Online retailer, Naspers-owned Kalahari.net, has pipped rival, Avusa subsidiary Exclusive Books, to the post to be the first SA company to offer electronic book downloads.
Kalahari has 60 000 titles available for digital download, says CEO Gary Hadfield (pictured). The offering includes best-selling fiction titles as well as books in a range of genres.
“We’ll be growing the number of e-books offered significantly in the next few months,” says Hadfield.
Exclusive Books is also set to begin offering e-books on its website soon. In a recent interview with TechCentral, Avusa Retail MD Fred Withers said the retailer would begin selling e-books on its website by as early as this month.
It hoped to have a catalogue of about 60 000 e-books for sale by December 2010, Withers told TechCentral.
Hadfield says e-books for sale on Kalahari are available in both the PDF format and the ePUB format and can be downloaded to computers and reading devices using Adobe’s free Digital Editions software.
The books contain digital rights management technology to prevent unauthorised copying. However, e-books may be transferred to another computer, provided customers authorise each one with Adobe Digital Editions prior to the transfer.
Consumer interest in e-books has grown significantly in recent years, first due to the launch by Amazon.com of its Kindle e-book reader, and more recently as a result of Apple’s soon-to-be-released iPad tablet computer that will double as an e-book reader. — Staff reporter, TechCentral