Big News: Smashwords Previews Breakthrough ebook Publishing Platform

The following excerpts from a Feb. 11 press release from a startup publishing company called Smashwords underscores an emerging trend that is bound to accelerate as tools like the Kindle begin to penetrate the market.

“Smashwords allows anyone to become a published ebook author in minutes. The site is ideal for full length novels, short fiction, essays, poetry, personal memoirs, non-fiction and screenplays. Authors receive 85% the net sales proceeds from their works, and retain full control over sampling, pricing and marketing. Smashwords automatically converts the book into multiple DRM-free ebook formats (.txt., .rtf, .mobi, .epub, .pdf), making the book available for download or online reading. The latest generation of ebook reading devices, such as the Amazon Kindle, the IREX Iliad and the Sony  Reader, for example, deliver a satisfying reading experience for most  people.”

I added the bold font on the last sentence to emphasize the breakthrough implication of their business. This capability has significant repercussions for publishing, particularly in the educational field. As more and more books become “open source” and freely available, the barriers to universal literacy will begin to crumble.



A Video Demonstration of Amazon’s Kindle

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More great literacy links..

A blog by an Instructional Technology training specialist at Georgia State University’s College of Education:

“Guysread” is  a web-based literacy program to help boys find stuff they like to read. It was created by Jon Scieszka, who was recently appointed to be the Inaugural National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, by the United States Library of Congress:

Livre E-Book is Awesome, Literacy Rejoyces

Click below to link to a post about another e-book reader that has just been announced. With a touch screen and the ability to turn pages by sliding your fingers across the screen it certainly trumps the Kindle in design elegance. But lacking the wireless connectivity and vast online bookstore that the Kindle comes with, it’s not likely to detract from Amazon’s sales. It could however provide some inspiration for Kindle 2.0’s feature set…

Connect2Books is now on Facebook!

For you Facebook users, there’s now a Connect2books “cause” there, which you can invite your friends to join. Just click here:

Interested in joining the pilot program?

Are you interested in getting Kindles for your Kids?

We are currently accepting applications from organizations and schools that work with at-risk and low income youths, in grade levels 6 to 12. Some obvious ones jump quickly to mind: Inner city school districts with a high percentage of Title I students, organizations that target at-risk and underserved populations, such as Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, KIPP Academy, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the Harlem Children’s Zone Project, to name just a few. Organizations such as these have the infrastructure and programs in place that would be needed to administer the distribution and monitoring of the Kindle units. Suggestions for willing and committed organizations are welcome.

CNET In depth review of the Kindle

For CNET’s review of the Amazon Kindle, click here-