A Store Inside Your eBook

Publishers are launching another innovation in digital books -- they want you to go shopping inside your ebook.

Here is what the new eWorld looks like -- you buy an ebook, and then you are offered the opportunity to click and purchase related items. And unlike other versions of this, now these "buy now" links are embedded right in critical parts of the book, rather than stuck at the end of the book.

This is really brand-new stuff. Last month, a company called Cathedral Rock Publishing launched the first "Book IS the Store" application, which in this case was a multimedia ebook that contained its own music soundtrack: Cathedral of the Senses. It works just like a movie, where song excerpts are played during appropriate moments of a scene, according to the company. But with Cathedral of the Senses, if you, the reader, likes the song excerpt, you can click out directly from the eBook and purchase the entire song. After the purchase, the eBook reopens to the exact place the reader left off.

This will be just the tip of the digital iceberg. I can see the day quickly coming when the opportunity to shop inside your ebook will be common place -- and then there will be a backlash, and some publishers and writers will begin to advertise their ebooks as "shopping free" for all those who want the "old" ebook style back again. 

Cathedral Rock Publishing specializes in "monetizing" ebooks for publishers and authors, "with an emphasis on re-purposing existing catalogs (of music, for example) at a fraction of the price of creating new ones." You can see for yourself here -- http://CathedralRockPublishing.com.

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