The Revolution Continues…

An excellent article here for a Sunday read suggesting the shape of things to come. Scott Stein at CRAVE the Gadget Blog from Cnet details an interesting experience in which he ends up favoring the present over the past. And I think you’ll find that common sense and economic realities are the driving forces behind this interesting piece on consumerism in the digital age.

Long live the eBook Revolution, yah?

Simon and Shuster gets into the act…

Stephen King publisher Simon & Shuster has taken the leap and opened a virtual storefront at Read the story here. Called the Youtube for eBooks, the document sharing site,, allows publishers and independent authors to offer samples of their eBooks and make direct sales to readers.

Simon & Shuster is making 5,000 titles available at the popular eBook sharing and sales destination. (60 million visitors a month…wow!)

A little investigation shows Stephen King’s The Cell sample and purchase offer at It’s listed at $7.99 to download the entire book, a $2.00 discount from the list price of $9.99. A quick look shows that Amazon offers it at $7.99 for Kindle.

The prices are coming down, yah?

Where is Apple’s Tablet?

Ok. We know Apple released its new iPhone 3G on Monday and re-priced it to sell at $199 (with strings attached.) Read about it here.

But where is their Media-tablet (Media-pad)? We’ve reported rumors here and here about something bigger and sleeker on the drawing boards at Apple. Something with superior eBook reading capability… Steve Jobs didn’t even hint at it during Monday’s announcement.

We heard it would be in the fall, but expected something to leak earlier. The Apple Media-tablet is lurking out there somewhere but when will it surface, yah?

And it’s WAR!

Okay. ‘War’ may be overstating, but you have to agree this is going to stir the pot. I love it! Borders is offering a Sony® Reader Digital Book PRS-505 with a list price of $299.99 for just $199.99. Check out the specifics here.

It’s a sale, yes. A limited time offer too, but it’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for, and exactly what the top of the line competitors like Sony’s Reader and Amazon’s Kindle have to do to hold onto the ground they’ve got. (Both are fielding machines that run in the $400 dollar range, which with $9.99 per eBook is too much…)

It’s proof that these eBook Reading devices can and should and will come down in price, yah?

California Governor sets his sights on the future…

I will resist the urge to make any ‘killer robot’ allusions or asides. Sometimes a governor is just a governor.

The Ventura County Star reports California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing the adoption of the nation’s first Free Digital Textbook Initiative designed to save schoolboards (and his financially strapped state) millions of dollars per year. Read the story here. He did that Monday, paving the way for an evolution in education. I’m sure there will be copyright battles to come. Publishers will have to determine a licensing structure because of the potential for eBook copying and sharing. There will also be the rights for illustrations and photographic work to think about.

Very progressive for a Republican, yah?

Steampunk Tales Issue #1 NOW AVAILABLE!

Click to view

Steampulp Publishing LLC  has released the world’s first electronic pulp fiction magazine created exclusively for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Emulating the style of the pulp adventure magazines of the 1920s and ’30s, Steampunk Tales #1 contains first-run and original fiction written by an A+ list of award-winning authors. Issue #1 contains 10 short stories (between 4,300 and 11,000 words) for the unbelievably low price of $1.99. Get a first look here or buy it at the Apple App store here.  

That’s right from the press release. This too: “We stand at the beginning of a revolution in the distribution of print,” says John Sondericker III, founder of Steampulp Publishing. “The combination of low distribution costs and the potential for high volume sales allows us to provide an astounding value for the consumer. The timing is perfect to re-introduce the world to the ‘Penny Dreadfuls’, and the iPhone is a platform that can truly do them justice.” (Why paraphrase what Mr. Sondericker said so well?)

I added that quote because I’m in total agreement. The same is true for eBooks that should really be seen as the new incarnation of reasonably priced pulp paperback editions intended for wide distribution and large volume sales. I checked out Steampunk Tales Issue #1, it’s got a unique look that you should click over and see. It feels perfect for iPhone, yah?

Digital book “ecosystem?”

Here‘s a story at Top News about Google’s plans to get up in Amazon’s grill and offer a sales and search platform to eBook authors, publishers and stores.

