Monday, April 27, 2009

Amazon Acquires Lexcycle, Makers of Stanza

Big news out today for Smashwords partner Lexcycle, makers of the super-awesome Stanza e-reading app. Lexcycle announced today on their blog they've been acquired by Amazon. Congrats to Marc and Neelan at Lexcycle.

Probably of most interest to Smashwords authors and customers is the third paragraph of the statement from Marc Prud'hommeaux, founder of Lexcycle:
We are not planning any changes in the Stanza application or user experience as a result of the acquisition. Customers will still be able to browse, buy, and read ebooks from our many content partners. We look forward to offering future products and services that we hope will resonate with our passionate readers.
It'll be interesting to watch how Amazon's ownership shapes the evolution of the Stanza app.

With its support of epub, Lexcycle, via the huge popularity of Stanza, singlehandedly breathed life into the open industry format. Amazon, on the other hand, has been criticized for its refusal (to date) to embrace epub in favor of its proprietary Mobipocket format. Also at issue is DRM. Back at the Tools of Change conference in February, the scene was abuzz with criticism aimed Amazon's way for Amazon's insistence that publishers supply their ebooks in DRM-'d formats.

Is Amazon's acquisition of Lexcycle a sign of more openness to come from Amazon, or a sign of changes to come with Stanza?

The Twittersphere is all atwitterpated over the announcement.


Philip Shropshire said...

No comment on the Amazon acquisition, although I'm always very suspicious of Amazon. They don't always do good.

But the reason I'm chiming in is that I've attempted to join Smashwords three times and I have yet to get approval. Am I doing something wrong?

Philip Shropshire

Mark Coker said...

Hi Philip, I take it you didn't receive the activation code I re-sent you last night. I'll send again. The problem appears to be with your email provider or your spam filters.

Philip Shropshire said...

Thank you. I found the messages hidden in my spam account. Now I just have to publish something...!