In fact, the plan for the giveaway was originally to offer the books in both PDF and HTML, and then the HTML version got dropped at the last minute for technical reasons that have now been fixed. As I understand it, starting with book #2, Old Man's War, they'll be available in both PDF and HTML, and we're actively looking into MobiPocket, among other formats.
I do want to emphasize that the program under discussion is a nonce, one-off, quick-and-dirty promotional program designed to do one thing only: encourage people to pre-register for the super-duper-secret Tor site currently being constructed in our secret laboratory high atop Skullcrusher Mountain. About which (the site, not the secret lab), I can simply say that it will combine elements of news, original fiction, lightweight Web 2.0-ness, and Other Stuff, and we'll be rolling it out in late Spring. This new site--not to be confused with our normal company web site, which is at www.tor-forge.com--will not be built around giving away free digital editions of novel-length works, although we may well do some of that when it suits our other purposes. And it's entirely possible that in the fullness of time we'll have something like the Baen Free Library (or, just as likely, simply join forces with the Baen Free Library). But the shapes of the cones in which we're giving away this particular round of free ice cream should not be taken as determinative of any future "e-book" plans.So all the various mumblings about Tor getting serious about ebooks again - recall that 2 or 3 years ago Tor almost released some books via webscription.net and then the various bean counters and lawyers in its parent company got cold feet - look like finally paying off. Woohoo.
The first [ebook] device to be launched in Britain will be the Sony Reader, probably in late spring. The manufacturer has been working with the Borders bookshop chain in America so shoppers can both buy the device and download books at branches. In Britain, it is understood to be in discussions with Waterstone’s.This seems to be true to the very limited extent that no dedicated ebook reader has been for sale on a UK high street. However people with clue have learned about this thing called the Internet, and on the Internet it is possible to find any number of ebook readers available that can be sent to UK buyers. There are kindles on ebay for $425 or Bookeen Cybooks available either from the manufacturer (or NAEB). Then there are devices like the N810, the eee, the iPhone etc. that can perfectly well read non-proprietary ebook formats and which are available in the UK highstreet but not classed as ebook readers because they do other things too. And so on. This article is marginally better than the one that showed up in the business section of the Wapping Liar last week about the death of the book. But only marginally.