DIGITAL CONTENT

Book Reading Gets Even More Mobile with Cape Town company Cellbook

CellBook, a Cape Town-based mobile applications developer, has recently developed technology enabling book publishers to publish and distribute books on mobile phone handsets. It is also in the process of developing a range of new technologies intended to change the face of mobile book publishing.

The CellBook technology have been adopted by some of the largest Christian and secular publishers in South Africa such as Lux Verbi Publishers (part of Media24), Struik Christian Books and New Holland Publishers, which have already distributed more than 2000 books through this medium in the first week of the launch.

Downloading a CellBook is as easy as sending a SMS message. A user simply sends a keyword to a mobile short code, a CellBook link is then delivered to the phone, the user clicks on the link and downloads the CellBook, the download process literally takes seconds and the book is stored on the phone itself or on the phone's memory card. CellBook technology reportedly works on about 95% of mobile phones in the market. Publishers do not pay for making their books available via the CellBook technology. "We are excited about the CellBook technology as it allows every mobile phone subscriber the possibility to read an entire book on a mobile phone. ChristianMobile was the first company in the world to deliver the whole bible on mobile phones via text-sms and distributed more than 50 000 biblest Testaments and individual bible books through this medium in South Africa alone," said Bertus Preller, marketing executive at ChristianMobile, one of CellBook's distributors.

"Solly Ozrovech... became the first South African author to publish a book on a mobile phone and we were honoured to have played a role in making this possible utilizing the CellBook technology. Even more remarkable is the fact that the first complete book ever delivered via premium sms-text message in the world was the oldest, first printed and all-time bestseller, the Bible."

Says Pieter Traut, director at CellBook, "The possibility to distribute books on mobile devices opens up new and untapped revenue streams for publishers and enables them to monetise content in a dynamic way in a world where the mobile phone has become the world's most popular digital device.

We have engaged with some of the world's largest publishers to create CellBook versions of a host of exciting Christian and secular book titles. Our aim is to have 500 book titles available for download by July 2008."

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