Etisalat encourages e-book concept in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 00:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Leading mobile telecommunications innovator Etisalat Lanka recently conducted the ‘BookHub Publishers Forum’ in Colombo with the aim of financially compensating local publishers onboard BookHub, for their past year ebook sales on the platform. Sri Lanka’s first ever online eBook store and eBook reader ‘BookHub’ was launched in 2012, as a joint venture between Etisalat Lanka, respected publisher M.D. Gunasena and technology provider Microimage. Saraswathi Public-ations, Shaakya Publications, Sarada Publications, Sumitha Publishers, Samanthi Publishers, Senarath Publishing, Sadeepa Publishers, Ashirwada Publishers, Warna Graphic, Gayaa Creations, Mihira Book Publisher, Udaya Publishers, Biso Publishers, Sam-ayawardhana, Samudra Publishers and Saranga Publishers were some of the publishers (out of 30 attendees) who attended the first ‘BookHub Publishers Forum’. The publishers will receive a 60% revenue share for every book sold on BookHub and they would be entitled to an individual account on the portal, to monitor the sale of their books and also know how much payment is due from their ebook sales. ebooks will be sold at 75% of the physical book market price as there will be no distribution costs or storage costs borne. Publishers who wish to display their publications on BookHub could do so by sending their personal contact details and bank account details (for payment) to M.D. Gunasena. To publish an ebook, a hard copy of the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) registered book along with the current market price and a soft copy of the book in PDF, Word, Page Maker or Indesign file format should be handed over to M. D. Gunasena to commence the process. Commenting further at the occasion Etisalat Lanka Director/CEO Dumindra Ratnayaka said: “We believe that through BookHub the publishers have the opportunity to reach a wider audience for their publications. Not only this; e-books are cheaper in price than printed books, and also you can download and carry hundreds of books on one device and take it where ever you go. This gives more access and flexibility to readers. To safeguard authors against piracy, we have introduced ‘digital rights management’ where books available on BookHub cannot be easily copied. To encourage the e-book concept in Sri Lanka, a customised tablet with BookHub installed, was introduced to the market with a trilingual interface.” Readers have the ability to shop through the BookHub portal, choose the books they want, and directly download them to their smartphone, tablet or PC. Readers pay for the books through an e-wallet; where money can be inserted using Etisalat reload cards, eZ cash and credit cards, regardless of the mobile service provider. ‘BookHub’ can be accessed by all users free of charge, regardless of their mobile network. The platform hosts English, Sinhala and Tamil books in ebook format, and currently hosts over 300 e-books and also features publications by Sri Lankan writers. The range of titles found on BookHub includes novels, children’s books and biographies. BookHub was locally recognised last year for its unique concept and service to the community. Awarded by the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) were Winner of Certificate of Special Merit in the Category of e-inclusion in 2012 and Participation at the e-Swabhimani Awards in 2012. Sri Lanka was highlighted for the first time in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Information Report 2012. The report featured Sri Lanka due to the Emerging Android Ecosystem which is pioneered by Etisalat Lanka and BookHub was a significant contributor to this ecosystem. For more information visit