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LibraryThing "Early Reviewers" Program


Dailylit_logo_smallWhat a great idea that seems so obvious: Deliver books to readers one small piece at a time so that they can read it on their cell phone, Blackberry, etc., when they have a few minutes to spare.  That's exactly what DailyLit offers.

After reviewing their categories page it looks like they have more than 600 different titles available, most of which fall into the Classics area.  They're all free for now, but this article notes that they're looking at a paid model with newer content down the road.  I think it's also interesting that they're talking about using this model to distribute the first chapter or two of upcoming books; what a great way for publishers to secure customers early and get them hooked on a soon-to-be-released book!

I'm going to give it a shot.  The next time you see me in a meeting "checking my Blackberry for new messages" I might really be reading today's installment of Ben Franklin's autobiography...


Michael A. Banks

Promoting novels by making one or two chapters available online is certainly effective. When I was putting first chapters of new Baen Books SF novels by name writers on The Source, CompuServe, DELPHI, and BBSes in 1984, we got a heck of a lot of downloads. Jim Baen claimed he could see the effects on sales, comparing titles we promoted online with those we didn't.

I was surprised that nobody else was doing this at the time, although Bantam Books already had a pseudo-catalog up on CompuServe, just to maintain a promotional presence. Now of course you can get chapters (or samples) from publisher and author Web sites, Amazon, etc. I don't know what download counts are like, but I expect the samples contribute to sales.

Putting sample chapters in front of people with portable devices will be more of the same, reaching many people with time on their hands (waiting in airports and such). The perfect audience for a good novel!

Stephen Tiano

You're kidding right, that books-on-Blackberry is a good thing? Oh, wait, you're touting all media--even forms that don't exist. So you're not necessarily rooting for books.

But seriously, ladies and germs, there's nothing like cracking open a book to that first page. Especially a new book, with that new book smell. Then, too, while good-looking typography may be noticeable on a website, for a book's worth of type on such a small display as a Blackberry or a cell phone, well--I know that extended reading done on my 23" Apple Cinema Display, which gives sharp, pleasant-looking letterforms, still tires the eyes.

I just think that if this catches on, it will eventually lead to, if not the demise of the book, than its becoming an anachronism that only a minority of people have any regard for.

Stephen Tiano

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