Shortcovers Now Offers Downloadable ePub eBooks

September 11, 2009


Best known as an Internet service where the eBooks reside primarily on their servers to be accessed via smartphone, Shortcovers is now joining conventional eBookstores in offering fully-downloadable ePub eBooks.

There hasn’t been any formal announcement of this, with it being called a “stealth feature” for the present time.

However, I can confirm that the ePubs use Adobe DRM and can also be copied onto a Sony Reader just like other Adobe DRMed ePub eBooks.

To quickly find them, search for “ePub” (no quotes). That returned fifty listings, but not all were ePubs. Look for the wee Adobe logo in the listing, as highlighted here in red:


Clicking on that wee Adobe logo brings up more information:
Click = big or see below

This is the information reproduced full size here:


Here it is explicitly in the single eBook listing:

Click = big

This might not seem like a big deal, but it is.

I know that Shortcovers is more open to small press publishers than, for example, the Sony eBook Store. One of the upcoming eBooks you will find on Shortcovers — and nowhere else — is Twisthorn Bellow from Atomic Fez Publishing.


It’s this kind of thing that will give Shortcovers a huge advantage over its competitors. This is great for writers as well as readers.

Sexy Readers Make Reading Sexy?

September 11, 2009

An American Booksellers Association Omnibus post linked to a Huffington Press post which said:

The book industry needs to make the act of reading sexy and hip, enviable and sought-after. … TV and movies need to show sexy readers, much like they showed sexy smokers back in the day.

Would she think these ladies are sexy? —


They read. In a series. But the series isn’t on TV. It’s Novel Adventures.


Lizzie, Laura, Joanna, and Amy are decidedly uninterested in the pretentious book club they belong to, but they enjoy the time away from their families. Determined to take their ‘us’-time and enjoy it, they decide to use the books as inspiration. It’s great to read about amazing lives, but these girls are ready to live them.

And so, the four women start a new kind of book club, picking a “novel adventure” for each book. Each meeting is an opportunity for discovery, freedom, and fun. The adventure is just the beginning.

It’s light on the book reading, heavy on the product placement. But hey, at least there are books!

eBook Notes For September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009

Cool-er ‘confident’ it can beat Sony’s e-reader sales in UK

After a few months in the market, worldwide sales of the Cool-er (which costs £189 in the UK) have surpassed seven figures, he says.

“I came into this market thinking we would be a comfortable number three in the US, and a comfortable number two in the UK,” Jones says. “Now I’m pretty confident we’ll be number two in America by this time next year in terms of sales, and number one in the UK.”

I don’t believe that at all. I don’t believe Cool-er has sold a million of those plastic PVI fall-apart crap units. Sony has been at it for years and hasn’t broken a half-million worldwide yet. And Sony has done massive advertising (mainly print and signage). Cool-er comes out of nowhere and surpasses Sony? No way.

Big plans for next gen COOL-ER ereader

Marketing director Phil Wood told me that the company had big plans for January 2010. While dual screens certainly aren’t on the company’s road map, a larger colour screen certainly is. The company is also considering working with a UK mobile phone network to add communication/data transfer facilities. This would enable users to download books over the air (which could be a nice little earner for a mobile phone network) as well as enable the COOL-ER to moonlight as a web browser.

Cool-er is very good at playing the PR game. But believing their PR is a fool’s game.

e-Book Readers Learning Their ABCs
Bite Sized Candy, PixelMags, Plastic Logic, ScrollMotion, and Sony Electronics become members of the Audit Bureau of Circulation. Where is Exact Editions, which also does magazines?

ebooks are the future

My own books sell better in Amazon Kindle editions than any other format. The print editions of my books are produced primarily through Print-On-Demand technology. There has been a print run and I do have a few boxes of books at my house, ready to sell to people at conventions or post out when people want or win a signed copy and stuff like that. But more ebooks sell than print books. Not only Amazon Kindle, but multi-format, non-DRM editions through And soon, Smashwords will be acting as a distributor for Barnes & Noble, so that means Smashwords editions become available in places like Fictionwise too. My novels are also available as ebooks on, where you can get both RealmShift and MageSign for US$5 all up. Ebook popularity and sales are skyrocketing.

I wish he had provided sales numbers for POD vs eBook.

E-Ink Developers Pitch Color Displays for 2010

Sriram Peruvemba of E-ink, whose technology is in most of the e-readers currently shipping, said there are now more than 45 e-book models available worldwide from over 25 makers, with millions of units sold.

Peruvemba said he expected color would be important for some applications (and is particularly need for advertising) and said he expected mass production of color displays to be started by the end of next year. He said the current display has a 250 ms response time and about a 6:1 contrast ratio, but that would be improved next year.

End of 2010? Come on, by that time there will have to be Pixel Qi screens out there already in use.

