Book Sense Partners With Earthcomber to Put Independents on the Mobile Map

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Book Sense and Earthcomber, a mobile marketing service that matches people on the go with their personal interests, have partnered to offer the directory of Book Sense store locations in a mobile GPS-enabled format for Palm OS and Windows Mobile PDAs and smart phones. Palm, Pocket PC, or Treo users can now find directions to the closest independent bookstore with Book Sense in locations as varied as New York City and Sitka, Alaska, via Earthcomber.

"Partnering with Earthcomber to make the Book Sense store directory available to technologically savvy consumers makes good business sense," said Meg Smith, ABA director of membership marketing. "Readers and consumers are using technology to shop and find books in new ways every day, and Earthcomber allows stores with Book Sense to be part of one of those new ways. ABA is hopeful about the potential of this new service to benefit our members."

Earthcomber, available at Earthcomber.com as a free download, includes maps of every region in the U.S. In addition to bookstores, Earthcomber can direct users to the nearest ATM, independent coffee shop, museum, golf course, bar, local events, natural sites, or any of the other 1.5 million points of interest that come with the free Earthcomber data set.

Jim Brady, Earthcomber founder and CEO, launched the company to help guide people to their interests quickly, no matter where in the U.S. they are. Brady told BTW that he always looks for independent bookstores when he travels and wanted to make finding them easy for others. "People love bookstores, especially independent bookstores, where each has its own history and personality," said Brady. "It's precisely the kind of quality of life item that's on everybody's list. I thought it would be wonderful to offer Book Sense bookstores on Earthcomber so people could find them even in strange territory. When people are traveling on business or vacation, they'll know if an independent bookstore happens to be right around the corner."

All Earthcomber users automatically receive the Book Sense store directory when they download Earthcomber maps and location data. When an Earthcomber user searches for a bookstore, the store's name and address is displayed, along with the Book Sense tagline, "Brought to you by an independent bookstore with Book Sense." Directions are also available. Currently, booksellers cannot expand or change the information available through the service.

Earthcomber works on a range of handhelds, from basic PDAs with no accessories or networking to the latest Treo 650 smart phone. To see the full list of supported equipment, visit Earthcomber.com. Questions about Earthcomber should be e-mailed to Dana Sohr, senior vice president for sales and operations, at dsohr@earthcomber.com. --Karen Schechner