Readings and SPUNC Launch New Ebookstore [24.01.2011]
In a collaboration between three unique Melbourne organisations, award-winning independent bookshop Readings has launched an eBookshop exclusively stocked with ebooks published by small and independent Australian publishers.
In early 2010 SPUNC (the Small Press Network), who saw an opportunity to allow Australia’s independent publishers to sell ebooks in the independent bookselling sector, received some funding support from the Australia Council to make this happen.
Meanwhile, local web software development company, Inventive Labs, who have been consultants to many of Melbourne’s independent publishers, had been working on an ebook platform, Booki.sh, built around their open-source web-based ereader Monocle.
Readings, equally eager to enter the digital publishing retail environment, jumped at the opportunity of bringing Australian and International authors, from Australian publishers to their customers. Together a wonderful partnership between Readings, SPUNC and Inventive Labs was formed.
‘We’re really thrilled to be the first independent bookshop in Australia to offer locally published ebooks to our customers. This is a fantastic way that our customers can support local independent publishing and bookselling in the digital age’, said Readings Managing Director, Mark Rubbo. ‘We see this as the best ebooks solution as customers can simply browse and purchase ebooks, which can then be read on any device with a modern web browser instead of being tied to a particular device such as the Kobo or Kindle.’
SPUNC, is buoyed by the level of interest from small publishers, and even more so by what this means for the future of small press publishing.
‘It’s not easy for small publishers to keep up with new technologies and trends in sales and marketing,’ says SPUNC General Manager, Zoe Dattner. ‘The ebook platform that Inventive Labs has designed, Booki.sh, is fantastic, and because of existing relationships between independent publishers and Readings’ customers, this really is a very galvanising development for the small press sector for where we are in publishing at the moment. It has opened up the traditional bookselling frameworks.’
Books offered will include award winning authors such as Steven Amsterdam, Peter Temple, Cate Kennedy and Kate Grenville and ranges from independent publishers such as Giramondo, Sleepers Publishing, Affirm Press, Black Inc, Scribe and Text.
In the coming months, Readings will be signing up larger publishing companies, ensuring it remains a comprehensive seller of books, just like its bricks and mortar shops.
Here’s a sample of the ebook version of the latest Quarterly Essay by George Megalogenis. (Samples of all the Readings ebooks are embeddable so feel free to pass them around the internet.)