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Old 01-31-2008, 11:08 AM   #1
NatCh
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Post Sony's eBook Store begins "stocking" Short Stories!

Sony's eBook Store begins "stocking" Short Stories!

While we're waiting for that first Firmware update for the 505 (which we're all anticipating next month) Sony has thrown out this little bone.

Over at the eBook Store they've added a new class of offering they've dubbed "eStories" which consists of "over 1,000 stories from America's leading authors."

The list of authors presently includes:
  • Kevin J. Anderson
  • Lawrence Block
  • Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Orson Scott Card
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Ed Gorman
  • Joe Haldeman
  • Wendy Hornsby
  • Margo Lanagan
  • Tanith Lee
  • Mike Resnick
  • Robert Silverberg
  • Susan Sizemore
  • R.L. Stine
  • Donald E. Westlake

Quote:
"The short story has a long standing place in American literature, but over the last several decades, the economics of distribution made it difficult for authors to make their short stories available outside of anthologies and certain literary magazines, said Steve Haber, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging and Audio Division. "In much the same way that the digital download enabled music fans to get the songs they wanted without having to buy the album, the eBook format enables a new generation of readers to instantly access an ever increasing selection of short stories to read on the Reader Digital Book from Sony, or their PC."
The prospect of being able to buy and read just a single Philip K. Dick story, for example (they have 120 of his short stories), is an exciting one. Particularly for those who would like to read, say, Minority Report but aren't sure they want to commit to a full anthology of his stories. The $.99 to $1.99 per-story pricing should be a lot more attractive to the newcomer.

As the story within the story on this one, this news brings with it the hope of yet another expansion in Sony's offerings, not just the short stories themselves, but possibly from the other works held by the source of those short stories: Tekno Books.

Quote:
Sony's access to America's leading authors is enabled through its association with Dr. Martin H. Greenberg, the founder and Chief Eexecutive Partner of Tekno Books, a leader in the book packaging industry, with more than 2,000 books produced to date with more than 65 bestselling authors in all genres, including Tom Clancy, Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, the late Isaac Asimov, and many more.

Dr. Greenberg is the recipient of the Milford Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction editing, the Ellery Queen Award for lifetime achievement in mystery editing, and the Bram Stoker Award for lifetime achievement in supernatural horror editing - the only person in publishing history to have won all three of these honors. In conjunction with Sony, Dr. Greenberg and the team at Tekno Books will be working directly with authors to bring their short stories to Sony eBook Store and to Sony's co-branded store with Borders.
Of course, there's no guarantee that the one will bring the other, but the prospect of finally being able to get Tom Clancy novels as e-books is exciting to my mind and a great relief to my wrists!

Then there's the detail that this brings Sony's store more in line with what Amazon has been doing, offering short work as well as longer ones. It should certainly herald a good jump in the number of items Sony "stocks." How excellent that that the rising e-book tide is giving us all more choices for our e-reading passion.

So what do y'all think? Is this more evidence that we're reaching a tipping point on e-books?



Original Press Release
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:17 AM   #2
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E-Books have been a boon for those who want to read short stories but don't want to have to search for collections or magazines for them. I've been buying short stories from Fictionwise for a long time. I particularly like it when they offer up Hugo nominees for free. (Tho, Fictionwise doesn't have a complete list.)
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
So what do y'all think? Is this more evidence that we're reaching a tipping point on e-books?
I'd say it's at least more toe-tipping (testing the waters rather than plunging in) by Sony. In this case, they are following Amazon's lead with their Digital Shorts (no boxers or briefs, please ). Just fyi, a search of Sony's shorts today leads to 58 hits under Horror, 791 under SciFi, 230 under Mysteries and Thrillers, and 24 Other (mostly westerns and war stuff).
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:45 AM   #4
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I consider that the new e-book industry is a great opportunity for short stories. In the paper world, it's very tough for a writer to sell short stories. You can publish them in various magazines and newspapers if you're lucky, or wait for years before you have enough short stories to release a collection. Usually, you sell less of these collections compared to a novel.

On my dedicated readers, I always carry a few short stories with me. It's very nice to read them between two books, or if I get a bit sick of reading the same novel. Very refreshing.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
Just fyi, a search of Sony's shorts today leads to 58 hits under Horror, 791 under SciFi, 230 under Mysteries and Thrillers, and 24 Other (mostly westerns and war stuff).
Good digging, vivaldirules!

Let's see ... 58 + 791 + 230 + 24 = 1103 Yup! "over 1,000" it is. I was expecting it to be more like 1,003 or something.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:13 PM   #6
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Note that FictionWise also have a large range of short stories in their "Multi-Format" range; these can be read on the Sony too.
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Old 01-31-2008, 03:37 PM   #7
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Added a link to the press release up in first post.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:19 PM   #8
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I'd also mention that, if you are interested in short stories, fictionwise sells e-subscriptions to short story mags like Ellery Queen, Analog, Asimov's, Alfred Hitchcock's, etc. They're all multiformat.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:06 PM   #9
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I noticed this a few days ago, when I was looking for a book at the connect website. Sadly, amn't as savvy as NatCh at creating posts, so I would have flubbed it. Good eye, NatCh.

On a side note, SONY does not have the book I was looking for (Neither does the Kindle), and I never seem able to access the bookstore in the "E-book Library" application, only via a web browser.
Maybe it's me. Or maybe Amazon had an amazing idea to add a little wi-fi antenna to their reader. SONY's user interface could use some work. That being said, Amazon has been in the biz a bit longer, and it must have been easier to integrate the kindle into an existing site rather than code the iTunes of books.
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
I noticed this a few days ago, when I was looking for a book at the connect website. Sadly, amn't as savvy as NatCh at creating posts, so I would have flubbed it. Good eye, NatCh.
Heh, it's easier not to miss such things (and to have plenty to say about them) when you get a press release, Cthulhu!

Don't let being unfamiliar with such posts stop you from telling about new stuff you notice -- it gets easier with practice, and there's no way to get that without practicing. There's no reason you can't start with a "hey, guys, I noticed this thing about such and such -- here's a link" approach. It gets the job done. You can always get fancier as you go, if you want to.

I noticed that the thing on their homepage for the short stories was up before the official "release time" on the press release we got, and wondered how long it had been there. From what you say it's been there a few days, that's very interesting to me.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:41 PM   #11
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:01 PM   #12
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@ NatCh: Thanks for the encouragement. Admittedly, was rather cross at the software on my desktop not contacting the site while my browser could, and the wi-fi signal I get nowadays is a bit like Schro(umlaut)dinger's cat: mayhaps it works, mayhaps it doesn't.

as a point of Clarification, are you a SONY employee, or just chummy with the Reader department?
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:12 AM   #13
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
as a point of Clarification, are you a SONY employee, or just chummy with the Reader department?
Heh, nope, I don't work for Sony, and while "chummy" is probably something of an overstatement, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Blogger's Day event for the launch of the 500 (back in September '06, along with Bob Russell) and was party to the MobileRead Conference call for the 505's launch (along with Bob and Alexander Turcic), and I've run into them a time or two at a couple of other events.

In this case, it was a press release that they forwarded to MobileRead (along with a bunch of other people, I'm sure, though I haven't specifically checked -- that's what press releases are for after all ).
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