The FSF Defective by Design folks posted a link to this on Identi.ca. The site is Closed Circle and features titles from C.J. Cherryh, Jane Fancher, and Lynn Abbey. The titles available from this site aren’t from the full catalog of these authors which would be rather huge. I suspect these are newer titles for which the authors were able to retain rights to distribute electronic editions.
There is a lot of good information on the site aimed at helping fans who purchase the e-books use them. Rather than restricting choice, their store offers a zip file that contains the title in pretty much all of the popular e-book formats. The FAQ has good information on and links to reader software for those new to e-books.
This reminds me not so much of the larger e-book efforts, the platform plays, I’ve written about. This feels very similar to musicians who offer MP3s directly for sale on their site. I love the idea and that these women are willing to do this despite there not being any sort of standard for e-books, even a de facto standard.
The final thought I had in looking over the site is how the e-book files are produced. If there is some software or technology partner encoding these for the authors, that is worth sharing as well. If authors knew exactly where to go to get commodity or free encoding with predictable results, like with MP3 audio, I think that might be key to seeing more author hosted stores like these regardless of the thicket of competing readers and formats.