I just saw Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente for sale as a stand-alone iPhone App, and I know my book is out as an individual app, as well.
This looks to be the future of eBooks, with the ubiqiuty possible through eReading devices, the iPad, and etc. Publisher bundle together the book into a downloadable ap, set the price themselves, and let people download it individually.
You own the app. It is yours. You keep it forever.
The only downside is the size constraints of loading a lot of ebooks, with individual software packages for ease of reading into the device. If there was standardized form of file-type on par with a .pdf for these things, and all ereaders and ereader-capable devices could easily download that software for free, even the heftiest of mass market readers could pour their libraries into their pocket at will.
It’s the future. I have low expectations for my own kindle apps and BnN apps, in comparison. Seems like paying a middle man for leasing a product I could buy and own at the same price directly from the creators – the publishers.
The future is a marvelous place. They have excellent healthcare, and tasty, sodium-free crackers, and all sorts of nifty devicery.