BookBrewer, offering a service that will let independent authors publish and sell their eBooks via the Borders' eBookstore.As eBooks have become increasingly popular, many major eBookstores have created ways to fill those eBookshelves not just with the titles of well known authors but with the works of any author willing to cough up the fees to have their projects published and distributed in this new format. And today, Borders throws its hat into the ring with a partnership with the Boulder-based startup
The deal with Borders will give authors who use BookBrewer a choice of two publishing packages: the $89.99 basic package and the $199.99 advanced publishing package.
With the basic package, BookBrewer will assign the book an ISBN - something that typically costs $125 value - and will make it available to all major eBookstores at a price set by the writer. Authors who purchase the advanced package will receive a full version of their ePub file, which they will own and may share with friends, family or submit on their own to eBook stores. An ePub file can be read with a variety of mobile devices, including the iPad.
While the various companies who offer self-publishing opportunities offer similar services - for either a flat fee or for a chunk of the royalties you can see your book in print (or, at least, you can read it in a digital format), BookBrewer boasts an entry point for independent authors that is very affordable. You can also create a sample version of your eBook - watermarked with "not for sale" - for free.
And BookBrewer is fast. When BookBrewer's COO and Creative Director Don Hajicek explained the process to me, he admitted that it took him longer to type the instructions in an email than it did to actually create the book. I've condensed his instructions, admittedly, but they go something like: click the "create eBook" button. Upload cover art. Name the book. Give author name and description, enter the RSS feed for his WordPress blog. Select the posts from the feed and rearrange and edit them. And click the "Create Sample eBook" button. Drag to iTunes. Sync with iPad. Done.
But cheaper and faster - although great - are only part of the reason that BookBrewer is onto something noteworthy here.
RSS: Building Our Own eBooks
While there is a lot of competition in the eBook and self-publishing space, one of the key features of BookBrewer is the ability to turn an RSS feed into a book. This will have appeal not simply for independent authors, but for bloggers and for educators.
Indeed, just last week the Chronicle of Higher Education asked, "As Textbooks Go Digital, Will Professors Build Their Own Books?" For those teachers (and edu-bloggers) interested in battling the high cost of textbooks by creating open source textbooks, BookBrewer's services may be worth exploring.