palmOne Launches Online eBook Store

PowerByHand and palmOne today launched the palmOne eBook store, with content provided by PowerByHand's, the world's largest and most popular electronic bookstore.

palmOne currently provides its customers with access to PowerByHand's award-winning eReader (formerly Palm Reader) in the box with most palmOne devices. Visitors to the new eBook store can choose from more than 13,000 popular eBook titles in more than 40 categories, including bestsellers and new releases, such as "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown, a publication of Doubleday and a division of Random House, "My Life" by Bill Clinton, published by the Knopf division of Random House, and Stephen King's "Song of Susannah: The Dark Tower VI," published by Simon & Schuster.

The popularity of eBooks is growing at a rapid pace. The Open eBook Forum (OeBF) recently reported that eBooks are the fastest-growing segment of the publishing industry. The OeBF also reported that the number of eBooks sold increased by about 130,000 from the first quarter of 2003, from 288,440 to 421,955 eBooks sold, representing an increase of 46 percent.

"We are committed to providing our customers with a rich content selection for their palmOne devices, including access to the widest selection of eBooks available," said John Hartnett, palmOne's vice president of eCommerce, Sales Development and Accessories business. "PowerByHand's is the leader in the eBook industry, and choosing their catalog for our store gives palmOne customers the ability to enhance their device experience and enjoy the mobility and flexibility that electronic reading provides."

"We are thrilled that palmOne, the world's premier manufacturer of Palm OS devices, has turned to us to provide its online eBook store," said Larry Wallace, vice president of business development, OS and Licensees at PowerByHand. "By working together, we can introduce palmOne customers to new possibilities for their devices through the rich experience of eReading."

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Everything Keeps Coming Around!

bcombee @ 7/7/2004 3:47:23 PM #
Wow... Peanut Press starts. They get bought by Palm and become Palm Digital Media. During the split, they come out on the PalmSource side, and to raise money, PalmSource sells the company to PalmGear, who is then bought by PowerByHand. The name changes to eReader, stressing the cross-platform nature of their products, and now they form an aliance with PalmOne, the other half of the former Palm, and start a rebranded store!

BTW, I just noticed that the and stores don't share user accounts, so if you're already an eReader customer, you have to reregister on the new site, and your bookshelf doesn't transfer from one to the other.

Ben Combee - PDA programmer weblog

RE: Everything Keeps Coming Around!
hkklife @ 7/7/2004 4:18:07 PM #
I agree, Ben, this cannot be a good sign. Too much churn=lack of interest by the public to pay for e-books.

As long as these damned e-books are *SO* overpriced, no one will ever take the plunge to really start buying them. Adding to the misery is the locking/unlocking process-if you ever change device IDs you are really in for a long evening of aggravation. I consider myself a fairly avid e-book reader and to date I've bought only two titles, both of which were promotional deals and discounted heavily. Only when new released are $4 (or less) a pop will we start to see anything even resembling a blip on the radar of consumer interest. Until then, I'll just keep reading my public domain literary classics and waiting. Oh, it would also help to see some format consolidation--the e-book market is even more confusing than the downloadable audio business--DOCs, Tomeraider, PalmReader, Plucker, straight up txt files etc etc. As a registered EReader Pro user, I'd really like to see the program handle every format out there without having to have multiple readers installed.

A shame, as an underclocked T3 running EReader Pro is about as fine of a PDA/book reader combo are you are likely to find nowadays.

RE: Everything Keeps Coming Around!
LiveFaith @ 7/7/2004 4:24:22 PM #
Looks like times are booming good for accountants and attorneys.

Pat Horne;
RE: Everything Keeps Coming Around!
bcombee @ 7/7/2004 4:28:38 PM #
I've actually been buying a lot of titles, but they've mainly been short stories from FictionWise. I've also taken advantage of a lot of their specials where a big chunk of the cost of an ebook is refunded as micropayment credit. PDM occasionally has good buys, and I love the portability of ebooks, but it's hard to pay as much for one as you'd pay for a hardback.

Still, I don't think the article was negative -- you did notice the part where it said that ebooks were the biggest growing segment of the publishing world, didn't you? The churn around PDM/eReader doesn't reflect the economics of the eBook market as much as the chaos that was around Palm during the rapid expansion and deflation of the technology bubble.

Ben Combee - PDA programmer weblog

I don't get it.

EdH @ 7/7/2004 7:33:17 PM #
Why would anyone bother to go here as opposed to the eReader site - especially given prior Peanut Press/Palm Digital Media/eReader customers accounts don't exist at PalmOne's site.

