Letting customers read a book's initial pages for free is a great
Kindle innovation and makes good use of the digital medium's ability to
dissolve the print requirement to bundle chapters. (Thus, this is a better-than-reality
feature.) The innovation will no doubt sell more books – particularly
for fiction, where people will want to see what happens next once
they're gripped by a story. In fact, for mystery novels, Amazon could
probably give away the first 90% for free and charge the entire fee
just for the last chapter.
The article is interesting throughout on a variety of Kindle-related topics. The author agrees with my basic claim that the Kindle favors plot-driven fiction over complex non-fiction or for that matter postmodern fiction. Referring back and forth across sections is a no-no, so goodbye Pale Fire.