The Times They Are A’ Changing: Two New Services for E-Book Pioneers (Also, My Mom Buys a Kindle)

Every now and then I find myself having nice fuzzy (OK, delusional) thoughts about how, no matter how much I read about e-books and the digital revolution, nothing’s really changed (I told you: delusional!).

Then my Mom bought a Kindle.

Let me preface this by saying that the last time I hung out with my Mom, we indulged our inner book-snobs by sniping about how we’d NEVER switch over to e-readers, not in a million years, dah-ling.  My Mom is a lifelong bookworm who supports her local bookstore pretty much single-handedly.  She is also a technophobe who still gets flustered when using a cellphone.

But last week when I visited my parents’ house, guess what came in the mail that very day…

A Kindle.

Yeah.

This turn of events really brought home the reality of the e-book’s relentless march into the mainstream.  It’s real, it’s happening, and even my Mom is into it.  And it seems like there are new technologies and services coming out every week to serve this growing market.

In the past week, Borders and Amazon both announced new self-publishing services for e-book authors.

Borders has partnered with BookBrewer to create an e-book publishing service called “Get Published” which will allow authors to create and market their e-books with major e-book retailers like Amazon.  The “Get Published” program is specially geared towards bloggers looking for an easy way to convert their blog posts into e-books.  The software can even pull posts from an RSS feed and convert them into book format automatically.

Amazon’s newest venture, called Kindle Singles, is designed to publish 30-90 page

“e-chapbooks” that are shorter than regular books but longer than magazine articles.  These “singles” will have a lower price than regular books and will have their own section in the Kindle store.  I’m particularly excited about Kindle Singles and will probably write a more detailed post about it next week, but for now I’ll just say that this is an exciting option for writers who may have found it difficult to publish their shorter works like novellas, short stories, and not-quite-book-length non-fiction ideas.

There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on in the world of e-books and I, for one, will be keeping my eyes and ears open over the next few months.  That, and watching out for my Mom’s first self-published e-book on Amazon—‘cause it’s only a matter of time…

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