Ebook preview widgets have been around for quite awhile but when was the last time you saw one on a blog or website? I can’t recall the last one I saw but I’ll bet that’s about to change.
Amazon recently released their Kindle Instant Previews widget in the US, and it does what its name suggests. In short, this tool makes it incredibly easy to embed or share an ebook sample on a web page or via email. The fact that it’s offered by the biggest ebook platform on the planet means it’s well positioned for success.
The sample below showcases the Kindle Instant Preview widget with one of my favorite books, The Innovator’s Dilemma.
It’s simple yet quite powerful. Most authors want to push their sales towards Amazon to help boost rankings there. Now authors will be able to place samples directly on their site, encouraging visitors to explore their content without ever leaving the site. Kindle Instant Preview also lets you add your Amazon Associates ID so you’ll be able to earn income from purchases generated by the widget.
As simple and effective as this widget is, there’s at least one key feature that’s missing. Some website visitors will have the time to read an entire sample while they’re on your web page but many won’t. The widget offers a “Read in Kindle App” button that opens the sample in the Kindle app on your device. I don’t want that though as I’ll probably discover the sample while browsing on my laptop but I don’t have (or want) the Kindle app installed on my laptop. Amazon, the king of “one-click buy” should add a “one-click send” option to push the sample directly to my Kindle app or maybe even my email inbox where I can read it later.
Given the popularity of free titles, especially the first one in a series of other paid titles, I’m wondering how liberal Amazon is with their definition of “sample”. Since the book is free I could see where an author might want to offer the entire book as the sample. If so, they could then enable visitors to read the entire book on their website. Again, that’s only for visitors who have the time to read an entire book on a website, but perhaps a few creative authors will find ways to encourage this sort of behavior.
No matter how this service evolves, one thing is clear: It only helps Amazon further increase the reach and dominance they already enjoy in the book industry.
Joe Wikert is director of strategy and business development at Olive Software. This post was orignally published on his blog, ‘Joe Wikert’s Digital Content Strategies‘, where he writes opinion pieces on the rich content future of publishing.