, Amazon’s e-reader. Augsburg Fortress, Crossway Books & Bibles, David C. Cook, Gospel Light, Group Publishing, NavPress, Strang Communications, Thomas Nelson, Tyndale House Publishers, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. and Zondervan have committed to making many of their titles available to Kindle users by the end of the year. “Of the 135,000 books available on Amazon.com as a physical book and on the Kindle, Kindle books already account for over 12 percent of units sold,” says Ian Freed, vice president of Amazon Kindle.

Harlequin Launches Enriched Edition eBooks
July 25, 2008

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. has launched Enriched Edition eBooks, which feature interactive buttons that hyperlink to Web sites containing relevant information such as photos, commentaries, maps and articles related to the book. With this launch, Harlequin becomes the first publisher to offer entire e-books with hyperlinks. The launch title, “Unmasked,” by Nicola Cornick, is a period book. The Enriched Edition eBook includes links to period details and terms. Enriched Edition eBooks are available at www.ebooks.eharlequin.com, and are being sold at the same price as regular e-books.

Sony’s Reader Digital Book Will Support .epub Format
July 25, 2008

Sony announced yesterday that starting next month, its Reader Digital Book model PRS-505 will support books in the .epub format, the International Digital Publishing Forum’s XML-based format for reflowable digital books and publications. This makes Sony’s Reader the only e-book reading device to support the format. “The Reader is an open device, and we will continue to explore formats that will provide the widest variety of content for Reader users,” says Steve Haber, senior vice president of consumer product marketing for Sony Electronics. “The upgrade opens the door to a whole host of paid and free content from third-party e-book stores, Web sites and

Special Report: E-paper Rising … Exploring Amazon Kindle rumors and sales estimates, and a tough, new player entering the e-book market.
July 21, 2008

In case you missed it, the editor-in-chief of Tech Crunch Network’s Crunch Gear blog (www.CrunchGear.com), John Biggs, posted last week that new Amazon Kindle versions are soon to be released. The rumor circulates just as competition is about to heat up in the e-reader market. Kindling the Buzz According to Biggs: “An insider let slip that two new Amazon Kindle models will hit stores this holiday season, with the first coming as early as October. The first is an updated version with the same-sized screen, a smaller form factor and an improved interface. The source told us that Amazon has ‘skipped three or

A Book Publisher “Experiments” With Print: Christina M. Brashear, owner of e-book publisher Samhain, on her unconventional business model.
June 20, 2008

Macon, Ga.-based Samhain Publishing has found its niche in the world of book publishing, despite the fact that most of its titles aren’t resting on bookstore shelves. The e-book-minded publisher has only tread lightly in the world of traditional print publishing since it first opened up shop nearly three years ago. While print versions of the company’s line of popular romance and erotica fiction are now more commonplace, Owner and Publisher Christina M. Brashear says these traditional books haven’t changed the main focus of providing electronic versions of Samhain’s titles. The publisher has achieved such success selling e-books to loyal readers, according to

Market Focus
June 1, 2008

With the evolution of the e-book still clearly in its formative years, developments over the past year could perhaps be remembered as a real growth spurt thanks in part to Amazon’s launch of the Kindle. Reviews on the digital device were mixed, but it quickly sold out within hours of its debut on Amazon.com. Goldman Sachs has estimated that Amazon has sold as many as 50,000 of the devices in the first quarter of 2008. And Amazon has made more than 120,000 titles available for download on the device since its launch. It’s too early to tell, however, whether the Kindle has directly spurred

NEW - Digital Directions: Your Digital DNA
June 1, 2008

I started working with digital content 25 years ago, developing interactive products for publishers and other content organizations in New York City. I worked in small media and technology development firms, without much to speak of in terms of infrastructure. I imagined that the larger publishing organizations for which we developed products all had robust systems for the management of digital content. Ten years later, a large textbook publisher hired me to lead a media and technology group and I learned otherwise. There was no systematic approach to the management of digital assets. Following the printing of a textbook, digital assets were stored on

Microsoft Ends Live Search Books
May 27, 2008

Microsoft issued the following statement May 23: To our current Live Search Books Publisher Program Partners: As we hope you have already learned from us directly, we are ending the Live Search Books Publisher Program, including our digitization initiatives, and closing the Live Search Books site. We recognize that this is disappointing news to you, our partners, and to the users of the Live Search Books service. Ending these programs is the result of a strategic decision on our part to focus our investments in new vertical search areas where we believe we can more effectively differentiate Live Search. Given the

Is There an ePod in Our Future?
May 1, 2008

Last month, I attended the London Book Fair and came home with new thoughts on the future of e-books. In particular, an in-booth presentation by DNL eBooks’ Peter Kent—author of many books including “SEO for Dummies” and “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Internet”—combined interesting statistics and Kent’s opinion on e-books’ future. Of course, Kent’s affiliation with DNL eBooks should be kept in mind, as the vendor provides a 3-D e-book technology (that incorporates Adobe Flash) through a software download for personal computers. (The technology was used in the Avon [a HarperCollins imprint] e-book release of “Lady Amelia’s Secret Lover,” which featured embedded video

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

To commemorate Earth Day, which was celebrated April 22, FreeAndGreen.com is offering free e-books in partnership with BooksOnBoard.com 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 BooksOnBoard.com “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 BooksOnBoard.com. The free books were provided by Abbey House Press’ Abbey House Classics imprint and can be accessed through www.FreeAndGreen.com and at www.BooksOnBoard.com. “Each year, approximately 30 million trees are used