ScreensHarperCollins is making iPhone compatible e-book content available.

iPhone users can go here to view the first 10 pages of chapters one and two of 14 books released in August and September. There will be a link to pre-order/order the book from a list of retailers.

Titles to be made available include:

Unfortunately, you cannot order the e-book version of a book and download it to your iPhone for reading. Nor is the content actually optimized for the iPhone. I picked Obama’s book and the first three pages consisted of his picture (the cover), a dark background of the flyleaf of his book that was virtually unreadable because of the tiny text size, and the title.

Scanned in, apparently—not digitized

The pages of the book appeared to be scanned-in and not digitized. The pages do not respond to the double tap feature which allows a user to double tap a column of text and have that column of text be resized to fit the screen. There were significant margins on either side and the text did not reflow to the screen. When I pinch expanded the screen to increase the font, for example, the text did not re-order to fit the screen. It merely got larger so I had to scroll from side to side to read the sentence.

While this is a neat idea, it’s very poorly executed. I don’t find it usable at all.

Update, 11:12 a.m.: More stories via Techmeme and Google. Turns out that LibreDigital is handling the technical side of HarperCollins’ new service. Also see Peter Brantley’s commentary.DR

Comment from Bill Janssen: You’ll notice that this is a browser-based, page at a time, reader, similar to the Google Books approach.


  1. There’s an E-poll going on. Help out by casting your votes!

    Here’s hoping that publishers will eventually give us a viable solution for ebooks on the iPhone.
    I personally wouldn’t think twice about getting an iPhone if eReader or Mobipocket would function on it.

    I just voted to that effect over on
    “Electronic Book Reader” is buried on page 2 of the Upcoming Requests at the moment! Please, please! That can’t be true…


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