I haven’t tried it yet… but Penguin is now offering (what they call) ‘ebook tasters’. These are files are from upcoming or newly released books, in a digital download form. It seems they are only available in ePub format which means you’ll need an ereader or Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer. I’m sure all of this is a DRM move, which I’m not sure is a wise thing, if you’re only giving away samples. Wouldn’t you want to make that as hassle free as possible?
One of my favorite new online services is back online with a new twist. Wowio.com is an online service that lets you read books for free or for pay. All you do is sign-up for a free username and then you can access all of the books uploaded by wowio‘s publishing partners, in an ad supported window. Or if you like, you can buy a pdf copy of the book and download to your desktop/pda/laptop/e-book reader/etc.
I’m not sure how the new partnership models will work out for the publishers, but if Wowio can have another year of growth, like they did last year, then they could become a force to be reckoned with (and no doubt the model for many copycat services).
Cult of Mac and Cult of iPod are now available for free download off of BitTorrent. The publisher No Starch Press calls it an “experiment”, to see what kind of reaction they get and if they can measure it.
“I’ve been in publishing for just over 20 years and my training has not been to give books away,” writes Pollock on the No Starch blog. “But I think there’s something to this and logic tells me that if we increase the visibility of our titles, we’ll sell more books.”
I have checked out the Cult of Mac book, from the library and really enjoyed it. I haven’t flipped though the iPod book yet. Both books are at least a couple of years old.
So go download them if you want them! I do hope someone will share the results of their little experiment here. You can click through to wired.com’s site to get the torrent links.