for ISKCON News on April 12, 2012
Srila Prabhupada always stressed book distribution. He said "This distribution of books, combined with preaching is the best process for spreading Krishna Consciousness, so always there must be books." He wanted us to continue to take care of distributing books. He said "I wish that if I live or die you should take very serious care for my publications."
While going on book distribution during Monthly Sankirtan Festivals at ISKCON of Silicon Valley, USA, sometimes people mention that they prefer to have an electronic version of the book rather than the paper version.
As the 21st century is progressing, there is a rise in the use of electronic medium for knowledge sharing. This has seen an increasing use of electronic readers like iPad, Kindle, Nook, Android devices etc. for reading books. Also, the sales of Amazon e-books recently surpassed those of paper books.
With these thoughts in mind, Jayadvaita Swami and Vaisesika Das inspired a project at ISKCON of Silicon Valley to come up with a method to effectively distribute e-books.
A team of Silicon Valley devotees worked closely with BBT e-books team based in Sweden to brainstorm what can be a good way to distribute e-books. They considered many possible ideas, and finally have come out with Bhagavad Gita e-book CDs. These CDs contain the Bhagavad Gita e-book in multiple formats so they can be easily loaded on multiple e-readers like iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Android phones/tablets etc.
E-books are available in online stores, but there were no clear ways on how to distribute them in door-to-door distribution, or distribution at a festival. With these CDs, the ebook distribution happens on the spot and the people get the book as a CD, that they can easily load to their ereaders using a computer.
The response during book distribution in Silicon Valley has been very encouraging. The devotees have distributed about 150 e-books in the past three months. Many people asked for an ebook and we had the CD that they readily bought. Many people bought the e-book CD because of the ability to load the book on their iPhone or Android phone and always have the Bhagavad Gita with them on-the-go.
For more information on the e-book distribution please contact Trishabh Chadda at firstname.lastname@example.org.