Stanzabooksonboard I just went to BooksOnBoard with my iPod Touch and confirmed that direct downloads for iPhone and Touch owners seemed to working already.

The "seemed" is just because I haven’t tested this. But BooksOnBoard instantly recognized my Touch browser. Via a link it offered some easy instructions for downloading within the store’s shopping cart. Just use the nonDRMed ePub format.

Feedback wanted

Congratulations to all three companies on this alternative to the consumer-hostile DRM approach. Of course I’d appreciate feedback from BooksOnBoard customers who do buy Samhain romance books. Is this going smoothly for you?

I’d also welcome information from BooksOnBoard—on backup at the customer end and on the ability to use the same books on other ePub-capable devices. And can you and/or Lexcycle try to solve Jane’s iPhone-Stanza problem?

Needless to say, I hope that DRMless Stanza-type services will soon be extended to mainstream fiction and nonfiction, SF and other categories.

Hello, HarperStudio?

So  I strongly encourage publishers to cooperate with BooksOnBoard, All Romance eBooks and other companies working with Stanza’s developers and other companies—on DRMfree direct downloads for the iPhone and other devices.

Come on, HarperStudio. Dare to be different. Your parent company’s competitors at Samhain—yes, Harper’s Avon unit publishes romances—already are. Nothing against HarperStudio, moreover. I like your experimentation with different business models. Now do the same with the related issue of DRM. Otherwise you’ll be far, far less credible as innovators.

DRMless downloads vs. the gold-plated SUV approach

image Thought: Could HarperCollins and certain other publishers be slow to ditch DRM just because, as some e-book fans say, the the companies have a big investment in the technology? I suspect that’s part of the reason for Harper not experimenting immediately with a Stanza-type DRMless  approach. But it’s still no excuse.

I’m reminded of Detroit trying to push SUVs and slowly heading toward bankruptcy or a whole series of Chrysler-style bailouts. But wait! I doubt that Washington will see publishing conglomerates as serious candidates for infusions of tax money.

Meanwhile DRM is like a brake on digital progress. Too bad. The end of the p-edition of PC Magazine is yet another reminder of the need for book publishers to move full speed ahead. It’s essential to do paper books when revenue from them dwarfs E. But don’t let nonsensical "protection" slow down e-books.


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