The newest initiative at Amazon.com, its "Look Inside!" feature, allows customers to view the back covers, jacket copy, table of contents, excerpts, index and introductory pages for selected titles. Steve Kessel, general manager of media business for Amazon, said the new program was launched in response to requests from both customers and publishers who wanted more information about titles available online.
Approximately 25,000 books carried the "Look Inside!" icon when the service launched October 10, and Kessel said the e-retailer expects to add thousands of books, both frontlist and backlist, to the program over time. Publishers whose books are part of the "Look Inside!" launch are DK, HarperCollins, Hungry Minds, John Wiley, McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Stewart House Publishing, Time Warner Trade Publishing and Holtzbrinck. Kessel, who said the service will eventually be available to all publishers, declined to discuss terms of the "partnership" with publishers, only noting that the initiative "is not co-op supported." It was unclear if Amazon plans to charge for the service as new titles are added.