Last Saturday's Daily Telegraph had an article on ebook technology, by Michael Fitzpatrick, which contained rather more new facts than is often the case with articles intended for the layman.
The article covers all the usual ground, such as the new Sony ebook reader. But Fitzpatrick also provides information about a similar initiative, the iLiad, which is made by a company called iRex. I hadn't heard of that before.
Fitzpatrick has been talking to some top names in major publishing, with slightly surprising results. Graham Bell, for example, head of publishing systems at HarperCollins, thinks that although the ebook revolution has failed so far, things may be about to change. So-called e-ink, which is at the heart of the Sony device, is what has changed his mind.
Fitzpatrick has also unearthed a Japanese success story that I hadn't come across before. Some three years ago, an author called Yoshi launched a 'mobile novel' by handing out leaflets to thousands of schoolgirls in downtown Tokyo. The novel was written in simple Japanese and was downloaded in 1,600-word instalments. Yoshi then took into account feedback from his readers. So far, his web site has had 20 million hits and the novel is now being made into a film.
Meanwhile, on a sort of related topic, Sara Nelson's editorial in the current Publishers Weekly describes how the power of half a dozen blogs turned a short, rapidly written book into a hot seller. Although, technically, it isn't even published yet.