shotformats

by Pulkit Arora

VAS company ShortFormats has announced that it will sell Indian literary classics such as Choker Bali, Kabuliwallah and work of authors such as Rabindranath Tagore as audio books and e-books offline, in multiple languages.

The company which has launched an offline app store, Biscoot in October last year currently sells songs and movies, apart from letting people watch trailers of latest movies.

Pricing

 These new offerings by the company will be moderately priced. For e-books, users need to pay Rs 30 for two stories and for nine stories the amount that will be charged is Rs 100. The audio books are slightly expensive with the price of one story pegged at Rs 30. Five stories will come at a cost of Rs 100

How it Works

The users can download and install these books on their mobile phones as applications which can then be run without any internet connectivity. Like with most eBook reading apps, users will be able to create bookmarks, set alarms for reading times and can even take notes. While listening to an audio book, the listener has the option of rewinding up to 30 seconds in case something is missed.

Competition

AmazonFlipkartSkoolshop.comlearnpedia.in, among others, offer e-books and some offer an e-book app as well. There’s also Vriti and thedigilibrary.com, although, they only seem to provide books for entrance exams. In February 2013, Google added an e-books section to its content marketplace Google Play in India, allowing users to purchase e-books to their mobile phones and tablets. Google also offers an separate app for magazines, but this feature is not available in India yet.

In August 2013, Flipkart had inked an e-book distribution agreement with the California based self-publishing and distribution platform Smashwords which focuses on independent publishers. As part of the deal, Smashwords will be offering its entire catalog of free and paid e-books to Flipkart consumers in the next three to four weeks. It claims to have published more than 200,000 e-books from more than 60,000 authors and publishers at present. Telecom operator Aircel has launched an e-book store Aircel BookMate for its subscribers that allows one to browse, download and read books, magazines, comics on their smartphone, tablets and PCs.

At the time of writing the story, there was no update about the launch of these new properties on ShortFormats’ official website. The company has touted these new products under the adage of ‘Go Green-Save the Earth’.