OBS in World Media
Entertainment Weekly, December 8, 1995
"Our Next Attraction: Ty Burr reviews Hollywood on the World Wide Web"
"Of course, when all the Net flash is done and loaded, the site that has honest-to-goodness content can show up the PR flacks any day. CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY (/obs/english/films/mx/cry/top.htm) a site that uses material from Miramax and Open Book Systems, weaves passages from Alan Paton's 1948 apartheid novel with script sections from the upcoming movie starring James Earl Jones and Richard Harris and links to relevant Net nodes such as a South African Chamber of Mines site and a glossary of Afrikaans....the Cry site has emotional and intellectual heft. It quietly earns the respect the other sites grab at and miss."
- The American President: B
- Nick of Time: C-
- Money Train: B
- Toy Story: B+
- Goldeneye: C+
- Cry, the Beloved Country: A-
Internet World, November, 1995
"The Unfolding Net"
"Laura Fillmore, president of the Online BookStore, sees a special threat in the battle of privacy vs. censorship as schemes for labelling online material are proposed. 'As we sweat in the digital fields today...we can be sure that the file names we use will probably become barcodes for our thoughts....'"
On The Internet, September/October, 1995
"Literacy's Last Best Hope"
The Internet Society's international publication of the speech presented by Laura Fillmore at Ed-Media 95 World Conference on Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, Graz, Austria, June 21, 1995.
Internet World, September, 1995
"The Word Electric"
"...the Online BookStore...is blazing a trail for previewing books over the Internet. You can read a chapter or two on its site, then decide if you want to purchase the whole book. If you do, you can place your order via the Net and receive the book via mail. Thus, the Internet can replace paper and help you obtain the traditional print materials you want."
WebMaster, September/October, 1995
"A Novel Experience: At the Online BookStore, the Text is only the Beginning"
"The Online BookStore...isn't really a bookstore: It's more like a value-added publishing venture....
"Book publishers pay Fillmore...to create interactive online versions of their books, using the basic manuscript as a jumping-off point for a wealth of supplementary information. What the publishers get is good PR within the online community and the benefit of the research OBS performs in determining how best to present each work. What users get is much more than a bunch of words converted into HTML....
"...unlike traditionally published texts, online books can grow contextually richer as relevant information comes online and readers offer feedback....
"[Fillmore's] goal is to present a constantly evolving medium. 'The context becomes kinetic, as readers respond,' she says. 'In a sense, we're publishing our heads.'"
Publishers Weekly, June 26, 1995
"OBS Available in 4 Languages on Net"
"The Online Bookstore announced a new agreement with EUnet, the largest Internet provider in Europe and North Africa, to present OBS in four languages.
"OBS founder Laura Fillmore said that EUnet connects more than 200,000 companies in Europe and North Africa through the Net. She also noted that the OBS will be selling Time Warner's new Quick Read series, 14 downloadable hypertext titles that provide searching and links to Net resources, before the titles are available in retail stores this fall.
"OBS is also providing an online version of Nicholas Negroponte's bestselling Being Digital, complete with what Fillmore describes as a combination of commercial links sponsored by advertisers and un-sponsored editorial links that serve to 'contexualize' the passages in which they are found. When clicked with a mouse, the links log the user on to other Web sites with related information. Fillmore described the commercial links as 'the gum-ball machine' billing model, one that charges advertisers for only the number of people who actually click on their particular icons. 'It allows the sponsor to customize its advertising to the text.'"
Publishers Weekly, June 26, 1995
"ABA '95 Virtual Reality Check: Computer Publishers Walk The World Wide Web"
"One interesting sidelight: Penguin USA had no booth at the show this year, but there was a Penguin prescence. The Online Bookstore and Bookwire had live Internet connections showing books of many publishers, including Penguin. Given logistic complaints, maybe the Virtual ABA is the wave of the future."
Inter@ctive Week, June 19, 1995
"Politics, New Media Collide at ABA"
"Internet service provider BBN Planet Corp. of Cambridge, Mass., and the Rockport, Mass.-based Online BookStore (OBS)...jointly offered a seminar at the conference to teach publishers about the world of Internet publishing. At the seminar, OBS debuted its online edition of MIT Media Lab Director Nicholas Negroponte's bestselling new book, Being Digital, marking the book's worldwide Internet debut. The company presented a case study of Web publishing from idea to implementation. The seminar sought to show publishers how to develop marketing and editorial strategies for publishing in print and online, as well as how to use the Internet to sell ideas and identify alternative income streams....
"At the ABA, the company featured -- in addition to Negroponte's online book -- 14 Quick Read titles from Time Warner Electronic Publishing, and Marcia Yudkin's Marketing Online for Penguin Ltd."
Internet World, June 1995
"Buy the Book"
"OBS president Laura Fillmore has created online products that go well beyond the traditional definition of a book. She is a pioneer who created a whole new learning experience using the full capabilities of interactive communication...
"Browsing through the electronic books is highly entertaining. Take, for example, The Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. No mere listing, the presentation included 19 excerpts from the book, a host of JPEG images, and 21 links to related sites, including African history, maps, clothing stores, and much more...
