What our BookSnacking tool aims to achieve

The book publishing industry is replete with dime-a-dozen digital solutions that market themselves as the panacea to any and all of the hot-button issues in print publishing.

So what exactly distinguishes “BookSnacking” among these plethora of other examples? In many ways BookSnacking is about employing existing technology in innovative ways rather than re-designing the wheel. Fundamentally, BookSnacking is a browser-based delivery tool for snippets, chunks or even chapters of books that a publisher wants to offer for free. It’s comparable to Amazon’s “read more” feature, but more feature-rich and more intuitive for the reader.

Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is to offer to print publishers a way to emulate the experience of a bookstore. The most recent research shows that, in spite of the doom and gloom surrounding the now-exhausted “print vs. digital” debate, print books have significant staying power.

Why is this? Well in many ways it’s down to things that are quite hard to replicate with any digital device, aspects such as how traditional books physically feel, the actual process of turning pages and so on. Tablets and other e-reading devices have made this attempt at imitation through digital books easier, but it still struggles.

That’s why we’re using BookSnacking as a way to reproduce the look, feel and purpose of a bookstore, with publishers able to offer their customers a hassle-free zone to try out bits of new books without being burdened by password walls and sign up barriers.

We’re also aware that performance is key in modern web environments, so readers who do employ the service won’t have to deal with lengthy loading screens, giving them instant access to the material they want to read. This is based on our understanding that customers, when offered free material or trial products, will become frustrated when impeded from obtaining it to the point that even well-meant obstructions, like a sign-up form, will leave them with a generally negative view of the product afterwards. We feel it’s key to tailor the product in such a way as to avoid this, after all, reader engagement can’t be fostered unless the reader themselves can access the material in as hassle-free a way as possible.

Readers are therefore better serviced, not only as a result of high performance web services, but because the browser-based environment of the BookSnacking e-reader means there’s no need to download any individual app for what’s essentially a service offering free snippets.

So what else is BookSnacking trying to accomplish? Well, it’s also primarily about discoverability. By having a truly multi-platform browser-delivery solution, BookSnacking empowers publishers to offer snippets of books for free to an audience of millions, regardless of the device they’re using. Books can then be prioritized depending upon what a publisher’s marketing team wants to emphasize most. For example, in the run up to the release window of a particular novelist’s book, they could choose to feature the first publication within a YUDU-powered BookSnacking environment.

Finally, Booksnacking is about breaking down barriers between digital and print. For years commentators and publishers have talked about the idea of print and digital as “complementary” products but there has been little attempt to build products that actually facilitate this. With BookSnacking we have clear processes by which this complementary approach can work. Publishers can generate interest in a book through BookSnacking, but the consumer can then either purchase a physical copy or a digital one depending on their preference. BookSnacking is a digital version, but it’s merely a conduit of discoverability, so it can service print and digital sales equally.

If you are a UK/EMEA book publisher and you’d like to place an order for BookSnacking for one of your publications, please contact our Books specialist Marcus Simmons, alternatively our US-based books specialist is Shane White, who would be happy to help assist.

Categories: Uncategorized

2 replies

  1. It’s well known that bookstore buyers of nonfiction books often browse through the index to quickly determine the scope of coverage of the topic. Does this tool allow the author to share the index?

  2. This is a subject I am very interested in (see my blog at indexplural.com) so I may come on a bit strong, but I don’t think the “bookstore experience” is really what it’s all about. Only a very small percentage of nonfiction books ever make it to a bookstore, maybe 2-3%. And scholarly buyers want to know what’s new in a book. Why should I buy it? Since Amazon and others are using indexes to sell books, maybe we should re-think how we index and how we are not paid or acknowledged when indexes are used for marketing. I believe the ebook is the wave of the future for academic books (among others) and we should be focusing on the nature and role of the index in ebooks.

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