Sunday, August 19, 2007

Online Books: Spotbit

Want to read free magazines? A site called Spotbit, apparently operating from Malaysia, hosts a good number of such in PDF and their own executable format. The problem is wading through all the crap since the interface is not that search-friendly.

Artzmania hosts their magazine there, along with the special issue Best collection of Super Web 2.0. Why you'd want to download a large PDF to view images of websites you could go to in one click I don't know. But their regular issues are well worth a look.

Of potential interest to publishers, the Spotbit software can be freely used to create your own e-book from PDFs, word processor documents, or even screenshots. The problem is, I don't think it's a great idea distributiong EXE files... they look like viruses.

Besides, it took ages for one of the files to load. When it did, the document was broken.

Spotbit also acts as a publishing house for documents that authors want to charge for. But their info pages do not say what their royalty rates are, and they don't pay until the balance hits 100 dollars. So much for micro-economics.

Spotbit hit the news a little over a year ago for offering free copies of copyright magazines... but now they've conformed to the law.

In conclusion: their ethics is questionable, the economic model is flawed, the technology substandard, the acceptance factor low and the website itself poorly implemented. I recommend you grab a copy of Artzmania and leave it at that.

I will look at other eBook sites shortly.


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