The Wall Street Journal offers more insight into the goals of Indigo’s Shortcovers and what it offers readers.
“Shortcovers” are pieces of a book—maybe a chapter, an excerpt or some other fragment. These pieces are being offered either free as a way to sample before you buy or paid for about 99 cents each (remind you of any other entertainment fragments?). The paid content is likely to be chapters of non-fiction that can stand alone as a work in and of itself, whereas the free stuff is really more like a teaser.
At launch, Shortcovers is aiming to have about 200,000 shortcovers available, 50,000 of which will be purchasable as whole eBooks and the rest will be sold as physical books.
On WSJ, Walter Mossberg writes:
The key aim of Shortcovers is to get people to discover new works. So it emphasizes community features such as rating, tagging and sharing. It even allows people to make “mixes” of their favorite works and to upload their own writing. The Shortcovers catalog is a riotous mix of classics like “The Three Musketeers,” current titles like Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers,” and blog posts and magazine articles.
How is this different than Browse Inside? It’s readable on mobile devices and though this hasn’t been confirmed, rumours are afloat that Shortcovers will support the .ePub format. You can sample and buy on the go making those impulse buys ever more possible.
Thanks to Index//MB for the link.