Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Blue is an E-Reader!

Blue ePub By Mary McCallumGo to Kobo and there it is. Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Yes, I'm chortling.

I talked to Penguin NZ's Commissioning Editor for fiction, Katie Haworth, today because I was interested in the CLL funding available to convert NZ books into e-readers for the GreatNZebooks site (in development). She explained that Penguin has already converted its stable of books using Kobo. She says it's the fourth biggest E-reader site in the world and they are happy with the results.

I checked it out, and found I could download The Blue to my desktop, smartphone, ipad or Kobo reader, which was created in Canada.

NBR has written about Kobo here when it was launched in NZ last May by Whitcoulls, and compares it to the other e-readers:

File formats are also a lot less locked down, with Kobo supporting the open ePUB standard, plus PDF and Adobe DRM.
In the same spirit of openness, you can also copy your own PDF content onto a Kobo.
There are two connectivity options - using Bluetooth to sync with a cellphone or laptop, or syncing with a PC or Mac via USB cable.

But what's the Kobo reader like? NBR again -
A Kobo reader looks very similar to an Kindle (check one out, plus tech specs, on here), sharing the same style of black-and-white, anti-glare display.
But the Kobo economic model is very different with publishers - rather than Amazon or Apple - more in the driving seat, according to US reports.
Which is why Penguin has decided to go that way, I guess. The Whitcoulls connection doesn't seem to be a concern - Penguin is maintaining a watching brief. And meanwhile, for me it means The Blue gets another chance in the marketplace - this time an international one. Until today, it's only been sold in NZ, Australia and Israel, with the odd keen reader and bookshop in the UK and US flying the novel in. It has, for some reason,  had no Amazon presence. 
One thing, though. The E-reader cover's a little different from the printed version. This is an earlier version that was never used, but I quite like that. 
So woo-hoo for all that. Thank you Penguin! 


Mark Pirie said...

Hi Mary, congratulations on that. said...

Exciting - the digital age is certainly here and how wonderful to be part of it - congratulations.

workbook : Helen Reynolds said...

congratulations Mary, that sounds very cool!