Versaware, Lightning Source Alter eBook Landscape With Groundbreaking Digital Alliance

Two eContent Leaders Will Exchange Services to Meet Growing Demand.
Lightning Source Inc. and Versaware Inc. have announced the formation of a long-term strategic alliance to significantly expand the product and service offerings of both companies. As an initial step under the agreement, Versaware will provide high-volume digital conversion services to support Lightning's rapid expansion of its digital library. In the past eight weeks alone, Lightning has forged alliances with major publishers that have committed to add more than 50,000 titles to its library. In addition, Lightning Source will provide "on demand" printing services to Versaware's publishing clientele.

"The title commitments to our digital library have grown exponentially in record time," said Lightning Source President and CEO Ed Marino. "This alliance with Versaware, a leader in the eContent market, will help Lightning meet this truly remarkable demand building for digital content throughout the industry. As one of the pioneers of the publishing industry's technological revolution, Versaware offers tremendous technical expertise. Our combined technological know-how will help deliver greater value and service to publishers, booksellers, libraries, and consumers."

"Lightning Source has a proven track record throughout the industry as a leading provider of a full complement of digital fulfillment services," said Versaware CEO Harry Fox. "By joining together Lightning's technological capacity and publishing relationships with our eBook Personal Content Management Systems, ePublishing technologies and conversion services, we offer each other synergistic packages that will greatly benefit the industry, help our customers meet evolving market demands, and get consumers the titles they want when they want them in a range of printed and electronic formats."

Under the agreement, Versaware will help digitize eBook titles being added to Lightning Source's library. By tapping into Versaware's complete end-to- end eBook solutions, titles can be made available in any popular eBook format supporting all popular handheld devices, including Microsoft Reader, Glassbook, Versabook, Adobe PDF, and HTML. Lightning Source, a pioneer in digital fulfillment, will allow Versaware customers to receive titles in traditional hardcover and paperback editions, as well as in various digital formats. This is important as publishers are increasingly moving toward systematic digitization of all titles -- seeing it as a cost-effective way to expand access to both high-volume and low-volume sellers.

"In the past several weeks we've expanded our global operation with the announcement of plans to create a subsidiary in the United Kingdom, signed comprehensive digital fulfillment agreements with several large publishing houses, and secured a print-on-demand agreement with the leading online retailer,," said Marino. "All of this signals the substantial and growing interest in the market for comprehensive eContent services. Partnering with Versaware will help us meet this demand, but also expand our reach and leverage new opportunities through Versaware's global customer base."

"Now in its fourth year, Versaware is established as a global leader in ePublishing," said Fox. "This agreement with Lightning Source is a strategic step in our continuing effort to provide our clients with a full range of cutting-edge technology solutions that make doing business in the eMarketplace easy and profitable."