As more and more publishers look to optimize content for mobile device consumption, one company is quietly expanding the possibilities of its web viewer for digital reading under the belief that browser-based reading is where digital publishing is actually going to find its comfort zone. As consumers’ devices are increasingly able to access wifi–especially as the numbers for ebook reading on 4G smartphones and tablets increased–Pubsoft is ready with a seamless HTML experience for both online and offline reading.
“We’re really improving on the HTML5 web viewer,” explained Pubsoft’s Dougal Cameron in an interview with Good e-Reader at Digital Book World. “Within that experience, our goal is to create a seamless integration from an author tweeting out about their book to a consumption and purchase either directly or through Amazon. The way that that looks for a particular reader is they might be following a particular author and see a link, then click the link, and immediately be delivered into a portion of the book that the author is sharing.”
As opposed to the increasingly negative “book tweets” that take readers to sales pages, this will enable authors to share links directly to a personally branded, secure format where readers can sample their books in their web browsers. Once the reader hits the paywall on the book sample, he is then directed on how to purchase the title to continue reading. Other incorporated features on the author page include the option to pull in the Goodreads API for book reviews, a message from the author, and more, giving the readers more connection to the author.
“As those readers have more direct connection to an author, they tell more people about that book. It stays on top of their mind. The way we accomplish that in our system is by making it very simple for the reader to buy direct and continue to read it through the browser, and syncs with other devices they use to read.”
The end result of this approach is not so much simply selling a book, but to establish a reader “capturing” tool in order to help authors connect to their readers in order to build ongoing writer-reader relationships. But will readers really read ebooks that are consumed strictly through an internet-connected web browser?
“I think what no one’s really thinking of right now, even through the show, is that reading through the browser sounds like something that we might say, ‘Why? Browsers are unreliable and you have to be connected to the internet, no one’s going to read through the browser.’ Everyone would have said that about email in 2006, and now, many of us only do email through the browser. Our assumption at Pubsoft is that having a link where the book is permanently located where people buy and consume the book is the way to go.”