Publishers Will Do Just About Anything

Think I'm kidding?

Here's the listing from Publisher's Lunch:

Random House and Ballantine are offering free books to read on the iPhone via Lexcycle's fast-growing Stanza reader. (The app has been downloaded approximately 500,000 times.) The works come from the backlist of popular authors such as Alan Furst, Julie Garwood, Charlie Huston, David Liss, Laurie Notaro, Arthur Phillips and Simon Rich, and include promotional excerpts for new hardcovers scheduled for 2009.

The company says it is also "providing links to retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, Borders.com, Powells.com and IndieBound.org to encourage readers to purchase more books by these authors."

I'd consider it if (a) I had the extra money and (b) I had an iPhone (for an explanation as to why I don't have an iPhone, see (a)). There would also have to be some fantasy authors included in the mix; I like the idea of promotional excerpts - why buy the book if you find the first chapter (or whatever is considered an excerpt) boring/stupid/confusing?

If you have an iPhone, would you go for this?

Love and kisses,

~Nancy Beck


Anonymous said...

My knee jerk reaction is to say yes, I'd go for this if (A) wasn't also my issue. Then I got to thinking. I really like the idea of being able to read an exerpt. If I like, I'll buy it.

Then I thought about how big the cell phone is and what might happen to my already bad eyes if I tried to read something on that screen. My revised answer, I'd like to be able to see my grandchildren some day, so no. Great information though.

Do you think publishers are finally starting to wake up?

Angie said...

I honestly can't imagine wanting to read even a short story, much less a novel, on a cell phone screen. Just... no.


Nancy Beck said...


Yeah, my eyes have gotten worse over the years, too. If I forget to put on my glasses at work, I have to squint like crazy to see stuff sometimes (which is why I have Word at 110% viewing instead of 100% - makes a world of difference to my eyes!).

As to publishers waking up - I think right now, with the economy the way it is, they have no choice but to start seriously looking at technology and other things to boost sales. I personally wouldn't mind reading an excerpt because, like you, if I like what I read, I'll buy the book.

Not so sure about ebooks at this point, though. Non-fiction, yup, I've bought. Fiction ebooks? Not as yet.

Nancy Beck said...


I'm with you on that. An excerpt, that I wouldn't mind reading on a cell phone.

A whole freakin' novel is 'nother thing altogether, and one I wouldn't find too enjoyable.

It's that whole, "I like to hold a book" thingie, ya know? :-)

Angie said...

Nancy -- I guess an excerpt wouldn't be bad, in principle. Although I can't imagine shopping for books on a cell phone either. I have a nice desktop computer with a large keyboard and a big monitor and a reasonably comfortable chair in front of it for when I want to shop.

I also don't own a cell phone, but that's another issue. [laugh]


Nancy Beck said...


I don't own a cell phone at the moment, either. :-) Can't afford it right now, so got rid of the account about 3 months ago.

Although I have a sneaking suspicion that my mother will give me a Christmas present this year... :-)

It'll be one of those pay-as-you-go jobs - that is, if she decides to get me one. I only used cell phones in the past to let hubby know when I was working late or if I was stuck in a traffic jam.