delphidb96 on March 14, 2007, 05:13:49 pm
Hi,

I'm Derek Benner and I have been reading L Neil stories since he first published The Probability Broach.  Over the past several years, I became active on the Baen's Bar forum, hanging out with their stable of authors as well as the other fans of the books published by Jim Baen.  Last year, I joined with the author of the following message, and others, to form Not Another E-Book, LLC.  (NAEB, LLC)  Our goal has been to leverage the power of membership to find or create an e-ink based ebook reader.

Let me tell you, it has been a rocky road.  We had to form a corporation before the prime manufacturer (and only) manufacturer of e-ink displays would talk to us.  (This was when we were still attempting to design our own.  We finally figured out that the OEM manufacturers really weren't interested in dealing with a 'company' which only wanted an initial order of 25,000 units.  Okay, we *really* only wanted 1,000 units, but we figured that we could always market the rest, right?)  So we ended up with the concept of buying our initial product from a second-stage manufacturer (The ones who've already done the assembly of all those OEM parts into an integrated whole.) at wholesale prices, slap on our logo and add in an initial sampling of ebooks from Baen's Free Library.  The one manufacturer who's willing to work with us is Bookeen.  And we're just a couple of weeks away from getting our evaluation units - complete with our ebook reading software on it.  (For anyone who's checked, Sony, Hanlin, STAReBOOK and iRex all want you to *buy* DRM-locked ebooks from them, at their prices.  Baen Books, which supports our philosophy, believes in releasing the ebooks in non-DRM-locked formats - for low prices.)  Bookeen has taken the STAReBOOK device and added the non-DRM ebook software we wanted.

As soon as we get these evaluation samples, we're going to be testing them and writing a 'review' that we will post on our website, http://www.naebllc.com/, along with images of the ebook readers in operation.  We'll also be taking orders for these units.  It is looking like the price we will charge for each ebook reader will be around $350.  If you've gone to Borders and checked out the Sony PRS-500, you know it runs around $450 and has little or no more features than ours.  Further, assuming you could find one in the US, the iRex Iliad, with its 8" screen, runs nearly $700 - our screen is the same size as the Sony, 6 inches.

The interesting thing is that if we can just get pre-orders for 5,000 units, we can bring the price down under $300.  This for a nice, daylight-readable ebook device that can handle PDF, TXT, RTF, PRC and HTML files.  That's right, it can read a graphic novel.  Furthermore, the e-ink technology is such that a user could turn the device on and leave it on, with the screen displaying the text or graphics image, for several *DAYS* before needing to recharge the battery.  My Dell Axim X51V, even with power-conservation mode on, only lasts about 5 hours. 

We thought you'd like t ohave the opportunity to join in and have one for yourselves.

I've gotten permission from Scott to post this message and extend the offer to you.  If you like the idea, go to the signup page and let us know your name and email so that when we nail down the review and get the final details set, we can let you know the availability date is.  I must warn you that Bookeen has already stated there will be a three month lead time from when we, as a group, pay and when the devices arrive.  We're trying to work with them to narrow that down to less than 60 days, but they're pretty firm at this point.

Anyway, here's our CEO's mission statement.





Mission Statement

I'm not given to "techno-lust" but there is one device that I've wanted for a long time now, an e-book reader.

Not too much to ask, right?

You'd never know it.

As the years went by and I was offered one headache producing solution after the other my frustration grew and then finally the day arrived, the day I looked at an ad for a nice little gadget and thought to myself " That one!".

I was wrong of course. I wanted an e- book reader but the company that produced the reader wanted to own me.

So I went and whined to Jim Baen.

"Make a reader for me" I said and then added "Make it for me and all the others like me.".

Essentially Jim's reply was "Do it for yourselves".

He'd give us a home at Baen's Bar to organize and the reader would have to support all the formats Baen uses.

"Done!" I said and set off to become an e-book reader supplier.

If that's what it was going to take to get me the reader I wanted then that's what I would do.

It's been a trip from March 2006 to now and I've got a crew of people who feel the same way I do working with me to get the job done.

That means it's time for a formal mission statement so here goes :

1. This is a reader by us for our own use and for any other book lover who just wants to read books without being trapped into anyone else's business plan.

2. We will not lock you into any one format, or try to dictate your choice of download sites.

We don't want anyone doing that to us and we're not going to do it to you.

