HUD launches e-bookstore

Housing and Urban Development Department's e-bookstore offers agency reports

The Housing and Urban Department is launching and e-bookstore where interested readers can download HUD reports to their reading device of choice.

Will Zachmann, Web manager at HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research, wrote a post at HUD’s blog, The HUDdle, about the launch of new e-bookstore. Zachmann said HUD reports will be formatted into mobile e-reader-friendly codes such as Mobi and ePub as well as in PDF form to fit whatever device downloads a report.

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“Our initial offerings are modest in scope – we’ve formatted and posted the Top 20 most downloaded reports out of the 8,000 or so that are already available as free downloads, plus a few others we thought would be worthwhile to feature,” Zachmann said.

Zachmann said 8.1 million reports were downloaded in PDF form from last year. New reports will be available at the e-bookstore as they are released, though it may take longer to reach tablet devices such as the iPad, upcoming BlackBerry Playbook or Motorola Xoom because it is harder to code for a tablet than a traditional e-reader such as an Amazon Kindle.

“Coding the reports to make them ‘tablet-friendly’ is still a fairly labor-intensive process, but with the phenomenal growth in popularity of these devices that we’re seeing, the extra effort is worth it.,” Zachmann said.

Reports from the e-bookstore will be available for free download. Current titles available include “Creating Defensible Space” and “The Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.” HUD will still offer paper versions of its reports.

“HUD is stepping up to offer our latest and most in-demand content – by way of your preferred means of delivery – for free,” Zachmann said.

About the Author

Dan Rowinski is a staff reporter covering communications technologies.

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