Tree-books to e-books
— a good critique of that eejitastic Cushing Academy that is dumping print books for eBooks. If I had a kid studying there, I’d pull him out because someone in charge has lost his mind.

OverDrive Offers Free Mobile Phone App For Wireless Downloads

Digital content distributor OverDrive is releasing the first in a series of free mobile applications that will allow consumers with mobile phones running the Windows Mobile operating system to download audiobooks, video and music wirelessly from libraries and retailers.

I’ve never used OverDrive Media Console. I’m not fond of audiobooks. I could try video, but I’ve already got a backlog of that which I can play immediately without having to download yet another app. It will be interesting to see this move to the iPhone, HTC Hero, and Palm Pre/Pixi, however.

Publisher Marion Boyars driven out of business

One of the UK’s most adventurous independent publishers, Marion Boyars, is being forced out of business after more than 40 years by the adverse climate of today’s book trade.

The publisher of authors including Ken Kesey, Georges Bataille, Nobel prize winner Kenzaburo Oe, Ivan Illich and Shel Silverstein, Marion Boyars said this morning that it had sold licences in 38 literary titles to Penguin Classics, and that it would be winding down its operations once it has completed its autumn programme.

Another print firm goes belly-up.

Books? What we need is Comes with Books

Long term readers of All About Symbian will know that I’m a sucker for eBooks on my mobile phone, and Steve was quick to point out that a number of titles had popped up as standalone eBooks in the Ovi store from OffScreen Technologies (a veritable factory of little utilities in the store) and would I like to take a look at them and see if this is the right way forward? Read on…

I liked the exchange of Comments:

What we need is a Kindle app for S60, just like we have now a Kindle app for the iPhone.


I’m sure that 3 people who use Symbian in USA will be happy about Amazon developping Symbian app for their USA only service.

That reads like a Comment I would leave, but honest, guv, I was nowhere near the scene of that crime!

Seven Seas’ Manga Titles Come to the Amazon Kindle

(LOS ANGELES, September 9, 2009) – Seven Seas is pleased to announce the release of three of its top-selling original manga series on the Amazon Kindle and through the iPhone/iTouch’s “Kindle for iPhone” application. Amazing Agent Luna Vol. 1-5, Aoi House Vol. 1-2, and Aoi House In Love! Vol. 1-2, along with Christopher Rowley’s Arkham Woods, are now available on the Kindle at the extra low price of $3.50 per volume (200 pages each), making Seven Seas’ Kindle editions the lowest priced manga from any publisher.

“The pricing of our eBooks was a really important point for us as we wanted to make our digital titles affordable. Print editions represent a higher value to today’s consumer, so we decided to price digital editions realistically, and set them several dollars lower than their hard copy counterparts. Digital content should be more of a low cost impulse buy, where you pick something up and can enjoy the heck out of it for a few hours,” says Adam Arnold, Senior Editor with Seven Seas Entertainment. “If Kindle eBooks are successful, then we’ll look into releasing more titles in this format, including some of our best-selling Japanese series.”

I wonder if they can tell how many downloads are to K hardware and how many are to the K iPhone app? It’s also interesting that they deliberately priced the electronic versions lower than print. The devaluation of eBooks continues.

Ten reasons businesses should buy e-readers
— and just about every single one of them is a real stretch.

The iPod Is Dead: Why the days of the dedicated music player have come and gone.

This is the killer quote:

If you pile on features in an elegant way—if you keep the interface comprehensible and make sure the parts work well together—then feature creep becomes feature nirvana.

Here’s a clue: no feature creep is possible with the Axis of E: eInk, ePub, eBook. Period. Remember how Steve Jobs wins.

What Is a Book?

The bigger question is: what is a book for. And are there better ways to help a “book” do what it’s supposed to do?

Random Notes For September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009

These will not seem eBook-related, but they are.

American Fork teen author on verge of making it big time: High school senior signs a 10-book deal.

When M’Lin finished her second book, her mother, author Deborah Rowley, who wrote Family Home Evening for Newlyweds and other books , submitted the two roughly 70-page chapter-books aimed at children ages 6-10 to her publisher.

Assuming the books were penned by the elder Rowley, Schoebinger skipped the cover letter. He read both books and wanted to publish them before he realized the writer was a high school student.

“At first I thought [Deborah Rowley] was kidding me,” said Schoebinger of his reaction to learning the author’s true identity.

The books were polished and the dialogue was realistic — and yet, Schoebinger acknowledges he likely would have rejected the books because of a prejudice against young writers.

