Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Slicing Up the Book

Back in November, 2005, shortly after I started this blog, I reported here that:
Amazon Pages "will 'un-bundle' . . . buying and reading a book so that customers can simply and inexpensively purchase and read online just the pages they need. For example, an entrepreneur interested in marketing his or her business could purchase the relevant chapters from several best-selling business books.
In that same post, I said:
Random House . . . announced "its intent to work with online booksellers, search engines, entertainment portals and other appropriate vendors to offer the contents of its books to consumers for online viewing on a pay-per-page-view basis."
Earlier this year, I told you about a new e-book app called Shortcovers. The Wall Street Journal described the app this way:
It will allow readers to get free samples of blogs, magazines and books -- say, the first chapter -- and then buy either the entire work or other individual chapters or sections, which the company calls "shortcovers."
From Monday's Publishers Weekly:
Simon & Schuster has started to sell individual e-chapters to its bestselling You series of titles written by Dr. Michael F. Roizen and Dr. Mehmet C. Oz . . . For answers to questions that appear in one of the You titles, S&S created an e-commerce widget that will allow consumers to purchase just the chapter in which the answer was found as well as providing the opportunity to buy the complete book in digital, physical, and audio formats.
According to PW, prices for those chapters will be between $2 and $3. You'll have to go to Oz's website here to purchase the book slices. I visited the site, but didn't see reference to this program yet.

I can think of a number of non-fiction titles where I might only be interested in a chapter or two of the book. If I could download that chapter for $2 rather than shlep all the way to the library where I have to pay parking, I'd do it in a minute.

I'd be less inclined to pay for fiction this way. I use the "Search Inside" kind of features to sample fiction to see if I would be interested in buying them.

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