Publishing venture bets on iPhone short stories

A new publishing company is betting that readers will bypass electronic readers such as Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader in favour of reading bite-sized stories on mobile devices they already own. Ether Books will launch at the London Book Fair on Monday, and will offer a catalogue of short stories, essays and poetry initially via Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch, by authors including Alexander McCall-Smith and Louis de Bernieres. Well over 1 billion mobile phones are expected to be sold worldwide this year, compared with just a few million e-readers. Apple alone has already sold more than 85 million iPhone and iPod touch devices, and has just launched its iPad tablet PCs. “At Ether Books we’ve made the decision to go straight to distributing short works via our iPhone app to devices people already own, are familiar with and are happy to use when they have 10-15 minutes to spare,” Ether Books Digital Director Maureen Scott said

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE63I00O20100419

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One thought on “Publishing venture bets on iPhone short stories

  1. Justin Oldham

    I like Ether Publishing’s concept so much that I asked them about submission guidelines. Sophia Batleet responded to me directly, saying that they’re currently taking all their subs through http://www.writersworkshp.com which is a fee for service literary consultancy.

    There’s no doubt in my mind as a writer and as a consumers that they’re on to something. Short storeis and wireless phones are made for each other. There is, however, a downside that writers and publishers had to deal with.

    There’s a lot of fee for service literary consultancies out that there are just predators. Your work is always good and your prospects are always great, so long as your check doesn’t bounce. Most leave you with nothing to show for you trust, except a fist full of cancelled checks.

    I do understand that Ether is just getting started. They need a gatekeeper. Some way of filtering the millions of subs they’d be getting. That’s true for most firms that are going to jump in to this new market.

    Immitators will come along. They’ll swamp the market with vast numbers of low grade shorts. They’ll clip the writers who submit for a small fee, and then shaft them on royalties. it’ll be at least five years before this new option becomes “fair” for the writers who want to use it.

    Reply

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