This is an interesting experiment for a publisher. I purchase a lot of books online and I would love to be able to "leaf" through a book first, although nothing in the article says whether the pages will be exact reproductions of what you'll see in hard copy. I often select a few interior pages at random and read a few paragraphs to get a flavor for the writing, dialogue, characterizations, and so on, before I buy. This will make buying online a lot easier.
You might wonder if people won't be tempted to just read online instead of buy. The article says the books will be available online only for a limited time, which may make that impractical. Furthermore, the online page is a lot harder on the eyes than is the paper page. I think reading a lengthy book online will be very taxing over time. This can work!
Beginning Monday, you will be able to visit the Harper Collins Web site and peruse the following books:
- The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho
- Mission: Cook! My Life, My Recipes and Making the Impossible Easy, Mr. Irvine
- I Dream in Blue: Life, Death and the New York Giants, Roger Director
- The Undecided Voter’s Guide to the Next President: Who the Candidates Are, Where They Come from and How You Can Choose, Mark Halperin
- Warriors: Into the Wild, the (1st volume in a children’s series), Erin Hunter
Read more of the good news in HarperCollins Will Post Free Books on the Web in the Business section of The New York Times.