Wednesday, June 23, 2010

meBooks starts selling new release New Zealand eBooks
23 July 2010

meBooks, in collaboration with Victoria University Press, has now started selling eBook versions of contemporary New Zealand literature.

One of the VUP titles available as an eBook is Anna Taylor's collection of short stories, Relief, which has recently been announced as the winner of the New Zealand Society of Authors Hubert Church award for the best first fiction book.

Other titles available as eBooks include poetry by established VUP authors such as Anna Livesey and Ingrid Horrocks, as well a collection of short stories by newcomer Pip Adam.

In order to promote the launch of the VUP eBooks, pricing has been set at $9.99 until the end of July, though after this period the normal pricing will still see these eBook titles available at a significant discount to their print equivalents.

Initial interest has been very positive, with customers noting the ease of use of the meBook eBooks due to the lack of Digital Rights Mechanism (DRM) restrictions as used by other eBook vendors.

According to meBooks founder, Jason Darwin, "customers want eBooks where the technology does not get in the way of the reading experience, as unfortunately happens too often with other services.
The use of DRM, though offering some nominal security to publishers, actually serves to frustrate customers and reduce the number of sales publishers would otherwise enjoy. We're hoping to establish that, like online music sales, DRM is only a transitional approach, and one that will soon be largely discarded by the industry."

Mr Darwin says that, though DRM is not the solution for eBook publishing, customers should be expected to observe the same publisher rights as they do with print books.

"As with print books, we make it a condition of sale that customers do not copy or distribute the eBook to others, and we provide a secure means of allowing the customer to access the purchased titles online, which respects any territorial rights that the publisher may decide to observe."

meBooks intends to work with other New Zealand publishers to make both new release and back catalogue titles available as eBooks, and to start working with New Zealand bookstores to provide affiliated sales.

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