Publishers Marketplace broke the story yesterday (and featured the player on its home page all day, too) but the official word is out about Insight, Random House‘s own online book content search and browsing service. The company said in a statement issued late yesterday that it will make the text searchable for more than 5,000 of its new and backlist titles from across the company’s U.S. publishing divisions. Random House expects to add several thousand more of its books to Insight this spring.
As for the “widget” (a word that stays ugly with every usage) each one offers the sample material from one of the titles and easily allows anyone to add this material to a blog, personal or retail website, or social network profile by using basic copy and paste functionality. The opportunity to pass along widgets, increasingly known as will significantly increase awareness and potential readership for these books. “Our goal with Insight is to create a compelling new tool for anyone to have a sampling experience previously unavailable online for these Random House titles,” explained Andrew Weber, Senior Vice President, Operations and Technology. “We believe Insight will be an invaluable marketing tool for our publishers, our authors, and particularly our booksellers, as book content sampling frequently is followed by consumer purchase.”