Celia Fremlin: author who wrote The Hours Before Dawn

Her first book, The Hours Before Dawn (1958) won the American Edgar Prize for best crime novel. It was reprinted as a Virago Modern Classic almost 40 years later, in acknowledgement not just of her ability to create an atmosphere of simmering fear and wickedness amid the trivia of daily life, but also of the meticulously observed dilemma of her heroine, a young wife so exhausted by her baby’s interminable crying that she is persuaded that her fears are psychotic.

There’s another book to put in my queue to read.

A review of Bob Garfield’s “The Chaos Scenario”

Garfield offers several examples of the power of the consumer, arguing that future success will be “Listenomics.” His campaign against Comcast forced them off the cliff to dive into using the internet for CRM. Jeff Jarvis’s campaign against DELL also converted DELL into an internet CRM activist. A Lego user group helped to turn around the company. A passionate I-Pod user’s viral video was seen by Millions. All of these examples have one thing in common: they were spontaneous, authentic engagements, initiated by consumers. Brands who responded were rewarded.

And then there’s this, which shows that things never change —

As someone I read said recently (and I apologize for the lack of attribution and the paraphrase), “I see lots of great thinking but not a lot of demand for it.”

— never change for those determined to be losers!

Crowdsourcing strategy

At its annual meeting on September 9, the Book Industry Study Group announced plans to provide its members with an annotated summary of major, minor and desired initiatives, a list that currently exceeds 100 items. BISG plans to give every member “points” to allocate to desired or favorite initiatives, with the expectation that the collective will correctly and sustainably help BISG divine strategy.
However, the wisdom of crowds is best used to solve problems that are bounded. If the question or choice is narrow enough, individual members of the crowd can reasonably understand and embody the context in which decisions can be made.

They’re No Bodice Rippers, But Amish Romances Are Hot

Beverly Lewis, who sets her novels among the Amish in Pennsylvania, has sold 13.5 million copies of her books. Wanda Brunstetter’s novels take place in Amish communities in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Pennsylvania, and have sold more than four million copies. Publishing house Thomas Nelson plans to release five Amish novels this fall, and six more in 2010.

Barnes & Noble book buyer Jane Love said Amish novels currently account for 15 of the chain’s top 100 religious fiction titles. “It’s almost like you put a person with a bonnet or an Amish field in the background and it automatically starts to sell well,” Ms. Love said.

Via olympiapress on Twitter:

Isidore Liseux and
let’s get liseuse recognized as a real word

the book: terms of service

I. Privacy

What takes place in the exchange between your brain and the contents of The Book is your exclusive private concern. The Book will never download the contents of your brain, either whole or in part.

SiriusXM BookRadio

The best of books … Feel the drama. Live the suspense. Hear the story unfold.

I didn’t know they had that.

Ten typographic mistakes everyone makes

Grammar nazis are so last century. Welcome, friends, to the brave new world of the typography nazi. Below are ten mistakes that everyone makes, an explanation of why each is wrong, and details on how to fix them. At least, you’ll see how to fix them on the Mac; under Windows, you’ll need to dig through tables of Alt characters. Have fun.

Nathan Myhrvold’s Evil Genius

Last year I wrote that Intellectual Ventures is a kind of reductio ad absurdum of our flawed patent system. It’s a firm that literally does nothing useful, its only business is the acquisition and licensing of patents. Not only does it have no intention of commercializing the technologies it “invents,” its business model is based on minimizing the amount of research performed per patent obtained. In Malcolm Gladwell’s brilliant (if inadvertent) exposé of IV, he describes how IV hires smart people to participate in brainstorming sessions and then has patent lawyers immediately file patent applications for every idea that comes up during the discussion, without bothering to actually implement any of them, or even devoting much effort to verifying that they actually work. IV then approaches firms that are doing the hard work of implementing “their” ideas and demands a cut of their profits.

Mhyrvold is a physicist. He should be doing authentic work on things like superconductive batteries, not being a Patent Pimp.

If You Printed The Internet …
— but don’t even try!

Writer Josh Olson: Always Say No!

September 11, 2009

I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script

This is the Truth:

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you’re in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you’re dealing with someone who can’t.

(By the way, here’s a simple way to find out if you’re a writer. If you disagree with that statement, you’re not a writer. Because, you see, writers are also readers.)

And for all those people who constantly want me to read their stuff, this is the Truth too:

Now, I normally have a standard response to people who ask me to read their scripts, and it’s the simple truth: I have two piles next to my bed. One is scripts from good friends, and the other is manuscripts and books and scripts my agents have sent to me that I have to read for work. Every time I pick up a friend’s script, I feel guilty that I’m ignoring work. Every time I pick something up from the other pile, I feel guilty that I’m ignoring my friends. If I read yours before any of that, I’d be an awful person.

I have my own damned queue of stuff to read. You either wait your damned turn or you never get read at all. And hey, if I bump someone to the top who’s Not You, that’s my damned privilege.