Monday, February 26, 2007

Short, Back and Insides- Bibliographic just got richer

The world of bibliographic just went up a notch with the announcement from HarperCollins that it has enabled its Browse Inside feature so it can be used on personal websites, blogs and MySpace pages. On the HarperCollins website, users can simply find the book they want to feature and copy and paste a simple code onto their own websites, blogs and MySpace pages. The Browse Inside feature will show the same pages that can be found on HarperCollins' website, including the cover, front matter, back matter and first three pages of the first and second chapters. This is a significant step towards rich bibliographic metadata and provides HarperCollins to market their books through a host of viral sites as well as through more traditional channels.

It is only a matter of time before others will follow and the drive to digitise content starts to be driven not by the potential to sell ebooks, but the opportunity to promote both physical books by the use of rich metadata.

We envisage this move in our ‘Brave New World’ report. The question now is how others will follow? Some believe that the major houses will go head to head to give their rich bibliographic away to all. Others, that one or more of the majors will give the software away to other publishers in order to protect their investment and de-risk the challenge from others. What now is equally uncertain is how, if , and when the bibliographic services will wake up and smell the coffee.