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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Monday, February 11, 2008 1:00 pm
Publishers Poise Toes Over Web Waters
Posted by: Keir Graff

Free books (“HarperCollins Will Post Free Books on the Web,” by Motoko Rich, New York Times)…

In an attempt to increase book sales, HarperCollins Publishers will begin offering free electronic editions of some of its books on its Web site, including a novel by Paulo Coelho and a cookbook by the Food Network star Robert Irvine.

…and by-the-chapter (“Random House and HC Test Drive Online Access to Their Books,” by Jim Milliot and Rachel Deahl, Publishers Weekly):

In the Random test, Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, published in hardcover in January 2007, is being made available in six chapters and an epilogue – the content bunches are priced individually at $2.99 each – at www.randomhouse.com/madetostick. Consumers who buy a chapter will receive an e-mail with a link for downloading the purchased file, which cannot be shared electronically.

While the first idea isn’t really anything more than Amazon is doing with “Search Inside!,” I’m very excited about the second idea. As soon as they extend it to fiction, I’ll be able to buy John Grisham novels the way I’ve always wanted to–every other chapter.

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