Mainstream launches e-book programme

<p>Edinburgh-based publisher Mainstream has kicked off its e-book programme with the simultaneous electronic and print publication of its lead title for 2009, <em>Decoding the Lost Symbol</em>. </p><p>The Scottish house, which is half-owned by Random House, has also published the bestselling backlist title <em>The Dan Brown Companion</em> as an e-book<em>.</em> Both books were written by Simon Cox. </p><p>Fiona Brownlee, director of marketing and rights at Mainstream, said: &quot;Having talked e-books for an extremely long time it is very exciting to finally be releasing one.&quot; </p><p>In the run up to Christmas, the publisher will also be releasing <em>30 Something and Over It</em> as an e-book. This title came out originally in April, and has been a best-seller for Mainstream already. </p><p>Brownlee explained that the team had started exploring e-books as far as 2005, when Random House took a 50% stake, but the programme had been delayed until now. Mainstream will follow its parent company&#39;s strategy towards pricing and working partnerships. </p><p>As <a href="../news/99401-amazon-launches-the-kindle-worldwide-uk-store-to-follow.html" target="_blank">revealed previously by <em>The Bookseller</em>,</a> Random House has not yet signed an agreement to sell e-books through the Kindle outside of the US. </p><p>Brownlee said she was enthusiastic about the future of digital books. &quot;I read recently that everyone had their hands up in horror at paperbacks when they were first introduced and think e-books are similar. We don&#39;t particularly like them at the moment and they are by no means the physical books we know and love but you just have to look at the music industry to see how important downloads are going to become.&quot; </p>