Courtesy of Publishers Weekly…

In a move that will delight consumers, irritate some e-book retailers, and focus attention on its platform, BookShout, a social reading and book retail application, is introducing new technology that will allow its users to legally import their previous and future e-book purchases into their BookShout account, free of charge, no matter where they were purchased. Announced at TOC Frankfurt, beginning today users can import e-books purchased at Amazon and Barnes & Noble into their BookShout accounts and have all their e-book titles available in one location.

The new function addresses one of the biggest drawbacks of digital reading at the moment, consumer e-book purchases are walled off with DRM and must be read in different e-reading applications depending on the retailer they were purchased from. The new BookShout function will allow consumers to organize their e-books as they choose in the BookShout application. But BookShout is also an independent e-book retailer and its business model and e-books-all-in-one-place technology will likely attract the attention of major book publishers as well as book consumers. Currently, about 250 publishers offer titles for sale on BookShout, including four of the Big Six American houses (Penguin and S&S are not involved), totaling about 100,000 books. Only books available for sale via BookShout will be aggregated. “Our agreements allow consumers to aggregate their books onto our platform. The publishers just want to make sure that the books have been purchased,” explained BookShout founder Jason Illian.

Illian said BookShout is “knocking down the walls that e-book retailers have established and put users in control of their digital bookshelves.” Illian emphasized that “there is nothing illegal about this, it’s not Napster. Consumers can aggregate the e-books they own.” He continued: “Retailers are putting these blocks up, making their e-books platform specific. We’re just enforcing the [consumers’] contract. This is Joe Reader’s content, can’t he read it anywhere he wants?”

Read the full article here: Import E-Books From Any Platform

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