Eco-Libris: Reading Books Chapter by Chapter

madetostick.JPGEditor’s note: This week, Eco-Libris blogger Raz Goldenik takes a look at a new (and potentially greener) method for selling books: by the chapter. This post was originally published on Saturday, February 23, 2008.

I read few days ago in Springwise (a great source to new interesting ideas) about a new initiative of Random House: Selling books by the chapter.

Random House explains the logic behind the new initiative: “Sometimes what you want is a slice instead of the whole pie. That’s why we’re offering a new reading experience– the ability to purchase individual chapters. Imagine that! Downloading and reading exactly the part of a book that meets your needs”.

The first book to be offered by them is Made to Stick written by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. This book actually looks like a very interesting book. Here’s the book description on its website:

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that β€œstick” and explain sure-fire methods for making ideas stickier, such as violating schemas, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating “curiosity gaps.”

The process is very simple — on the book’s website you can find a short description of each one of the six chapters of the book and its epilogue. You can choose the chapter that’s right for you and download it as an Adobe Digital Editions file for $2.99. The introduction and index are available for free with the purchase of any chapter.

If you want to purchase the paper version of the book, you can still do it for $24.95 (or the audio CD for $29.95).

I like this idea as it generates more incentives for customers to download the book (or the chapters they are interested at in this case) instead of buying the paper version.

As Springwise writes, this idea won’t work for every book, as most books you want to read from page one to the last page, but it can definitely work for guide books, such as Made to Stick.

Random House is already involved for almost two years in a green initiative that is aimed to increase its usage of recycled paper to 30% by 2010. I’m not sure if Random House had the goal of reducing the usage of virgin paper when they came up with their chapters initiative, but it’s definitely goes a welcomed by product.

Now we should only see if this initiative will really work. I guess other publishers will wait as well before jumping into the water with similar initiatives. We’ll keep you posted as always.

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