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What Bookselling This Week Is Saying About OBS

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.'"

Bookselling This Week, May 2, 1994
"On-line Book Selling Poses Obstacles, Opportunities"

"Fillmore's model of distributed publishing produces an electronic book which is no longer a self-contained entity. Rather, it contains 'links' which allow the reader to interact with the book and follow trains of thought across the vast expanse of the Net...

"[Fillmore says,]'It's giving [the publisher] fabulous PR and people still want the paper book. She pauses for a second, then adds, 'that may not be true for our kids.

"But Fillmore still sees her vision of electronic publishing as less a replacement for traditional publishing than a new and different world. 'We're making what was static into something that is kinetic,' she explains. 'After a while, we'll stop calling them 'books."'

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