Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coming To A Cell Phone Near You: Books

I look after my fellow mobile warriors.  And when there's something cool, I want to share it with you.  The five you read who read Onxo posts on a daily basis knows that (three of you being imaginary).

So, here you go.  Simon And Schuster is bring about 500 books to your cell phone, even if you don't have a smartphone or mobile device like the iPhone or G1.  Now, I have a confession to make.  I like to read.  Wow, that felt good.  And I'm sure a lot of folks out there do as well.
Why is this significant?  I'll get to that.  First, this is what will be made available.  According to RCR Wireless, some best sellers like "The Secret", the popular Star Trek books, Buffy, and CSI will be among those that will be made available for download.

I tried it on the desktop browser ( and the page told me access only from a mobile browser.  So, I tried it with my iPhone.  I took some screen shots to show what we're getting into.

I'll take a more in depth look at this on the Samsung Trace to see how well it works.  Oh, I should warn you that there are charges for the data download if you don't have a data plan.  So you might want to consider getting one before going forward with this.

I took some screen shots of what it looks like on the iPhone.  One of the books available for free is the Bible.  The other being a German-English dictionary, I picked the Bible.

So far, the books look like they cost $9.99 each.  For for folks who happen to be writers, Global-Reader has a link where you can send in for more information about publishing your best sellers.

With 3.3 billion phones with some sort of Internet access, this is a large untapped market for reading materials like books and magazines.  I think this is the right move to make.  The cost is not so prohibitive given the books are already available and may not even need to be formatted for small screens that exist on most phones.  After all, the Japanese have been using their mobile phones to read novels for years now.  According to the NY Times, five of ten top novels in Japan originated as novels on mobile phones.

The market is there.  People still like to read.  Make it accessible and affordable and millions of eye balls will read to find out if the Borg will ever beat Picard and the pesky crew of the USS Enterprise.

Source:  RCR Wireless

Note:  If you're an iPhone user, you have many options with apps like eReader and Stanza.  But if you're of the Web 2.0 kind of guy or gal, check out textonphone. They've got tons of free books on there.  Even books that should not be there because of copyrights.  But what do I know.

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