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Penguin and Random House Put eBooks on Mobile Phones

Random House and Penguin are creating mobile platforms for their ebooks. Of course, this means just one more DRM but who cares about that right? Joe Wickert noted on twitter an article that announced Random House had launched its own iPhone App.

Most significant of all for Random House is the launch, today, of its own app. Download it to your iPhone or iPod and any book from the Random House e-book list can be yours. The app allows you to customise the size of the text and the colour of the text, the font, the look, the feel of the electronic page. It’s reading all right, but not as we know it. With 2,500 Random House titles available by the end of the year, many with ‘rich’ content, these steroidal ‘super-books’ are making a serious play for literary attention and our cash.

This is great, but the fact is I can’t find the app anywhere in the iPhone store. Neither can Joe Wickert.

Bookseller.com reported Penguin has partnered with Mobcast, the operators of mobile platform Gospoken.com. GoSpoken has relationships with Vodafone, 3UK, and Orange. There is also a Blackberry App. No Iphone or Android App yet. The format is said to be “epub” but after calling GoSpoken, I was informed that the epublished document is wrapped in a special format designed for the mobile platform. There is no way to download the books onto your computer and the purchases are tied to your phone number. If you change handsets, you can recapture your purchases, but you cannot transfer them yourself. GoSpoken also contains the entire Macmillan ebook catalog. An Iphone App is in the works.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

3 Comments

  1. Mfred
    May 27, 2009 @ 15:30:35

    ARGH! Why does everyone have to reinvent the ebook wheel?

    Personally, I really like the Random House free library catalog on Stanza and would have been interested to see for-purchase ebooks also listed there, especially if they were tied to free titles in a series or something.

    As a Stanza user, I’m not going to go out of my way to download yet another ebook app– I haven’t even downloaded the Kindle App and that has a lot more name-brand-power in ebook circles than whatever Randhom House is trying to launch.

    ok, end rant. :)

  2. Beau
    May 27, 2009 @ 20:04:01

    Yet another indication of how little some of the houses understand the ebook market. Unless of course I’m in the minority as a person who actually understands how restrictive that is, which is always an option.

  3. Maili
    May 28, 2009 @ 03:53:44

    Random comment: I like this kind of thinking.

    “I'm not in the business of selling books. I sell writing,” says [Irvine] Welsh. “It doesn't bother me how they want to read it as long as it's true to the ideas I had. People criticise e-books for being nothing like the real thing. But they're not trying to be. E-books are just a different way of getting writing and story­telling. Personally, I like a nice book. I need that private intellectual space that a real book gives me. But I don't expect everyone to feel the same way.”

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