From the overflow attendance at the International Digital Publishing Forum to a panel of digitally skeptical publishing CEOs, one way or another e-books and digital publishing were at the heart of this year's BEA. OverDrive CEO Steve Potash said the industry has finally recognized that “every device with a screen, whether it's big or small, will be used for books and reading.” The show featured a Digital Book Zone and, at least early in the show, lots of foot traffic and a few deals announced during the show.
Baker & Taylor had several announcements, including teaming with digital distributor LibreDigital to offer a full range of e-book delivery and online emarketing services to B&T client publishers. The agreement will deliver ebooks to a wide variety of devices and applications such as the much anticipated (and delayed) Blio e-book reading software developed in conjunction with K-NFB Reading Technology, which Penguin, Amazon Settle Penguin and Amazon have settled their dispute, and Penguin frontlist ebook titles should begin appearing in the Kindle bookstore no later than Monday. CEO Da-
B&T senior v-p Linda Gagnon said was now set to be released in the late summer or early fall. B&T also announced a deal to provide print on demand services to Simon & Schuster and the German academic house De Gruyter through its TextStream POD unit. Besides a deal to offer subscriptions to PW content, digital newsstand Zinio announced plans to add book publishers that focus on graphic and visual titles to its digital offerings. Zinio global executive v-p and CMO Jeanniey Mullen said the vendor has about 12 publishers, including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sourcebooks, Tokyopop, Oxford University Press, and Wiley, offering book publishers full color and complex layouts in addition to new advertising options aimed at digital books.
Sony debuted plans to release its digital reading device in Australia, China, Italy, Japan, and Spain by the end of the year, and digital content converter Aptara has teamed with Vital Source, Ingram's e-textbook unit, to provide software that will make e-books easier to read for the visually impaired—the software enlarges type, images, and equations. Device producer Entourage showed off its dual screen eDGe reader—a backlit fullcolor LCD and facing e-ink screen—and announced a deal to add about 150 titles from Encyclopaedia Britannica.
NetRead showed off JacketCaster, an application that automates distribution of book metadata—critical data about the book from prices to bibliographic info— and conversion to Onix formatting, the preferred metadata format for e-books. Maryland-based iScroll offered a new version of an app that supplies scrolling text to the audio—research shows having both reinforces comprehension. IScroll's managing partner Shaw Yazdani said the app now offers more than 1,700 titles from more than 20 publishers—including newly signed McGraw-Hill—across all book categories. And Copia, the fledgling book, social media, and book retailing platform, is set to start live beta testing sometime in the next few weeks, according to v-p Sol Rosenberg.