Amazon announced the development of a program to allow customers to view portions or an entire book online, of course with a fee.
Building on its successful Search Inside the Book technology, which allows customers to search the complete interior text of hundreds of thousands of books, the company is currently developing two new programs that will enable customers to purchase online access to any page, section, or chapter of a book, as well as the book in its entirety.
The first program, Amazon Pages, will “un-bundle” the physical-world experience of 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.
The second program, Amazon Upgrade, will allow customers to “upgrade” their purchase of a physical book on Amazon.com to include complete online access. For example, a software developer who buys a Java programming book will not only get the physical book delivered to his or her home, but will also get 24×7 Web access to the complete interior text of the book. Buy a cookbook and you will not only have it on your shelf, but also be able to access it anywhere via the Web.
“Amazon Pages and Amazon Upgrade leverage Amazon’s existing Search Inside the Book technology to give customers unusual flexibility in how they buy and read books,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, Amazon.com. “In collaboration with our publishing partners, we’re working hard to make the world’s books instantly accessible anytime and anywhere.”
“It is important for the publishing community to explore new business models for digital delivery that compensate publishers and authors fairly. We look forward to working together with Amazon as they develop these innovative new programs to expand the market for digital content,” said John Sargent, CEO, Holtzbrinck Publishers.
Amazon launched Search Inside the Book two years ago, for the first time allowing customers to find and discover books by searching the text inside them. The program has grown substantially since then, and today, one out of two books sold in the U.S. by Amazon.com are in Amazon’s Search Inside the Book program. Based on the success of the progam in the U.S., Amazon has recently launched Search Inside the Book in the U.K., Germany, France, Canada and Japan.