HarperCollins sur les traces d’Amazon et de Google
- La particularité de l’initiative est qu’elle vient d’un éditeur et se limite aux titres de cet éditeur. Cela semble analogue, pour les livres, à ce qui existe déjà pour les périodiques scientifiques, à cette différence près que HarperCollins ne vend pas en ligne mais redirige vers les librairies numériques type Amazon.
« We want to reach consumers wherever they are, however they wish to experience our authors and their words, » said Jane Friedman, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide. « In keeping with our mission to be a true 21st-century publisher we are proud that HarperCollins is taking a leadership role on the digital front to fulfill consumer and marketplace demands while, first and foremost, protecting our authors’ copyrights. »
Plans are underway to roll out the program on a larger scale, extending the application to all books globally over the next year. As the program expands, consumers will be able to access the HarperCollins « Browse Inside » page views directly from authors’ sites, HarperCollins newsletters, or booksellers’ retail Web sites.
In an effort to widen its marketing reach on the Internet significantly, HarperCollins Publishers will let readers see excerpts of its authors’ books on its own Web site as well as those of the authors themselves.
Today the company will introduce a program called “Browse Inside” on its Web site (harpercollins.com), providing readers access to the first three pages of most chapters in 135 titles by 10 authors, including well-known writers like Michael Crichton, Lisa Scottoline, Bernard Cornwell and Paulo Coelho.
Last year it announced that it would be digitizing all its books. So far it says it has digitized 10,000 of its existing titles, with continuing plans to digitize the remaining 15,000 books on its so-called backlist. All of its forthcoming books will be available digitally as well.
The publisher also plans to negotiate deals with online social networking sites like MySpace and Friendster to allow users who are fans of particular authors to link to the “Browse Inside” function.
Mr. Coelho said that he has even linked to whole pirated editions of his books in Russian, and that the move spurred sales. “I don’t think that people reading the book on the screen of a computer is going to keep them away from buying these books,” he said.
- Ray Cha met en rapport l’initiative avec l’étude commentée ici sur le déclin de la lecture de livre aux EU.
The feature is much closer to « Search Inside » than « Google Book Search. » Although Amazon.com has a nice feature « Surprise Me » which comes closer to replicating the experience of flipping randomly to a page in a book off the shelf. Of course « Google Book Search » actually lets you search the book and comes the closest to giving people the experiences of browsing through books in a physical store.
In the end, HarperCollins’ feature is more like a movie trailer. That is, readers get a selected pages to view that were pre-detereminded.
If traditional publishers do not provide media (including text) in ways we are increasingly accustomed to receiving it, their relevance is at risk. We see them slowly trying to adapt to the shifting expectations and behaviors of people. However, in order to maintain that relevance, they need to deeply rethink what a publisher is today.
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