Hot Japanese Trend Surfaces Here

I'm sure you heard about books on cell phones being the hottest thing on the publishing scene this past year in Japan. Well, Roger Lichfield, founder of billed as: your one stop publication house for Mobiles & iPhone, is bringing it to an iPhone near you.

Roger emailed me about his company several weeks ago. I told him I'd look into it. When I first checked it, the links he'd sent didn't work so I marked my calendar to check again. After all, this is a new enterprise.

Today, I followed up and found everything working very nicely. So listen up. This might be an opportunity you want to pursue.

What They Offer

Roger's company offers Authors and Publishers the ability to publish their eBooks through their proprietary eReader application which converts existing eBooks into Apple iPhone Applications that can be downloaded from AppStore.

Why do this? The immediate reason is the possibility of exposing your book to a potential market of a million users. That's how many iPhone users there now are.

Of course, this is one of those: you have to spend money to make money programs though they do offer a free membership but with a reduced royalty.

You Judge

However, judge for yourself whether this is something you want to dive into. Here are the links you need to research because you need to know all the details in order to make an informed decision.

Royalty Structure: – basically, the royalty is broken down after the wholesale price or paid out of 70% of book list price.

: – Authors/Publishers retain all the rights to their works, they can also modify the list6 price as well as cancel with us at anytime.

Takeaway Truth

In the ever-changing world writers now inhabit, we need to explore every opportunity.


  1. Exploring every opportunity is one thing, but this looks like an opportunity for them, not us.

    A book that sells 10,000 copies is a runaway. Selling 3,000 is considered acceptable; there are many that sell less.

    There are 305 million people in the US, and only about 1 million iPhone users worldwide. Assuming that reading on that little screen is as acceptable to users as a regular book, instead of selling 3,000 copies, you should expect to sell 10 copies.

    An author pays $129 membership, plus $49 per book, so that'd be $178 for the first book - $18 per copy. You'd earn 50% of *wholesale* which means wholesale needs to be $36 for an author to even break even, and if the wholesale is $36, the retail needs to be too high to sell 10 copies.

    Now, on the second book, it's only $49, so you only need to get 10 copies at $10 wholesale to break even. The retail on kindle books is $10. The kindle has a lot larger screen, making books easier to read, so I don't think you're going to hit your 10 copies at $10, either.

    Now, if you had a runaway best-seller, it might be worthwhile to explore this. And if Apple releases a larger version that has a kindle-size screen, I imagine there'll be a significantly better market.

    At present, this doesn't look to me to be an opportunity; it looks like a mirage.

  2. Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you put the pencil to it and explored for yourself, as I suggested.

    I know it's hard to believe, but the Japanese have been reading books on their cell phones for more than a year so for some people - probably young enough not to need reading glasses - a small screen poses no problem.

  3. Are those books in English?

    The language matters. German language newspapers cannot use the same formats that English newspapers find popular, because their nouns tend to be really REALLY long words. If each word is an ideogram, then a cellphone screen would be much more workable.

    I keep wishing I had a Kindle. The idea of getting popular new books for $10, and carry around hundreds of them with me is very appealing, especially when I sit in a doctor's waiting room between 3-year-old magazines I wouldn't care to read even if new.

    There's supposed to be a new model of Kindle out soon, though, much more capable, and much less expensive.

    Those Apple phones look like they're fun, but I'm not willing to pay AT&T a fortune to use one. Instead, I carry a Virgin cellphone, $10 to buy, $20 every three months to use.

  4. I too would like a Kindle, but I'm unwilling to purchase until the tech wars determine which format will be the winner. So many products that reminds me of DVD vs. BluRay, VHS vs. Betamax, etc. Now, if someone were to give me an iPhone (which my daughter craves) or a Kindle, I'd be happy to report my experiences. *g*