Friday, 15 January 2010

BeWrite Authors Are Revolting

The silver-haired and eye-shaded editors at BeWrite Books (with more than 100 years of professional pen-pushing between the three of them) are old-fashioned scribes at heart ... but now they’re spearheading the greatest revolution in publishing since the invention of the printing press 550 years ago.

They set up their independent publishing house at the start of this century to produce books in time-honoured ink-on-paper form. But now they’re among the very first to have their authors’ work presented on the entire range of fancy new electronic reading gadgets and even mobile phones and iPods.

With revolutionary new technology, BB titles can be read as of now in all NINE digital formats on any computer or portable reading gizmo anywhere in the world from the top deck of a London bus to a dentist’s waiting room in Los Angeles or on a stroll along the Great Wall of China.

“And to think,” said sixty year old BB editor in chief Neil Marr in France, “I started my writing career with a nibbed pen, an inkpot and jotting paper.”

Seventy-four-year-old BB senior Editor Hugh McCracken in Canada added: “It doesn’t seem so long ago that I thought high technology was learning to change my own typewriter ribbons.”

And BB poetry editor Sam Smith in England, who’s sixty-five and a self-confessed ‘awkward old cuss’, said: “I can hardly work the TV’s remote control, and here I am at the centre of a technological revolution.”

Over a hundred new books by authors all over the world have been published in paperback by BeWrite Books (, but – regardless of their grey hairs – the go-ahead publisher insisted from the start that there should always be a covering ebook version that could be read on screen. They produced what’s known as a Portable Document Formula file (PDF) of each title released. But the PDF had its imitations because perfect layout couldn’t be guaranteed on the fifty or more portable reading devices on the market by the start of this year and on mobile phones and iPods.

So BeWrite Books’ grey beards got smart and teamed up with US technical whiz Mark Coker this month, who has – with his new company – developed unique new technology that will convert their authors’ work into every single electronic format used by millions of new ebook readers around the world. Already, more than eighty BB titles are running in all formats and can be read on all devices.

Their authors – ranging in age from early twenties to mid eighties – have become literary pioneers; among the very first writers in history with an author voice loud enough to reach anyone, anywhere, any time.

Said Neil Marr: “It’s hard to believe that I was brought up paying library fines for overdue and dog-eared books by Dickens, and here I am editing work that a bushman in the Kalahari can read on his cell phone in between kangaroo hunts or whatever occupies his time in the deserts of Africa.

“2010 is a revolutionary, watershed year in the presentation of literature. Every publishing house, editor and author must embrace the new technology or be content for their books to gather dust on a shelf somewhere.”

BeWrite Books Technical Director, Tony Szmuk in Canada, said: “We always considered ourselves ahead of the game, having made those PDF files available for computer screen reading since our launch ten years ago – but the sudden explosion in the popularity of ebook reading on the new portable reading devices, mobile phones, iPods and what have you over the past few weeks woke us up to the fact that we were in danger of becoming dinosaurs in the new age.

“Did you know that the massive Amazon online bookstore sold more ebooks than paperbacks and hardbacks over Christmas? Forty eight ebooks are sold on line for every hundred physical books – what we now call ‘treebooks’ because they depend on chopping down so many acres of vital forest each year. It’s something we’ve got to take seriously. Our authors certainly do, and so do a growing number of our readers.

“The insurmountable problem we faced was the near impossible job of converting our books to the mind-boggling range of digital formats necessary to present them perfectly on the full range of reading platforms. Then we came across Mark Coker and

“Mark’s system means that we need to specially prepare a title for digital conversion only once, and his magical technology converts it almost instantly into every current format for every single electronic reading device known. Then it’s out there for anyone to download with a few taps on their computer keyboard or to dial up on their phone. And more than fifty BB authors were keen to join us in the experiment. We’re happy to see their titles among the first in the world so widely available.

“Here’s a prediction: any author who doesn’t follow the lead of our ladies and gents simply won’t have a readership in five years’ time.”

Smashwords founder and CEO, Mark Coker said: “A bemusing number of e-book reading machines have suddenly been released – everything from the massive-selling Kindle, Nook and Sony Reader to devices from more obscure manufacturers – and they all require special formats to display books as their authors and publishers intended.

“That’s where my team and I stepped in to find an answer to the problem. BeWrite Books and their authors are among the first to have realised that the future of literature is much more than ink on paper. It’s more and more becoming a matter of the courage to experiment with brand new technology to get their message out there to a modern world.

“They tell me that this is the greatest revolution in literature since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1450. Well ... maybe. I’m just glad to have BB’s authors along with me while we try to promote good literature to more people than in the history of the printed word.”


BeWrite Books titles are available in ebook and paperback at, all major internet bookstores, and on order from your local high street book shop. For a full range of ebook formats go to and key ‘BeWrite Books’ into the publisher search in the left margin of the home page.

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