Willing to Trade Cheaper E-Books for Advertising?

Filed in Gather Technology News Channel by on October 29, 2010 0 Comments

The unexpected hit this year in the technology world has been the electronic book reader. Lots of retail stores have been jumping on the bandwagon (stay tuned Black Friday shoppers), and e-book readers can now be found at stores like Target and Best Buy, as well as their traditional outlets, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

With the expected surge in interest and the ensuing crowd that will likely find these book readers under their Christmas trees, both mainstream and less traditional publishers are beginning to give consideration to e-books and their potential to, well, sell other things. Graphic novel company Wowio (as reported by Fox News) has intermixed graphic ads into its graphic novels.

Such advertising helps offset some of the cost of these novels, which publishers hope will open the doors to wider readership, which might not want to put out the full price for a book they just aren’t certain they will love. These ads are specifically designed not to be the same type of intrusive, annoying ads one often finds online. No blinking signs calling out to “click me.” Instead, Wowio is going for a magazine-style advertisement that a reader can click into for further information if desired without marring the actual novel-reading experience.

Examples of the type of advertising found in the first samples were for the movie site Fandango and auction site, iTaggit. One can imagine that along with product placement now found in some mass market books, advertising might link to the storyline, especially in cases where the book is the basis for a movie script, like the recent Eat, Pray, Love. Tie-in DVDs, travel companies offering adventures to exotic lands, the list goes on and on for relevant ads that link to storylines.

Toward this end, Wowio has taken a major step forward with its plan and signed an agreement with major book distributor Ingram. Another big step is patenting its advertising method, which could bring it substantial profits as it licenses it to publishing houses. Will readers put up with advertising in order to save money on books? In this still-troubled economy, chances are this idea will sell.

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