New Firetrench eBookshop includes free downloads

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The FIRE Project developers have completed testing of the new Firetrench eBookshop and replaced the original Firetrench on-line eBookshop today.

Firetrench eBookshop

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When the FIRE Project started in 1995, it was always the intention to provide a range of information services, including portable information. Back in 1995, eBooks were still a great rarity and most were technical manuals bundled with operating system and applications on newly purchased computer systems. Since then there has been a revolution in publishing that continues to gather pace and to introduce new functionality. The Firetrench eBookshop portal provides access to portable information, most of which is offered ‘free-to-read’. Over the period, we have continued to innovate and this new Firetrench eBookshop is a part of that process.

Although a CD/DVD service will still be provided, for those readers who prefer to acquire titles pre-recorded onto CD/DVD media, titles available from the Firetrench eBookshop will primarily be offered as downloads from the portal’s download server.

‘Pay-to-read’ titles, that are available as downloads, require the purchase of a Key Code from the Firetrench eBookshop before downloading, to open the pdf file.

‘Free-to-read’ titles initially do not require a Key Code to open the pdf file.

There are three categories of ‘free-to-read’ publications and additional categories will be added later.

The first category holds eBooks that can be downloaded and read free of charge.

The second category holds eMagazines and ePapers that can be downloaded and read free of charge.

The third category holds News Release and news attachment documents that support news posted to FIRE Project News Portals and which can be downloaded and read free of charge.

In the new format, the Firetrench eBookshop expands the information available on-line by processing and expanding information that is recorded into pdf files that can be read on a very wide range of portable and fixed reader devices, including smart phones, tablet computers and computer workstations. Many of the titles require no payment, and those titles offered under ‘pay-to-read’ licenses are special interest books that are offered at a fraction of the price normally charged for this type of information, and available very quickly.

“When we started the FIRE Project, the objective was to create on-line a Flexible Information Retrieval Environment. As a key part of that objective, we intended to provide high integrity information and to make it available in a number of formats to meet all of the requirements of readers through their working and leisure time. Nighthawk Publishing was established to both provide an editorial service to the FIRE Project public access portals, but to also provide detailed information in a processed and portable form. Since the start of the Project and Nighthawk Publishing, we have undertaken a series of experiments to develop the services. We have now begun the process of moving to a Full Production Standard. The first stage has been to construct a new Firetrench eBookshop Portal and begin to add a range of electronic publications that may be downloaded from the Portal’s downloads server. During 2013 we will expand the operation, placing many of the publications on eBook distribution systems and offering PrintOnDemand editions of most publications. Those traditionally printed and bound publications will be available only until existing stocks are sold. By the end of 2013, I expect that we will offer readers the choice of download editions, POD editions, and a Special Compilation Service for those readers who wish to acquire a selection of our titles on multi-title CD/DVD media, deleting other forms of publication from earlier in the Project development cycle, ” said Ian Johnstone-Bryden, FIRE Project Managing Editor.

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