SingTel unveils local e-book service with skoob

November 17th, 2011 | by Lester Hio


Lovers of e-books in Singapore are getting their own local e-book fix, after SingTel said on Tuesday that it was offering Singapore’s first e-book service. This service, named skoob, will allow Singaporeans to peruse and purchase e-books for their smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

Offering more than 39,000 local and international bestsellers at launch, it is the first e-book service to accept payment in Singapore dollars. E-books also tend to be cheaper than hard copy of books – SingTel highlights how a hard copy of John Grisham’s The Confession costs S$9 for an e-book rather than the S$17 offered at bookstores.

Local publishers that will have their works available through skoob include Popular, Marshall Cavendish, Cengage Learning, Asiapac, Flame of the Forest, McGraw Hill, Sunbear, Monsoon, Singapore Asia Publishers (SAP) and Janus Education, while works by international publishers such as Random House, Penguin, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Simon and Schuster and Macmillan are also available.

Classics that are past copyright and in the public domain, such as Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, are also made free through skoob.

Skoob is available on Apple and Android tablets and smartphones via a free app.  It can also be run on PCs and Macs using standard browsers.  Customers have the flexibility to download books on up to five devices. Payment is either through Singapore credit cards, though SingTel customers can also have the purchases charged to their monthly bills.

At launch, skoob will offer only English books, but SingTel says that Chinese language books are “to be available soon”.

In a statement, Goh Seow Eng, SingTel’s chief of digital home, said: “The Singapore market has long been overlooked by e-book services from abroad.  With the launch of skoob, Singapore readers finally have a service that offers local books and caters specifically to their tastes and needs.  It also provides local publishers and writers with a powerful digital platform that allows them to reach a wider audience.”

So how does skoob stack up to services like iBooks for the iPad or even Amazon’s e-book service if one has a Kindle? The local content, such as study guides or educational textbooks for primary and secondary school students, will be beneficial for those looking for cheaper content in electronic form.

Readers who are also looking for local literature will also find it easier to obtain through skoob. However, prices may fluctuate between content generators, so it is always a good idea to compare skoob’s prices with other providers for one’s device to ensure you get a good bargain. Since skoob offers e-books in the .epud format, books you buy from it are also compatible with e-readers like the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook.

Hit up to see the site for yourself.





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