Flipreads, Filipino e-bookstore now online

Filipino e-bookstore now online
By Walter Ang
April 2, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Andrea Pasion-Flores, Nat'l Book Dev't Board member;
Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, UST Press director.

Flipreads, an online bookstore that sells electronic books (e-books) by Filipino authors and publishers, is now online (flipreads.com).

Writers and publishers attended Flipread's launch, where CEO Anthony de Luna said, "Flipreads is a source of e-books from and about the Philippines and Asia."

The site has an inaugural offering of 70 e-books available for buyers anywhere in the world.

Titles include: "Man Overboard: Essays By, For and Of The Smart Filipino Male" by Butch Dalisay, "Tabi Po" by Merwin Malonzo, "Wealth Within Your Reach" by Francisco Colayco, "The King of Nothing To Do: Essays on Nothing and Everything" by Luis Katigbak, "A Song For My Brother and Other Stories" by Antonio Hidalgo, and "Geek Tragedies" by Carljoe Javier.

E-books sold in Flipreads are in a format that can be read on Apple devices (iPad, iPod and iPod Touch); on desktop computers, laptops, and devices (tablets and smartphones) that run on Android, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS; and on Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet.

Buyers need to download (one time only) a free reader program/app compatible to the operating system in their computer or device: Bluefire for Apple iOS, Aldiko for Android, and Adobe Digital Editions for Windows and Mac OS.

Flipreads e-books can't be read on Blackberry phones, Apple's iBooks app, and Amazon's Kindle app. "However, Amazon's new Kindle Fire handheld reader runs the Android operating system, so you will be able to download and install the Aldiko app and read Flipreads e-books on it," said de Luna.

Flipreads' system uses Adobe Content Server and this allows each buyer to authorize a maximum of six devices to store copies of every Flipreads e-book purchased.

"While international ebookstores offer some Filipino-authored e-books, there are usually additional costs of up to US$2 per book," says de Luna. "Also, most online bookstores accept only credit cards."

Flipreads allows payments using CashSense, where users pay cash at 7-Eleven and MLhuillier branches. The site will eventually allow payments using Globe GCash and Smart Money.

Flipside also plans to offer magazines. It plans to work with schools and colleges in making e-books available for students.

For Filipino authors and publishers
Filipino publishers, authors, and other content providers can use Flipreads as a secure distribution platform.

"Publishers can sell their ebooks through Flipreads.com instead of putting up their own online bookstores. Authors can independently publish their e-books through the site," he said.

"Flipreads also hopes to be a venue for publishers and authors to bring previously out-of-print titles back into circulation. Since everything is online, these titles will also be available to an international market."

Flipreads also provides services for Filipino authors and publishers seeking to distribute e-books internationally through Amazon and Apple iBookstore. "We can set up your account on Apple and Amazon, file for U.S. tax treaty exemptions, and convert your book or content to the needed formats (which can include designing the lay-out) accepted by these online e-bookstores."

UST Publishing House, UP Press and Milflores Publishing have already started working with Flipreads for their titles published on Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble.

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