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Promise of the Bambook + collaboration with Xinhua

Promise of the Bambook
English.news.cn   2010-11-19 10:14:25 FeedbackPrintRSS
BEIJING, Nov. 19 (Xinhuanet) — Even as the date of entry of Amazon’s e-book reader Kindle in the Chinese market remains hazy, the newly launched Bambook, marketed by Shanghai-based Shanda Literature Ltd, is making rapid strides.
“It’s so handy that I’ve read 20 books on Bambook over the past three months,” says Qu Haibin, a test user. “That rivals the number of books I read in a whole year previously.”
Its producer claims to have overcome a core technical barrier of existing e-book readers, allowing Bambook users to turn pages without any time lapse. Every user can also interact with others by logging on to Shanda’s online Cloud library to recommend book lists to another user, or share book reviews and comments, says Wu Di, product manager of Bambook.
“Bambook allows three ways of accessing the Internet – wi-fi, USB Internet card, and 3G. Reading is no longer a solitary pursuit; now it’s more about sharing and interacting,” Wu says.
What gives the company even more confidence is the content it has built up over the years as the country’s major online source of literature.
Bambook users are automatically connected to Cloud library, which has full copyright to more than three million e-books from the company’s seven online literature websites, and 100,000 e-books from traditional publishers.
The library is said to be adding 100 million words a day from its contracted online writers. What is more, 200 publishers have agreed to provide titles to it.
“One of our core operations is to work on copyrights,” says Hou Xiaoqiang, chief executive officer of Shanda Literature.
Holding full copyrights to e-books enables Bambook to be competitive.
“Bambook has made a breakthrough by matching content with platforms, resolving a major headache,” says Hao Zhensheng, director of Chinese Institute of Publishing Science.
The e-reader manufacturers invariably have no fully copyrighted e-book resources to go with the hardware they produce and content holders like Shanda, or other publishing houses, did not have the hardware capability to make the e-reader.
Bambook effectively combines both needs, Hou says.
The e-reader is also hoping to attract more consumers by keeping prices affordable at 999 yuan ($150), and is even thinking about offering the reader for free, charging only for content. Currently, readers can access the first half of any e-book for free and only pay if they want to continue reading.
The prices of market leader Hanvon’s e-book readers vary from 1,300 to 4,000 yuan. Recently, it also tagged one of its models at below 1,000 yuan.
Shanda Literature has been able to attract a faithful online readership by charging a modest 0.3 yuan for 10,000 words. Their registered readers of e-books stand at 11 million, according to Hou.
By extending the pleasures of online reading offline, Bambook is actually an attempt to strengthen and utilize the company’s rich resources in content.
To enlarge the reservoir of e-books, the company launched a fair for writers, new and established, to meet the website’s editors at the end of October. The goal was to attract more and better writing.
Xiong Zhijian, 31, an office worker in Shanxi province, was one of the 1,000 applicants who registered, hoping to get their works recommended on the home page of the online literature website, or even get contracted to write.
Zhou Binglin, editor of Qidian Online Literature, one of Shanda’s websites, says they value the writers’ initiative and have plans to scout for best-selling writers. “Every introduction or outline we collect is taken good care of,” Zhou says.
Despite the rosy picture painted by its producer, the Bambook has received mixed reviews.
Even Xiong, the enthusiastic online writer and reader, says, “It lacks the kind of attraction that will make you want to grab one immediately.”
With the problems in format conversion and the promised functions yet to be realized, Bambook is best suited to fans of Shanda online literature websites.
At present, Bambook does not support BMP, scanned PDF, and EPUB with pictures. And if users want to read downloaded documents from the other e-resources besides Shanda, they have to go through a Shanda-developed software called “cloud ladder” which, users say, is not very handy.
But still “the e-book reader is challenging the market with its low price”, says Shanghai-based IT Times.
(Source: China Daily)

Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/culture/2010-11/19/c_13613441.htm

BEIJING, Nov. 19 (Xinhuanet) — Even as the date of entry of Amazon’s e-book reader Kindle in the Chinese market remains hazy, the newly launched Bambook, marketed by Shanghai-based Shanda Literature Ltd, is making rapid strides.

“It’s so handy that I’ve read 20 books on Bambook over the past three months,” says Qu Haibin, a test user. “That rivals the number of books I read in a whole year previously.”

Its producer claims to have overcome a core technical barrier of existing e-book readers, allowing Bambook users to turn pages without any time lapse. Every user can also interact with others by logging on to Shanda’s online Cloud library to recommend book lists to another user, or share book reviews and comments, says Wu Di, product manager of Bambook.

“Bambook allows three ways of accessing the Internet – wi-fi, USB Internet card, and 3G. Reading is no longer a solitary pursuit; now it’s more about sharing and interacting,” Wu says.

What gives the company even more confidence is the content it has built up over the years as the country’s major online source of literature.

Bambook users are automatically connected to Cloud library, which has full copyright to more than three million e-books from the company’s seven online literature websites, and 100,000 e-books from traditional publishers.

The library is said to be adding 100 million words a day from its contracted online writers. What is more, 200 publishers have agreed to provide titles to it.

“One of our core operations is to work on copyrights,” says Hou Xiaoqiang, chief executive officer of Shanda Literature.

Holding full copyrights to e-books enables Bambook to be competitive.

“Bambook has made a breakthrough by matching content with platforms, resolving a major headache,” says Hao Zhensheng, director of Chinese Institute of Publishing Science.

The e-reader manufacturers invariably have no fully copyrighted e-book resources to go with the hardware they produce and content holders like Shanda, or other publishing houses, did not have the hardware capability to make the e-reader.

Bambook effectively combines both needs, Hou says.

The e-reader is also hoping to attract more consumers by keeping prices affordable at 999 yuan ($150), and is even thinking about offering the reader for free, charging only for content. Currently, readers can access the first half of any e-book for free and only pay if they want to continue reading.

The prices of market leader Hanvon’s e-book readers vary from 1,300 to 4,000 yuan. Recently, it also tagged one of its models at below 1,000 yuan.

Shanda Literature has been able to attract a faithful online readership by charging a modest 0.3 yuan for 10,000 words. Their registered readers of e-books stand at 11 million, according to Hou.

By extending the pleasures of online reading offline, Bambook is actually an attempt to strengthen and utilize the company’s rich resources in content.

To enlarge the reservoir of e-books, the company launched a fair for writers, new and established, to meet the website’s editors at the end of October. The goal was to attract more and better writing.

Xiong Zhijian, 31, an office worker in Shanxi province, was one of the 1,000 applicants who registered, hoping to get their works recommended on the home page of the online literature website, or even get contracted to write.

Zhou Binglin, editor of Qidian Online Literature, one of Shanda’s websites, says they value the writers’ initiative and have plans to scout for best-selling writers. “Every introduction or outline we collect is taken good care of,” Zhou says.

Despite the rosy picture painted by its producer, the Bambook has received mixed reviews.

Even Xiong, the enthusiastic online writer and reader, says, “It lacks the kind of attraction that will make you want to grab one immediately.”

With the problems in format conversion and the promised functions yet to be realized, Bambook is best suited to fans of Shanda online literature websites.

At present, Bambook does not support BMP, scanned PDF, and EPUB with pictures. And if users want to read downloaded documents from the other e-resources besides Shanda, they have to go through a Shanda-developed software called “cloud ladder” which, users say, is not very handy.

But still “the e-book reader is challenging the market with its low price”, says Shanghai-based IT Times.

(Source: China Daily)

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