An Idea for Facebook and Apple

Idea time based around user needs and existing music paradigm shifts implemented by Apple.


I awoke this morning realizing it is Easter. (Happy Easter!) And that I am still here.
The ebook publisher I own called Publerati published a novel with a very funny Easter scene, so let’s share it on Facebook.
Awesome, the latest iBooks upgrade let’s me scroll, so now it’s easy to copy that entire Easter chapter. And look! They added the Share buttons just like news articles.
Now just hit the share to Facebook button and there my shared chapter will be…

DARN!  Only a short passage with a link to the book in the iStore and the free preview of the opening pages. But the content I want is deep into the book. Personal resurrection incomplete.

How come I can preview every song on an album online but only a limited section of a digital book or just the opening pages? Especially when in print I can prance into any bookstore and sit down and read the entire book if I want. How come print gets to break so many copyright laws when digital is locked down like a lunatic in Congress. Oh, wait….

So here is the idea for Apple and Facebook. Apple to-dos: charge .99 cents for those people who have already bought the full ebook under the copyright laws of “first sale” and then make a boatload more money by charging .99 cents for any chapter I want. I would have paid you another .99 cents this morning to share the funny Easter chapter of our novel Normal Family. This way you, the publishers, and all those authors out there will raise the average revenue per book to more than its list price. (Maybe this notion is part of the Amazon march toward reselling digital content?)

This in turn allows me to share that chapter I want on Facebook, the open social network, which likely will no longer be the case for Goodreads once Amazon integrates them into whatever comes next there. This in turn should sell more ebooks because Facebook has the largest social network by far and allows the original copyright owners to share a full chapter from their purchased ebook for .99 cents and make money and better virally promote the book.

Tell me please oh wise reader what is wrong with this idea? Usually when I think I have a good idea it is already being worked on or exists. The publishing industry has shown they want to work with Apple to counterbalance Amazon. Why not give Apple and Facebook this unique competitive advantage while Amazon and Goodreads fumble forward through their acquisition period and legal and technology cluster-f&*&cks? 

And this is not a publisher collusion tactic but a feature enabled by Apple to allow it to compete as a reseller does and should in enhancing the customer experience.

Okay…I gotta go look for some jelly beans now. 

— Caleb


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5 thoughts on “An Idea for Facebook and Apple

  1. I know Copia and others let you share a passage but yes, I can see paying to share a chapter on occasion. Have you heard about the authors at Simon & Schuster who because of a terms battle between S&S and B&N are not having their books carried by B&N. B&N is still the major physical world way books are found so this has to hurt. It must really hurt authors with S&S who are accustomed to seeing their books everywhere now not having distribution into B&N.

  2. Alice: thanks for your comment and I am aware of the S&S situation, which is really too bad but happens. Being an author has meant tiptoeing through a variety of landlines over the years. I worked for a small publisher that was purchased by a huge one and later learned some of the authors had their books printed byt not sold to any stores. This led to increased discussion in publishing contracts to tighten up the requirements of the word publish. If I were a bestselling author these days I would require a specific list of guaranteed distribution outlets in my contract or wal away to someone else who would do that. Only a top author would have that clout but it can de done given what those lost sales and prestige would mean for the negotiating publisher. So sad to work so hard on a book only to see big business bullying deny access in the end.

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