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New eBook Store Debuts For Phones

Toronto — A new digital book store that works with many leading mobile phones launched today by Indigo Books & Music, the leading bookstore in Canada.

Called Shortcovers, the site works with iPhones, certain BlackBerrys (Storm, Bold and Curve), and Android phones and is meant to take advantage of the growing eBook market, which saw gains of 70 percent last year, accelerating 100 percent in the fourth quarter, said the company.

The site provides free downloads of shortcovers, which are excerpts or chapters of a book or other media, for 99 cents. Users can then buy more chapters from a book to see if they like it or the whole book. Book prices range typically range from $5 to $17.

Applications for phones may be downloaded from the iTunes App Store or from the Shortcovers Web site. The site expects to be compatible with Symbian, Windows Mobile and Brew devices, the Palm Pre and other reading devices, Indigo said.

 “We are at a tipping point in the publishing world. People are reading differently — they are reading on screens, in more frequent, shorter sessions — and are accustomed to digital sampling services,” said Michael Serbinis, chief Internet officer and executive VP of Indigo Books & Music.