Indigo launches Shortcovers ebook store

Indigo Books and Music today launched a new ebook service that takes a different approach than that taken by Amazon with its Kindle. Rather than focusing on dedicated hardware to purchase and read ebooks, the service will let users download books onto their smartphones or computers.

Shortcovers is launching with about 50,000 book titles priced from $4.99 to $19.99. A number of free public domain books can also be downloaded. Customers can also get individual book chapters for $0.99. Some 200,000 sample chapters are also available for free.

Shortcovers plans to add more books as well as magazines and newspapers later this year. Yearly subscriptions, individual issues and even specific articles will be available.

The Shortcovers application is now available for the iPhone and BlackBerry devices ((Storm, Bold and Curve). A beta version is also available for the Android-powered T-Mobile G1.

Unlike the Amazon Kindle service, Shortcovers will be available in both Canada and the United States. There are plans to expand further in 2009 as well.

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