Monday, April 21, 2008

Navy Sets Sail With E-book Deal

by Ed Nawotka -- Publishers Weekly, 4/21/2008

With the men and women of the armed forces constantly being shuffled from place to place, it can be difficult for them to bring along a personal library. In the past, publishers have produced pocket-sized editions of bestselling works, but today, e-books may provide the best solution., an online bookstore started in April 2007 by retired Army Brig. Gen. R.W. “Bill” Crossley, has contracted to become the first supplier of e-books to the Navy Exchange Service Command’s e-commerce site,, which launched earlier this year and serves an estimated 750,000 active duty and reserve navy and Marine Corps personnel and their families. Karen Connery, director of merchandising for the e-commerce Navy Exchange Service Command, said the use of e-books will add to the availability of titles sailors can read and make it more convenient for them to get a book.

Based in Marietta, Ga., offers some 80,000 e-book titles in Adobe, Palm and Microsoft formats, with free downloadable first chapters for many titles. The company also has agreements to sell e-books through Delta-Sky magazine’s e-commerce site and through FatPort, a Canadian WiFi provider, as well as its own Web store.

Crossley, a former chief of staff for Gen. Colin Powell, negotiated a deal in which the navy gets a 10% discount on eChapterOne’s regular prices as well as additional discounts for titles on the Navy Professional Reading program.

Crossley has his sights set on selling e-books to the army as well. “If it works for sailors, I think there’s no reason it wouldn’t work just as well for soldiers,” said Crossley.

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