2009
02.16

From The Times February 16, 2009
By Lilly Peel

As an SAS soldier, Andy McNab was used to being thrust into unknown, hostile territory to carry out special operations. Now the author-turned-businessman has set his sights on a new terrain: the burgeoning e-book market. The author of Bravo Two Zero plans to take on heavyweights such as Amazon and Sony to win a slice of the action.

GoSpoken, the audio book company Mr McNab co-founded in 2007, will announce tomorrow that it has struck a deal with Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry, to supply e-books for its smartphones. Under a deal between RIM, Vodafone and GoSpoken, a GoSpoken e-reader application will be launched for BlackBerry Storm and BlackBerry Bold handsets for Vodafone customers in the UK. GoSpoken expects to roll the service out to other networks and handset makers soon.
GoSpoken is talking to Nokia about providing the service on their phones, she said. The company has already signed content deals with several book publishers, including Penguin, Random House and HarperCollins. Many titles are already available as audio books to Vodafone and 3 customers in the UK.
GoSpoken, a private company, has received millions in backing from Lord Ashcroft, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and millionaire businessman, in November last year. GoSpoken has yet to make a profit but Mr McNab believes that the audio and e-book market will continue to grow. “With my evangelical head I think yes, this is going to be huge,” he said, “but the practical head says wait and see how it goes.”

Source: Times Online