PBS MediaShift starts publishing ebooks; first topics: cord-cutting and self-publishing

PBS’s digital media initiative MediaShift is launching a line of ebooks. The launch is part of a larger experiment with PBS, which is also planning to publish its own ebooks this year.

MediaShift’s first two titles are How to Self-Publish Your Book (80 pages, $3.99) and Your Guide to Cutting the Cord to Cable TV (50 pages, $2.99). (I have to point out here that GigaOM’s also got a cord-cutting ebook, written by our own Janko Roettgers.) The titles are available through Kindle (s AMZN) and the iBookstore (s AAPL) for now and will eventually be available through Nook (s BKS); print-on-demand editions will also be released, priced at $4.99 to $6.99.

Mark Glaser, the executive editor of MediaShift, says he’s planning on releasing 10 to 20 ebooks this year, depending on how well the first titles sell. “This is a test for us and PBS,” he said, “so we will learn as we go and adjust prices, length, subject matter and more.”