This feels like the e-book reimagined. This feels right. From Reuters:
A new Web site is offering to send classic books in bite-size installments to your handheld device or e-mail every morning before you go to work, or whenever you want, for free.
Daily Lit sends excerpts intended to be read in five minutes or less. At that rate, it’ll take a while to get through a book. Reuters tells us that, “Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days comes in 82 parts while Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina could take nearly two years of working days to read at 430 parts.”
A long time, yes. But it’ll get the job done. The free part is fun, but savvy readers will have guessed the price can only go up.
Since the books are out of copyright the company can offer them for free, but it plans to expand and start charging a fee for newer titles licensed by major publishers within four or five weeks. The e-mails are free of advertising and the revenue model will depend on fees, sharing revenues with publishers.
DailyLit told Reuters that, though the site’s official launch was in May, they’d been operating in beta for a few months and Daily Lit cofounder, Albert Wenger, said that, thus far 50,000 people had signed up. Wenger’s partner, Susan Danziger, said:
“Publishers like it because it’s a new format they haven’t yet exploited,” she said, adding that she was in talks with publishers about releasing advance installments of new books before publication date that would help market the titles.
It sounds like one of those terrific win-win-wins where everyone ends up happy and the world gets turned on to more books. I like the sound of it. We’ll be watching this one closely over the coming months.