Friday, March 23, 2007

Random House has Insight

When you're surfing the net for your next great reading purchase, do you ever read excerpts before you decide to buy? It's one of my own personal favourite ways of determining whether a book will capture my interest or not. I love to read the first line. If it grabs me, I'll read the full first paragraph. And sometimes I go even further and read the entire sample that's available.

As I surf through the various book blogs out there, I enjoy reading what people have to say about the book they just finished. But it's usually not enough for me. I still have that little nagging voice that says, "browse inside the book first!" But then I usually have to go to the trouble of following a link to the publisher or to Amazon, finding out if there even IS an excerpt available, getting into the reader, taking a peek, then if I decide to buy it, I have to get back to the main page...yadda, yadda, yadda.

Well, now there's a cool little gadget that will make that whole process a lot quicker and easier. And it's snazzy too!

Random House has introduced Insight - a digital distribution tool, and a neat little widget that lets you take a sneak peek into many of their books with a Browse & Search function. It's an online book reader that shows you what the actual pages look like, and gives you a decent chunk of the book to get a good feel for it.

Know what's even cooler? They've designed it so that you can add the widget to your website or blog. Check this out: (You will need Flash 9.0 to view this, and it's available for free here.)

See that little binoculars icon at the top right corner? Click on that, and you can search the contents of the ENTIRE book (not just what's here in the preview). So let's say, you're doing research for a term paper, and you're looking for a book with lots of information on...oh, I dunno...agoraphobia. You've found a book on phobias, but you're not sure if agoraphobia is covered. Problem a search for agoraphobia, and you'll find all the instances of that word in the entire book.

And for my fellow audiophiles out there, they've also got samples for audio books too, so you can have a little listen before you buy:

(There's even a wee little audio version too...great for your sidebar!)

You can read more about Insight here, and check out the available titles with Browse & Search here.

This new little goody makes me giddy. :) Can't wait to get to my next book that has Browse & Search available.

My sidebar will be widgetylicious.


Amy said...

That is cool. I love reading book reviews by friends etc but I have such eclectic tastes that I really need to preview something myself to see if I am going to like it. This is a neat idea.

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