Day: June 9, 2006

Uncle Nate Says . . . even more!

You may have noticed that following my post on EnhancedBooks.com, Nathan DiNiro of EnhancedBooks, posted a comment. I liked it and followed it up with an e-mail asking some questions about their future plans and how the industry has responded.

On the industry response he says:

The industry response has been all over the map. our efforts with publishers often lie in educating them first. As you might know, publishers are a group that is very set in their ways. Some publishers get it right away, while others shut down in a way because they are actually unwilling to even listen or understand.

Which seems a fairly accurate response given the response to this site and others musings on the future of books and book publishing.

I was keen to know how they planned to promote the site to which he responded:

We’re looking to leverage the content of the book, as well as user-generated content in the future. By enabling a sharing and mixing between authors, publishers and readers, we plan to add promotional via the inevitable linking. There are a ton of things I could list here, for instance, our freView is an effort to allow consumers to have better online book purchasing experiences by somewhat simulating the experience of actually having the book in-hand.

I have tried this feature and it does look and feel good. I like the slickness of their site in general. The idea of being able to share books and pages would do a lot to tackle Jeff Jarvis’ frustrations as evidence here.

Critically on promotion he says:

We are also working on a way to allow search engines to capture the search-able text of a book without allowing a searcher to actually see the content. This is akin to the Google Book Search project, but not limiting the search capability to just Google. Nor are we alienating publishers, much like Google has, by trying to do this without permission.

I think this is the pay dirt for Enhancedbooks. They are publishers’ friends rather than potential enemies. They provide a service that you opt in to and choose the right features for yourself, not a direct funnel to your books and a service on their terms and you have to opt out of, like Google’s service. The whole process may rely on Google in the end to shovel traffic its way but at least Google isn’t getting the monetary advantage.

All in all I liked Nathan’s attitude and response. He and his company seem clear-sighted and I wish them luck. I have added Nathan’s blog to the blogroll too so if you want you can keep up to date on his progress.