iPhone App Store selling eBooks for a buck


Or rather, Mr. Tom Peck of AppEngines, LLC, appears to have repackaged several public domain novels into a reader software and is selling them for a dollar apiece. It's a clever little business model and I wish him well; I also hope that someone makes an eBook reader application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that automatically slurps down the same titles from Project Gutenberg.

I still haven't had a chance to play with any of these apps yet, since as for nine o'clock Thursday morning Eastern time, iTunes is still not giving my iPhone the 2.0 firmware.

Update: Gizmodo has a link to the iPhone 2.0 firmware if you want to do a manual install, while Gearlive has a direct link to the MobileMe package.

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  1. There appears to be an App in the app store – BookZ Text Reader – which might suffice for a project gutenberg e-book reader. The creator specifically mentions Project Gutenberg in his description, and it seems like a fairly simple text reader that would more than suffice.

    Sadly, I’ve been stuck at work all day and haven’t had a chance to update my firmware and start playing around, but it’s only $2 and will likely be one of my first purchases.

  2. If you’re running 1.1.4, you can read eBooks using either ruBooks or Books.app. Once you do that, I’ve packaged up both the Baen Free Library and the Gutenberg SciFi collection for free install and download.

    More information on setting up the Gutenberg/Baen repositories can be found at:




    I’ve currently got a problem with the French titles, but I’m working on it.

    Based on the AppStore’s rules, the only way to sell eBooks is bundled with a reader, no content sales.

  3. The app “stanza” is free, at first glance has a nice interface, and allows you to download thousands of gutenburg books. Unfortunately when you search for “ebook” this is on the second page because all the individual, not free, books take up pages and pages.

    (Also they didn’t pick a good name for people to pick it out as an ebook reader when scanning the titles.)

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