Branches on the Olive Tree

17 Jan

E-books are the current driving craze in publishing. Last Christmas, my own mother got a Kindle Fire and started loading it up with free e-books. I’ve had friends ask me how I feel about the future of e-books since I plan on being a book editor. I told them I’m not worried because writing in any form will always need editing.

If e-books are the future, it only makes sense that you could download the Bible to your tablet or smartphone.

This week, I started an editing internship with Olive Tree Bible Software, which specializes in helping people “connect with God and the Bible via technology.” The company produces various translations and versions of the Bible as well as study resources like commentaries and devotionals.

Off the website, customers can download Olive Tree BibleReader, an application for every major platform that allows you to organize your library of electronic Bibles and study materials. Think iTunes. It’s free to download and then you load it up with your purchases. It is entirely searchable and allows for easy note-taking and highlighting… almost like real books.

Here’s a video (also produced by Olive Tree) introducing the BibleReader for Windows, which recently came available:

In the 1450s, Johann Gutenberg looked pretty cool printing his Bible with a moveable type printing press. He set each letter by hand. Now publishing Bibles doesn’t require letter blocks, a press, ink, or even paper. Doesn’t that sound crazy? To publish and distribute Bibles today, a company just needs a software engineer, a computer, and probably lots of coffee.

If you’ve jumped on the e-book bandwagon, you might as well know Gutenberg did, too. You know, a few hundred years after he died. You can find free e-books (most of which have expired copyrights) at Project Gutenberg. The website is the “first and largest single collection of free electronic books.” It could be worth a look.

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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Publishers


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