Wednesday Mar 11, 2009

New Reading Opportunities

    For those who are new to e-books, and for those regular e-book readers looking to try something new, we are well into Read an E-book Week, which is from March 8th through the 14th. There are several publishers and authors who are offering free e-books or reduced prices on e-books this week. For those of us using the e-book reader Stanza on their iPhones, check out the online libraries for the Read an E-book Week library with many free and reduced price books.

    I've been an e-book reader for many years, having started on various Palm OS based devices, a Windows-based PDA, laptops, and now my iPhone. I like them because they are convenient, but I am disappointed at the prices. I've blogged before about some of my sources, from Project Gutenburg, offering free access to classics and non-copyright material, to Fictionwise, whom by the way was just purchased by Barnes and Noble, and who has more flexible pricing to handle the purchase of single stories. So far I have found plenty of e-books of interest for free, and have even purchased or gotten some for my birthday, but I still think that the publishing industry should not follow the music industries lead, and should start building the market with prices that reflect the reduced cost to 'print' and distribute the content. Some publisher's, like Bain, are headed in the right direction, and I support them and cheer them on.

    Speaking of e-books, a close friend of mine has made the travel book for children he and his wife did available as a web e-book, as they have found it challenging to get it published in hard copy so far. I went with them on at least one 'photo shoot', and have been interested in the project from the start. The book is built around a stuffed koala named Kiki who loves to travel. It is a photo book, with Kiki visiting many tourist sites around Boston. I think they have done a wonderful job with the website, and the formatting of the web e-book. Some of the shots are really great, and I'm sure my kids would have loved the book when they were younger. Check it out at Kikibooks. I hope they get enough positive feedback to continue the series in other cities, although I know there is a lot of planning and logistics involved, particularly in the post-911 environment we live in these days.

    I encourage anyone who likes to read to take this opportunity to check out e-books for the first time, or to try something different in e-books. I've recently discovered the existence of cartoon/comic e-books myself, and am trying them out on both my iPhone and my laptop. :-)

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A place where Perley Mears sounds off on topics relevant to his work at Oracle.

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