Sunday, February 03, 2008

BPN 997 Dutch movels come around

In 2000 I expected the third wave of electronic books, the mobile or telecom books. There was a dichotomy going on. On the one hand there was a trend in mobile devices or handies as Germans call them, to produce the smallest and the lightest devices with a small screen; remember the lightweights of the former mobile phone manufacturer Sendo. On the other hand PDAs and mobile telecoms were negotiating a merger into one device with a larger screen. The Nokia Communicator was potentially a mobile book reader. The third wave never came, at least not in Europe and the USA. It did happen in Japan, China and Korea.

But now it looks like things are happening for example in the Netherlands. These days chicklit reading stuff is available as mobile novels, also called movels. Typical girls literature is converted into movels and distributed. Last week Gottmer publishers in Haarlem (The Netherlands) offered its Gossip Girl series as movels to, a portal founded by mobile software manufacturer The Saints. Usually the manuscripts have to be adapted for mobile phone, but the Gossip Girl series did not need an adaptation. The leading lady exchanges gossips. The print series started in 2003 and now counts ten volumes, of which three volumes are now available as movels.

The movels are an experiment, a representative of Gottmer Publishers conceded. The publishing house is experimenting with all kind of digital formats such as games. They also thought about audio books, but decided to start with movels as the target group has always its mobile phone with them.

The reader can chooses from three font sizes and can select the background (black or white).The movels cost 4,50 euro each, while the first chapter is for free. The payment is in three instalments of three premium SMS of 1,50 euro each. A publisher or an author will receive 1 euro, exclusive of VAT, when the basic sum of 25 euro is reached. The main part of the rest, 3,50 euro, goes to the telephone operator and the minor part goes to the movel operator. Authors can upload their novel themselves without any interference of a publisher. The uploaded manuscript is converted in almost half an hour. The portal has about twenty movels available now; The Saints expect this number to be raised to eighty by the end of the year. Amongst others the Dutch publisher Lemniscaat hopes to have more than ten movels published this year. The movels are also promoted by the mobile web portal of the mobile operator T-Mobile and by T-Zones; payment is included in the telephone billing statement.

Blog Posting Number: 996

Tags: movel, mobile novels, pda, ,

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