E-books Get a Seybold Spotlight
Once the browser completes a search, a preview technology called iView obscures some information around the material once it is found. To see everything, users must buy the book.
Ibooks.com, which in general hopes to emulate the bookstore concept, sells one book at a time and the buyer owns the book. The service was launched in late February.
Ebrary.com offers non-fiction and reference books in digital form only. Site browsers can conduct full-text searches, including use of reference functions such as word and map look-ups, encyclopedia entries and translations to and from other languages. Documents can be displayed in full by users in PDF or HTML format; other reader formats are also supported.
To purchase, a browser must become a member, which allows creation of a debit account called a "wallet" that can be used for purchases. Purchases over $5 can also be made by credit card.
Publishers are encouraged to provide books to Ebrary.com in PDF format, but Ebrary.com can handle conversions if needed. For the first publishers that sign up, Ebrary.com offers revenue sharing 80/20 in favor of the publisher.
Sales of portions of documents are a notable Ebrary.com feature; the company plans to provide royalty cost breakdowns to publishers to facilitate such sales.
Ebrary notes that selling portions of documents "gives the photocopy market back" to the publishers and yields valuable information about how information is being used. Ebrary.com expects to launch in summer.