E-Books and Interactive Publishing

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 www.WEbook.com. 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

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

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, Amazon.com introduced its portable reader, Amazon Kindle (http://amazon.com/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

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 (http://Marvel.com/DigitalComics) 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

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