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Posts Tagged ‘Neelan Choksi’

Stanza Co-Founder Neelan Choksi Leaves Amazon

speaker_neelanchoksi_100x100.jpgIn a short note, Stanza co-founder Neelan Choksi announced today that he was leaving Amazon–ending his relationship with Lexcycle, the company that developed the Stanza reader.

We first interviewed Choksi (pictured, via) in September 2009, talking about the 325,000 users that read books and magazines on Stanza–a digital reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Within a year, users swelled to the millions. In April 2009, Amazon.com, Inc. acquired Lexcycle. In addition, Choksi spoke at our eBook Summit last year.

Here is an excerpt from Choksi’s departure letter: “It saddens me that by doing so, I will also end my formal relationship with Stanza, and that I won’t be working with Marc and Abe. Both are truly gifted technologists, and I have been spoiled getting to work with them through 5 companies over the past decade. I have a tremendous amount of passion for Stanza and am truly sad to no longer be working on a project that has had such an amazing effect on an industry and for our nearly 4 million users worldwide. This decision did not come easily.”

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The Future of Free Books

speaker_susandanziger_100x100.jpgIn the an afternoon session at mediabistro.com’s eBook Summit yesterday, three new media literary pioneers debated the recent trend of offering free content online.

Electric Lit founders Scott Lindenbaum and Andy Hunter spoke about eBook lessons. Earlier this year, they gained 10,000 followers and grew traffic by 300 percent while serializing a Rick Moody story on Twitter–they now have more than 60,700 followers. Using a print-on-demand print schedule, they can pay authors $1,000 for a story. Nevertheless, they noted that they have only raised enough money (so far) to publish for a year.

Susan Danziger (pictured), founder and CEO of the newly free DailyLit, a company that serializes books and stories in daily newsletters. “We had a number of pay titles that didn’t have a lot of traction,” she said, explaining why they switched to a new free model. However, with the site’s new free model, they will experiment with “pay what you want” model and a donation model patterned after Kickstarter. “Our subscribers are amazingly affluent,” she said, “but they like free content.” She also announced that popular novelist and blogger Cory Doctorow will launch a science fiction channel for the site.

Follow all the summit action on Twitter: @galleycat and @eBookNewser and @RonHogan; also, check the hashtag #ebooksummit for even more 140-character wisdom.

More eBook Summit Guests Revealed

ebooksummit.jpgFrom Sarah Palin‘s delayed digital book to Disney’s online book push, eBooks have dominated the headlines all week.

Keeping up with these changes, a number of new speakers have been added to the roster for mediabistro.com’s upcoming eBook Summit which runs from December 15-16 at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City. Participants now include: DailyLit CEO Susan Danziger, Sony’s Digital Reading Business Division President Steve Haber, Lexcycle co-founder Neelan Choksi; Google Books product manager Brandon Badger, author Katty Kay, and Books on Board CEO Bob Livolsi.

Here’s more from the summit site: “Mediabistro.com’s two-day eBook Summit will take a closer look at the changing digital publishing industry, from the perspectives of content creators and of publishers. Leaders in the field will uncover business development opportunities, and highlight the latest technological innovations currently driving the future of digital publishing.”

Stanza Reader Turns One-Year-Old

droppedImage_6.gifStanza, the digital reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch, turned one-year-old today–celebrating 2 million downloads of the application and more than 12 million book downloads since its launch.

In April, Amazon.com, Inc. acquired Lexcycle, the company that created the Stanza reader. Coincidentally, this GalleyCat editor spent the weekend exploring the Munseys.com category of the Stanza catalog and reading free pulp fiction classics.

Stanza co-founder Neelan Choksi had this statement: “These milestones highlight that many people are quite comfortable reading full length books via Stanza on their iPhones and iPod touch. From commercial titles by Stephenie Meyer and Dan Brown to public domain titles by F. Scott Fitzgerald and H.G. Wells, we are thrilled to learn that Stanza has been partially responsible for a lot of people reading more in the past year than they have in years prior to that.” (Via Kat Meyer)

Stanza COO Neelan Choksi on the Last 150 Days in E-Books

phone.jpgIn his second public presentation since Amazon.com, Inc. bought the iPhone reader company he helped create, Lexcycle‘s COO Neelan Choksi spoke to a room full of publishing types in Random House conference room yesterday.

At the DailyLit-sponsored Digital Publishing Group lunchtime series, Choksi showed off the iPhone reader Stanza to a rapt audience, reassuring them that Amazon hadn’t changed the reader’s features. “It’s business as usual,” he said. “You can still read the ePub format on Stanza, you can still read Fictionwise books on Stanza.”

The digital book leader admitted he will move to Seattle (closer to Amazon’s headquarters) but remained coy about the bookseller’s future plans for Stanza. Finally, Choski shared a slide entitled “The Last 150 Days in e-books,” celebrating the mind-boggling pace of this rapidly growing side of publishing.