RE: I don't get it.
sub_tex @ 7/8/2004 10:45:43 AM #
I agree. It would sort of make sense if it was just a shell housing the exisiting eReader site. Then those, what, 10 people who go to for PDA news and software and didn't know about ebooks could get some.

But the way it is now it's retarded.

RE: I don't get it.
narnia_77 @ 7/8/2004 9:30:21 PM #
Probably for newbies. There are a lot of people out there that will only trust buying from someone they know. They can go to the manufacture's website to get their ebooks, and later may go directly to the source.

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"There's always hope, because it's the one thing nobody's figured out how to kill yet." -- Galen, Crusade (B5)
RE: I don't get it.
sub_tex @ 7/9/2004 10:16:55 AM #
They can go to the manufacture's website to get their ebooks, and later may go directly to the source.

That still doesn't excuse them making it be a totally seperate account from They should have just used the same system.

RE: I don't get it.
narnia_77 @ 7/9/2004 10:06:21 PM #
I agree that the accounts should be the same, so when the newbie I mentioned goes directly to later, their library follows them. Especially since the content is "provided by PowerByHand's"

I avoided buying PalmReader/eReader books from for a long time because they would not be part of my library at Palm Digital Media. I wanted all my ebooks in that format to be together. They won me over with several of their 100% MicroPay deals, so now I have eReader books in both libraries.

- - - - - - -
"There's always hope, because it's the one thing nobody's figured out how to kill yet." -- Galen, Crusade (B5)


rlauzon @ 7/8/2004 9:43:08 AM #
Hmmmm... I'm going to pay slightly less than bookstore price for a DRM-cripped eBook that cannot be sold to a used eBook store when I'm done reading it.

This has value?

It's no wonder that Fictionwise is doing so well.

RE: Value?
Ou_Boet @ 7/8/2004 11:23:24 AM #
eBooks sound great in theory. When I first saw Palm Reader I was really excited and bought a few books straight away and read them on my Palm. I was as happy as a pig in sh1t (as they say). But then my wife asked how my "book" was I said "it's great you got to read it." Then the penny dropped, just how was she going to read it on my Palm when I use my Palm?

And that's the big flaw with the encrypted eBook format at PDM. You can't lend it to a buddy, give it to a library or even let your spouse read it. Hell I can't even borrow it from a library. And when you "almost" pay what you would for a printed version you have to wonder, is this a rip off? No printing costs, delivery costs, wastage costs, extremely low staorage costs, etc - I think so. I'm not disputing that in our digital age, copyright protection is most valid, just that this particular implementation is not perfect and still requires work if they want eBooks to become a significant section of the book sales market. I'd say the sales were poor considering the global nature of PDM's potential market and the number of PalmOS and PPC devices out there.


Any device can have one more useful feature added.

HandEra Moderator at [url=""]PalmVenue[/url]

RE: Value?
Ronin @ 7/8/2004 1:23:00 PM #
The code to unlock the book is your credit card number, correct?

What prevents your wife from installing the book on her Palm and your inputting the unlock key. Heck she probably knows your credit card number as well as you do and could do it herself. :)

I actually I think that, as DRM goes, eReader/PalmReader/Peanut Press' is pretty inobtrusive. There is no limit to the number of machines it can be used on, there is no limit to the number of times it can be copied or read and as long as you are willing to share your credit card number the book can be shared. Certainly, Microsoft's e-book reader is not as flexible with its DRM.

In fact, it is this flexibility of the DRM that caused my preference for eReader e-books, as the DRM is 'livable'. While I would certainly prefer no DRM, I appreciate that the distributor needs to provide some obstacle to the wholesale theft of this intellectual property. The DRM they have instituted does allow you to share the book just not indiscriminately (assuming that you would not put your credit card number on just anyone's Palm).

In the Spirit of Umoja,

RE: Value?
Ou_Boet @ 7/8/2004 6:35:57 PM #
You're right, I forgot that they don't link to your Hotsync ID like most PalmOS software does. I just have to get my wife a PDA now.


Any device can have one more useful feature added.

HandEra Moderator at [url=""]PalmVenue[/url]

RE: Value?
narnia_77 @ 7/8/2004 9:40:50 PM #
I personally don't care for reading a lot on the computer screen, but if your wife doesn't mind, she can read your eReader ebooks on a Windows or Mac computer right now.

- - - - - - -
"There's always hope, because it's the one thing nobody's figured out how to kill yet." -- Galen, Crusade (B5)

Not the largest eBookStore...

Mobipocket @ 7/12/2004 12:01:35 PM #
You can find more than 15.000 titles in 4 languages on the Mobipocket eBookStore.

See also, the on-going promotions :



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