News Roundup: Sony Reader Now Supports EPUB, Esquire Using E Ink on September Cover, What Authors Can Learn from Silicon Valley

Sony Reader Now Supports EPUB and Digital Editions

The new firmware for the Sony Reader (model PRS-505) supports EPUB and Adobe Digital Editions. From MobileRead:

I can now confirm that this particular speculation seems to have proved out: the new firmware (available sometime today, July 24th) will include support for both epub and Adobe’s Digital Editions. It will also include support for PDF reflow, which is something we’ve long been looking for. As an extra added bonus, the new firmware will support DE’s DRM system for both epub and PDF. However you may feel about DRM, this support for it, along with PDF reflow, means that all those PDF e-books available from many public libraries are now in play on the Reader for the first time, so dust off those library cards, folks!

First E Ink Magazine Cover Coming in September

Esquire will use E Ink technology to declare “the 21st Century Begins Now” on 100,000 flashing copies of its September issue. David Granger, Esquire’s editor in chief, discusses the first E Ink-driven magazine cover with the New York Times:

… on its own, the magazine will run out of juice after 90 days. Mr.Granger knows some will see the cover as a gimmick — but he says he thinks the technology behind it, which has been used for supermarket displays but never embedded in a magazine, speaks to the possibilities of print. (Continue reading)

What Authors Can Learn from Silicon Valley

Sramana Mitra of sees parallels between author Elle Newmark’s grassroots audience development and Silicon Valley’s software process:

In Silicon Valley, we do alpha and beta products — small prototypes of our vision — and recruit a small number of customers to gain early validation of the products’ viability. These alpha and beta products, along with early customer validation, help us sell our ventures to investors and raise millions of dollars in venture money.

In Newmark’s case, she spent less than $10,000 of her own money to “bootstrap” her self-publishing effort, she found customers online, and then she recruited William Morris agent Dorian Karchmar as her “investment banker,” who then got her Simon & Schuster as a “venture investor.” Newmark’s deal with Simon & Schuster is widely rumored to include a seven-figure advance.

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