The rise of eBooks and the popularity of eReaders such as the iPad and Kindle have caused a minor revolution in the book world. The problem is the sheer amount of choice.
Established eBook platforms already offer free previews of well-known titles to tempt purchases. But unpublished writers are still largely barred from showing their wares electronically and helping them stand out from the plethora of titles on offer.
A US company has sought to remedy this by developing the well-worn trick of reading a single page in a bookstore to evaluate whether the title is worth buying.
Called Page 99, the website allows authors to upload page 99 of their published or unpublished books. Site visitors can then rate the single-page examples and indicate whether they’d buy the book. The site will monetise this by charging referral fees for published books.
The site promises to be influential in pushing unpublished works onto eReaders. With the upheaval in the book publishing and selling industry, a similar business that promotes, publishes or previews unsigned Australian authors could prove to be a winner.