Non-profit idea factory TED is well known for its series of worldwide events and the popular "TED talk" videos. Now the group has moved into ebooks.
TED Books is a new app for the iPhone and iPad that puts TED talks into print form. The group says that the goal is to make each ebook (priced at $3) readable in a single sitting, typically in an hour or less.
The strategy here is different from what TED has done previously, where its videos were distributed at no cost on the Web and through TED's smartphone and desktop applications.
The ebook format also allows TED to add multimedia, which is a key part of the TED talk itself. Books will include pictures and video, as well as links to outside sources and social networks to allow people to discuss what they're reading.
TED has already produced several ebooks across a variety of topics including architecture, health and social issues, but it had no central place to offer them to consumers.
The group says that while its focus is turning to its own ebook platform, it would still offer its books through Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook and Apple's iBook bookstores.
[See " Your Guide to eBooks "]
Each ebook purchased through TED Books will cost $3, although TED is offering a three-month subscription for early adopters that will deliver a new ebook every two weeks for $15.
For "founding" subscribers (those who sign up in the first 90 days), the subscription also includes access to all previously released ebooks in the TED books catalog. That back catalog isn't too impressive yet — 16 titles were available as of press time Monday (July 23) — but will grow as TED releases more of its talks in print.
TED Books is now available as a free download in the Apple App Store. The group did not say when it plans to release an Android version of the app, although other TED apps have hit other platforms shortly after release.