I’m cool with it. Competition is good for business. My only concern is we’re really talking about an online marketplace for digital books, aren’t we? It worries me when a mammoth corporation like GOOGLE starts making up names for things that are shared by all. It’s rather presumptuous and denotes ‘ownership.’ This one’s got focus-group all over it too. Ecosystem is a green-friendly and touchy feely name. I can just see the silly buggers passing that one around the boardroom. Gag! Google should know better, yah?

It’s a good day to read…

Okay. A slow eBook news day is a good day to read an eBook. Check out these collections and free offers. The libraries and web sites in the list are constantly adding new titles and different editions so it’s always worth going back to download something to read, or to grab eBooks old or new to add to your own digital library. Enjoy!

Project Gutenberg – Their mission statement: to encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks. “Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks.” Read the full scoop at the above link. Tons of reading there, you could browse all day. Classics and public domain material for obvious reasons but here’s their explanation. They offer many formats but prefer “open” and “editable” varieties. “Download unlimited eBooks for FREE – anytime.” Looks like they’ve got a backlist of public domain works, old classics, i.e. Carmilla, and other various author-direct releases. Also advertorial and how-to books available. Worth a look see, especially if you’re curious about author-direct releases or you’re building an eLibrary of your own.

G. Wells Taylor is giving the first book in his Apocalypse Trilogy away. Get it here. It’s a horror mystery adventure called When Graveyards Yawn. Multiple formats now available.

Jennifer L. Armstrong hosts Free Online Novels where she’s posted an impressive list of free online novels along with her own. Various formats. Huge Selection! allows you to select free eBooks in various formats for download: Mobi, Pdf, sized for iLiad, Sony etc. That means you’re getting public domain material, but there’s a growing list of Author Direct eBooks too. It also offers some cool free online publishing options for writers.

L. Lee Lowe’s free novel Mortal Ghost is available here in various formats for a range of devices and handhelds: iPod etc. It worth a read. It’s also available in podcasts here.

Author Susan Crealock has several hundred FREE eBooks available at her blog: Online Novels. We’re talking about some 500 titles in a wide selection of genres written by both traditionally published and Indie authors. Check it out.

Suggest a Link here.

CrunchPad is very cool…

CrunchPad seems to be out-tableting Apple’s rumored multi-purpose machine. (That’s supposed to have a fall release.)

Billed as a doorway to ‘couch computing’ techcrunch’s CrunchPad is a slick and sweet little ride. Check it out here. They’re offering conceptual drawings now, and a first working prototype in weeks.

With a rumored $300 admission, this is an eBook Reader that could be a Kindle killer, justifying its price with multi-function and multi-purpose. (Doesn’t Kindle just read eBooks?)

My hope is devices like this will become available for people who want the bells and whistles, and the rest of the eBook Reader world can focus on a eBook Reading device that will just read eBooks without breaking the bank. There is room for both yah?

More signs of the change that’s coming…

I’ve mentioned the Espresso print-while-you-wait book machines before. It looks like the traditional publishing industry has heard about them too. Read the article here at Graphic Arts Online about a traditional paperback printer cutting staff in response to “the economic downturn…and technology innovations.” It seems like a no-brainer now, but a few of us have been predicting this for years. It was just a matter of time before the traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ publishers quit trashing print-on-demand and embraced the print-only-what-you-sell economic model. It should only make sense to the corporate slaves of quarterly profits, yah? Think about it: no start up, no stock, no storage, no shipping, no RETURNS… This marks another shift toward digital that runs parallel to the adoption of eBooks and eBook Readers. (Now they’ve got to realize that consumers are hip to the lower costs associated with producing print-on-demand paperbacks and eBooks. Publishers should drop their prices and expectations accordingly.)

While it’s sad for the employees who are losing their jobs, one has to accept that the eBook (digital) Revolution is going to continue to demand adaptations from all of us. You’ll notice in the article that prepress work at this Offset Paperback Manufacturer’s Laflin, PA, location will be outsourced. Well, that outsourcing represents shifting job demographic in its purest form. One door closes another opens.