3. This is a bare bones reader. That means you can carry a small library with you and we don't have to charge you the earth for it.

If you want something that does text messaging you've bought the wrong device.

4. No DRM and no hidden "gotchas" what you see is what you get.

5. We intend this reader to support as many formats as possible.

Heavily encrypted ones may be beyond it's scope but any others should work just fine; that means you can keep your current library and your favorite software reader format.

http://www.naebllc.com/


So there it is, it's not another e-book reader, it's an honest one.

It's the sort of thing Jim would like.


March, 2007


It's now nearly a year since I asked Jim Baen for e-book reader and got sent off to do it for myself.

With the extraordinary help of Jim Franks, Derek Benner, Robert Mitchell and Robert Voss ( and an able assist from Blair Fleming at the start) NAEB has gone from nice idea to reality.

We're almost done and the Baen Bar members; who have remained our strong backers and, when necessary, critics are now turning into buyers.
So here we are and that menu on the left will take you to the sign up page.

Want a DRM free e-book reader?

Go and sign up.

Watch this site come April when we will, finally, have pictures of the ebook and full reviews.






Bog on April 30, 2007, 07:05:05 am
Wonderful idea, sign me up.   It'd be a great part of Jim's legacy to see this come to light

delphidb96 on July 14, 2007, 08:22:50 pm
Some decent news on the ereader front.  Seems that our supplier has finally gotten everything straightened out with shipping the hardware from its country of origin.  And that means they'll be able to ship our evaluation units to us (from France) shortly before the end of this month.  I'm looking forward to it as I get an eval unit and a personal unit - both paid for out of my pocket - to play with.  I've bought myself a light-tent to photograph the reader in operation and I hope to have a review and images up before the 10th of August on NAEB's website.  Hooray!

Derek

delphidb96 on July 26, 2007, 12:34:56 pm
It can now be revealed that Bookeen *has* negotiated a deal with Mobipocket and Mobipocket ebook format will be supported by the Bookeen Cybook Gen3 eInk-based ebook reader.  As the Cybook Gen3 is the ebook reader being sold by NAEB, that means anyone buying a NAEB reader will be able to purchase and read any of the 50,000 current titles Mobipocket offers.  Yet another reason to buy a NAEB ebook reader.   ;D

delphidb96 on September 15, 2007, 03:57:11 pm
The Bookeen Cybook Gen3 sample unit has *ARRIVED*!!!  ;D ;D ;D I have it in my hot, grubby hands and I've loaded in several HTML, TXT, RTF and PRC ebooks!  Here's a photo of it to the right of my Sony PRS-500 ebook reader.


delphidb96 on December 20, 2007, 10:12:11 pm
And, after much soul-searching, we at NAEB (http://www.naebllc.com/) have finally managed to get all our state LLC registrations in order and have our merchant bank accounts.  We're opening, officially, for business tomorrow at http://store.naebllc.com/ but the storefront is up and running now if you want to take a look around.  Yes, we'll be handling credit card purchases, that's an option under Paypal without needing a Paypal account.

GAWD!  As I've been the one hustling from CA state agency to CA state agency - and let me tell you, ADA compliant is severely tested by a 550 pound man in a mobility scooter! - I can finally reveal that crossing government regulatory 'T's and dotting those regulatory 'I's *IS* enough to cause a person to sweat BLOOD!!!

We're offering a 'simplified' package deal.  It's just like the Bookeen "DELUXE" package, but we don't offer the 'spare' battery and we give you a 1GB SD card (It's all packaged that way by Bookeen) instead of a 2GB one.  Given that this 'loss' results in a $75 savings and no one has needed a spare battery for months and the SD cards can be had *MUCH* cheaper on eBay, we figure it's worth the price.  Go check it out.

Derek

delphidb96 on December 24, 2007, 05:12:20 pm
And I thought you all should know that our credit card processing is *BROKEN* - damned Paypal!!! - but we hope to have the problem fixed by Wednesday or Thursday.  So please feel free to register as a NAEB customer and put one or more NAEB special-package Bookeen Cybook Gen3s into your shopping cart - just don't attempt to check out yet.   ::)

Derek Benner, Treasurer
Not Another E-Book  ( http://www.naebllc.com/ and http://store.naebllc.com/ )