Matt Shatz

Book publishing is not commonly identified with the sort of risk-taking that one would associate with, say, the Sergey Brins and Steve Jobses of the world. And, the last company one might expect to see out on a proverbial limb would be a publisher of dictionaries (a tradition-bound format if there ever was one)—yet it was no less a player than the stalwart Merriam- Webster that over a decade ago risked it all, so to speak, by putting its dictionary online for free. “One of the reasons we [offered early on] our biggest best-seller on the Web is that, if we take seriously that

In an effort to reach more potential readers on the Web, two of the world’s largest trade publishers have released their own unique viral marketing tools intended to help disperse searchable samples of their book titles across the Internet. Several years after cyberspace mainstays and Google began offering searches for visitors to take a look inside the cover of books, Random House and HarperCollins became the first trade publishers to introduce their own transportable search functions for both retailers and consumers. Unlike those previous available search tools, the two new applications, called widgets, allow users to copy and paste content onto Web sites, blogs

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