Yesterday as I was driving to work, I had NPR on the radio. An interview was on - some writer with a new book out, so I listened to the writer describe this novel, and how it came about. I was intrigued by the story, and the part he read aloud sounded like solid writing. So when I pulled into the lot at work, I yanked out my Kindle from my bag. I still recalled the name of the book: "The Passage". So I searched for a Kindle book by that name. There it was, top billing - I recalled the author's name when I saw it. Justin Cronin. I downloaded the sample and being a little early, sat and read the first few pages.
I could already tell, before I put the book down ten minutes later, that I'd buy the book after reading the sample - the writing was delightfully well crafted, the story compelling. And I did buy it, last night after work.
From radio interview to *instant* sample for the listener, to purchase the same day from my house to my hand in under two minutes.
I sat and thought about that a little bit, last night. It's a gamechanger. See, I talked about the book at work last night, too. And at least one co-worker yanked her iphone out and downloaded the sample right there while we were chatting about it.
It's a dramatic change in how books are being sold, how they're being viewed by readers, and how they are being passed via word of mouth. You don't have to try to remember the name of that good book a friend mentioned two weeks ago, when you go to the book store. Now, the moment someone tells you a good book is out there, you can immediately download the sample. Bang. Done.
The implications of this are deeper than I've had time to think through completely, but they seem enormous to me. How about you? Have you experienced any changes in how you select and read books?