Gnus of the Whirled – eBook Wars

gnu2Two news items highlighting the intensifying campaign for the eTurf of Ebooks just broke this week.

The first was that Amazon announced an Iphone App called, ‘Kindle for iPhone.’ (It must have taken weeks to name that app.) Anyway, the app allows Kindle owners to download books to their iPhone. I can’t imagine reading War & Peace on an iPhone, but hey, the feature exists. What it really does show, though, is that Amazon is getting their Kindle distribution model out to other gadgets.

The second, and far more interesting, development is that Barnes & Noble acquired eBook seller Fictionwise. (Reuters) This sets the stage for expansion of B&N into the eBook world and will certainly challenge Amazon.

The underlying question to this isn’t who will win an eBook turf war – it’s which format will win. Fictionwise’s eBooks don’t require a special device – or service – for customers to read eBooks on a wide variety of gadgets. As a writer, though, I want to know which system has the best security. The last thing I want is for my work to get traded around like songs on the pre-litigation Napster site to a lot of folks who never payed a nickel for it.