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Oct 16, 2010

Boarders Turns to Indie Authors

Boarders turns to indie writers for salvation from bankruptcy.

Crazy.

As eBooks have become increasingly popular, many major eBookstores have created ways to fill those eBookshelves not just with the titles of well known authors but with the works of any author willing to cough up the fees to have their projects published and distributed in this new format. And today, Borders throws its hat into the ring with a partnership with the Boulder-based startup BookBrewer, offering a service that will let independent authors publish and sell their eBooks via the Borders' eBookstore.

The deal with Borders will give authors who use BookBrewer a choice of two publishing packages: the $89.99 basic package and the $199.99 advanced publishing package.

With the basic package, BookBrewer will assign the book an ISBN - something that typically costs $125 value - and will make it available to all major eBookstores at a price set by the writer. Authors who purchase the advanced package will receive a full version of their ePub file, which they will own and may share with friends, family or submit on their own to eBook stores. An ePub file can be read with a variety of mobile devices, including the iPad.

...While there is a lot of competition in the eBook and self-publishing space, one of the key features of BookBrewer is the ability to turn an RSS feed into a book. This will have appeal not simply for independent authors, but for bloggers and for educators.

Indeed, just last week the Chronicle of Higher Education asked, "As Textbooks Go Digital, Will Professors Build Their Own Books?" For those teachers (and edu-bloggers) interested in battling the high cost of textbooks by creating open source textbooks, BookBrewer's services may be worth exploring.

2 comments:

C. N. Nevets said...

(Bit of a digression, I suppose.)

Working IT at a university, my experience with eTextbooks is part of the reason I've been so reluctant to take the ePlunge myself.

I'm not saying there are no good ones.

I'm not saying no students and no professors make good use of them.

But, in general, I have found the proliferation of eTextbooks to be based on shaky reasoning and on a foundational misunderstanding of how universally easy and accessible they are.

From where I'm sitting, right now at least, we're at the awkward point digital music was five to ten years ago, and we need one format to gain sufficient market penetration to create a more general standard and a broader common user base.

Ironically, I'm not helping that process, by not increasing any format's market penetration.

I'm a jerk.

Tara Maya said...

I'm accumulating a long list of how ereaders need to improve.

Academic usage is extremely problematic. I have no experience withe eTextbooks, but when I have downloaded regular academic books for use in a paper, I'm hampered by how difficult it is to "flip" through the book (this is not true, frex, of pdf), the mess the Kindle makes of charts, and above all, the lack of a consistent form of pagination for footnotes.