Vanity E-Publishing Comes of Age?

Even iPad skeptics have to admit that there is nothing but good news this morning — for the device, but more so for writers. Read:

According to DigitalBeat, the self-publishing service Smashwords has signed a distribution deal with Apple to put books on the iBookstore, which will be a part of the iBooks application, available as a free download on the iPad through the App Store. Mark Coker, chief executive of Smashwords, announced the agreement in an e-mail to authors who use the service.

The e-mail from Coker also revealed Apple’s pricing rules for the iBookstore. Each title’s price must end in 99 cents (i.e. $12.99), and books can be priced as low as 99 cents. The price of the book must also be less than its print counterpart.

Author Dean Takahashi said users can submit their work to Smashwords through a simple process that involves uploading a Microsoft Word file, setting the price and deciding where the book is to be published.

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If Amazon does the same for Kindle, this could be the most exciting development for independent writers since blogging.

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