September 29th, 2009

Sony reader

eBooks in the news— Disney and Sony go digital; Princeton not so much

A couple of recent developments illustrate how ebooks are changing the landscape. One is that Disney is starting an ebook subscription service for parents of young children— except they aren't ebooks in the classic sense in that they are accessed solely through the web. The Disney digital book site will have 500 illustrated, interactive story books that can be read aloud. So, Disney is training a new generation to look to a computer screen for reading books. This gets around the color limitation but doesn't make for cozy bedtime reading.

The other news is that Sony is reaching out to indie authors in that they have signed a deal with Smashwords, a web-based ebook self-publishing company, to make their books available on Sony Readers. Smashwords ebooks are also for sale on, Fictionwise, and via the iPhone eReader app.

On the other hand, the kids at Princeton aren't wild about their Kindle DX's, so it's not all beer and skittles for ebooks today.

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