November 4th, 2009

books in a stack

A sign of the times

I saw a story on Publishers Weekly about how Simon & Schuster are going to start providing "digital galleys" as advance reader copies (ARCs). ARCs are sent to book reviewers, and in the past were always printed in advance of the final copy. Two points are of interest. One is that the S&S ARCs will be DRM protected and available in formats that can be downloaded to and read on assorted eReaders, including the Sony Reader, the B&N Nook, and Amazon's Kindle. That is perhaps, related to the second point of interest, that S&S is not using NetGalley a commercially available digital ARC service that relies on Adobe Digital Editions (although apparently if publishers upload an unsecure PDF, it can be downloaded to some eReaders).

I think this is a sign that S&S recognizes eReaders as the future of digital reading, not PC or browser-based tools. And hopefully it means their new digital galley stage will ensure their ebooks no longer have formatting errors, something that all print publishers need to address as they begin to publish digitally.

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