"OBS offers a dozen or so free e-texts, many of them written by Fillmore extolling the virtues of electronic publishing."
The Internet Letter, June 1, 1995
"Bookstore Turns Page On Ad Sales"
"The Online BookStore (OBS) this week plans to unveil a novel method of charging companies for advertising on World Wide Web sites at the American Booksellers Association convention in Chicago.
"The method is called the 'Gumball Machine Model.' OBS President Laura Fillmore said it is less risky than 'link' or sponsorship programs...
"...gumball billing does not require companies to pay up front. Instead a company would only pay for the number of times a user clicked on its URL.
"'The idea is that it's a no-risk billing model. If nobody comes, it doesn't cost the company anything,' Fillmore said. 'But say thousands of people come. What we're delivering to them are qualified buyers who voluntarily put their pointer on the word...'
"Fillmore plans to demonstrate the system with a 'Cyberdock' version of Nicholas Negroponte's bestselling Being Digital. The electronic version offers readers an opportunity to add additional links, both commercial and editorial. Adding an editorial link is free."
Publishers Weekly, May 29, 1995
"Working on the World Wide Web: Publishers discover the Internet in business"
"The World Wide Web can also be used to deliver electronic editions of books, which some publishers use as a marketing technique to boost sales of bound books. The McGraw-Hill Professional Book Group reports unexpected success in sales of its title Paperless Publishing as a result of making the book available free through the Online BookStore, a Web site operated by electronic publishing pioneer Laura Fillmore."
Working Woman, April 1995
"Cyberbuzz: Open for Business on the Internet"
"Founder Laura Fillmore markets books in print in English. Buyers can e-mail credit card information or use a toll-free fax number (800-495-4627)."
Forbes ASAP, February 27, 1995
"Stop by the Online BookStore for a lesson in cyberchic. Founder and president Laura Fillmore wants to redefine reading so that 'it's not the private, linear experience that it was in the age of print,' but rather a 'distributed, kinetic' experience that encompasses links to texts and graphics worldwide...
"In the process, OBS and its publishing clients are helping to redefine the notion of ownership of intellectual content: If you visit its Web site...you see an array of titles from various publishers. In a couple of cases, such as Colin Haynes's Paperless Publishing, published by McGraw-Hill, you can read the whole book on line, if you have the time and inclination.
"In most cases, you can read parts of it, check out other texts, maps, news feeds, etc., that it points you to, and order the book."
Bookselling This Week, January 30, 1995
"On-line Services Gear Up E-book Trade"
"Developments at the Internet's Online BookStore are heralding new ways for information content to be delivered to readers. Using communications technology to create paperless books or to match books with readers, these services are continually forcing publishers, readers, and booksellers to understand new ways of delivering content to consumers with on-line technology."
"...the Online BookStore, which specializes in delivering electronic texts to consumers, recently took a big step toward the distribution of traditional paper books though a deal with Holland's American Book Center...Like any good bookseller, [Laura] Fillmore says she spends much of her time trying to match readers with the information they really want, and her BookFinder service helps that happen...'What we're offering is global distribution of English-language books in response to humans talking to humans.'
"But the Online BookStore still specializes in electronic texts which can be downloaded or, increasingly, read on-line (one new development is the addition of text in Italian, French, and German). The biggest innovation...has been the addition of "hypermedia-linked" books... Customers read the books on-line at no charge with browsing software...and use their mouse to point and click their way to separate Internet sites...
"...Royalynn O'Connor, marketing manager for McGraw-Hill electronic publishing [explained], 'What the Internet does for us is open up a whole new channel of communication, not just with the consumer, but also, we hope, with the bookstores...
"...the most intriguing marketing tool may be the on-line version of McGraw-Hill's Paperless Publishing, which is really a paperless book promoting a paper book which offers tips and suggestions on publishing paperless books. Even as readers familiarize themselves with the book, they can take customized mini-tours of both the book and resources on the Internet depending on their interests."
"Laura Fillmore said the Online BookStore is committed to new ideas in publishing. 'Yes, we can sell printed books, and yes, we do sell them, but that's contained publishing. The Net is excellent for that and it's fine and good, but above that, how does one use the medium so that we as people can think more and effectively, think collectively, and be smarter. It's a tremendous thinking tool, and that's what distributed publishing is all about.'"
North Shore Magazine, January 19, 1995
"Go 'Live' on the Internet"
"There's a brave new world out there for aspiring writers, and it has as much to do with bits and bytes as paragraphs and punctuation...
"Logging onto the Internet, users can see ever-evolving stories in creation, sample chapters and excerpts of upcoming works, check out publishers' catalogs, or take a role in a 'live' novel as it comes to life...
"Publishers are also realizing that there are new avenues to explore electronically. The Online BookStore is working with many 'mainstream' publishers, such as McGraw-Hill, Warner and Simon and Schuster, to seek out new and unusual works."
North Shore Magazine, January 5, 1995
"Rockport BookStore Offers Road Maps for Information Highway"
"One of the most intriguing outlets for Internet information is the Online BookStore."
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