BookShout! Disrupts E-book Retailers, Enables Publishers, and Empowers Consumers
All e-book purchases from Amazon and Barnes & Noble can now be imported into new social e-reading platform
FRANKFURT, Germany, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BookShout!, the Dallas-based social e-reading platform, announced today at the Frankfurt Book Fair a revolutionary new disruptive technology that, for the first time ever, enables users to legally import and aggregate all of their previous and future digital book purchases from any source – starting with Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook – into the social/e-reading platform BookShout! at no cost.
Before today, consumers were stuck with reading their e-book on the retail platform from which it was purchased, a major inconvenience for readers and a contrast to a physical book which can be read anywhere, at any time. BookShout! founder and CEO Jason Illian has developed proprietary technology that enables readers to begin creating a universal bookshelf and have new tools to help with discoverability and sharing.
"In essence, we are tearing down the walls the large e-book retailers have established, and are no longer allowing them to build consumer-unfriendly fiefdoms," Illian said. "We are giving the consumers the freedom to access their book purchases when and where they want them, which is the whole point of digital publishing."
BookShout!'s social/e-reading platform debuted earlier this year on the iPhone and iPad, and is now available on iOS, Android and the Web, making it one of the few platforms that is ubiquitous. Integrating an e-reader with social networking capabilities, users can create personal reading groups; authors can interact with their readers and create powerful followings; and publishers can innovate with new marketing and sales models. With five of the Big 6 publishers committed and hundreds of thousands of books, BookShout! has positioned itself so that all possible e-books can be purchased and read on its platform.
"This is a great day for readers and publishers," said Tools of Change President Joe Wikert. "We are 100 percent supportive of BookShout!'s push to free readers and empower publishers. We will continue to work with BookShout! to allow readers to experience and define e-books in new ways."
Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson, echoed Wikert's sentiments, saying, "BookShout! continues to innovate in ways that support the entire publishing ecosystem. It's exciting to see BookShout! and publishers cooperating in a way that is good for all readers."
With this new announcement, BookShout! is moving to protect consumers' rights. "We believe customers who have purchased books should have the right to access the content they have paid for, the right to choose the medium or hardware on which they prefer to access that content, and the right to own and interact with others around that content," Illian said.
In addition to its benefits for readers, BookShout!'s pioneering technology enables publishers to have more direct communication with its book purchasers, as well as to receive data about readers' preferences, helping them to better serve and be more responsive to their customers.
In recent weeks, industry observers in tech and publishing trade publications, such as Paul Carr of Pando Daily, have opined that social reading – the ability to share paragraphs from books with friends or form virtual reading groups – is the future of reading. "The publishing industry as a whole, though, has proved itself much more immune to the economic consequences of 'disruption,'" Carr wrote. "In fact, book publishing might be the only segment in which disruption has the potential to make everyone richer, the old guard and the new kids. Providing, of course, they embrace the change."
Illian agrees with that direction and potential, and sees this announcement as another industry watershed that will create a 'new normal.' "Gutenberg brought about a revolution in his day by making the printed word accessible to the masses," he said. "BookShout! and its partners will accomplish a similar catalytic industry change for e-books by allowing consumers to experience and access books in new ways while authors and their publishers will be given more insights, data and control."