ArcaMax Publishing's CEO, Scott Wolf, believes his company, an e-mail newsletter publisher that syndicates free licensed content to more than five million subscribers every day, can help publishers effectively promote and sell their books and even learn more about their customers' buying habits. ArcaMax publishes about 70 different e-newsletters each day offering daily samples of such well-known content as popular comics strips, auto info and books.

The digital publisher wants to expand the role of book content in its syndication business and has launched, a newsletter and Web site venture that offers readers a daily feed of free licensed sample chapters from more than 60,000 books by popular authors like Stephen King, Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer. Wolf believes he can use ArcaMax's huge subscriber base (and the detailed consumer data it collects) to promote new titles, introduce books to readers across related subject categories and generate book sales.

Originally launched in 1996 as an e-commerce site selling software products, ArcaMax switched to publishing e-newsletters in 2004, and the content syndication business took off. Wolf says the company's Garfield newsletter has just under one million subscribers, while the joke newsletter has over one million daily readers. “We don't create content,” explains Wolf. “We license content consumers already know. They know the Garfield comic strip, they don't know ArcaMax. And we're always looking for new opportunities to distribute consumer content.” ArcaMax signs up about 12,000 new subscribers every day across all its newsletter content bases, and Wolf says, “Once they confirm their subscription, we offer them other content.”

Wolf emphasizes that ArcaMax has “a lot of data on our consumers. We can tell you how long someone will read a newsletter and so forth, and we monetize the content with advertising.” The company has been experimenting with book content for a while. It currently serializes more than 700 public domain titles, breaking the books down into 25-day segments that are e-mailed to subscribers every day and supported by advertising. But while Wolf loves using book content, there is a problem with books—“they end.” Wolf needs a constant stream of new content and says that while his book serialization business grew to about 250,000 subscribers (about 10,000 for any one book) over about three years, it was “not a big business for us.”

That's when was born. “We believe we can drive the sampling and reading of books,” Wolf says. “We believe we can create opportunities for traditional publishers or even self-publishers to sell books.” works like this: users visit the Web site, which offers first chapters of 60,000 frontlist and backlist titles, and set up a free account. The site offers sample chapters of books of all kinds and consumers can pick as many sample first chapters as they want; one will be e-mailed to them each day in the order they choose. Every chapter sample on the site offers a link to either B& or to allow subscribers to buy the entire print title.

Wolf says a test e-mail to about 30,000 comics strip newsletter subscribers drove 2,000 readers to the BookDaily site and 500 registered. Now, three days a week, ArcaMax sends out a BookDaily update that lists new titles added to the site, and readers can add titles and new genres to their subscriptions. “We can offer samples of all kinds of content,” he says. “It helps bring in new eyeballs and separates us from other content aggregators.”

The site launched May 20 with a promotion to ArcaMax's five million subscribers, and after three weeks, Wolf says, more than 47,000 unique visitors had taken a look at, then set up more than 11,000 accounts and generated nearly 21,000 subscriptions (users can subscribe to the newsletter without an account). Wolf expects to have more than 250,000 subscribers in six months and believes he'll be able to offer book publishers an opportunity to market their titles and attract new customers.

The site is adding book trailers and other content to entice readers, and Wolf is negotiating for more sample chapters. He plans to offer structured promotional and marketing opportunities to publishers in the future. “Four million of our readers get some sort of promotional stuff from us,” says Wolf. “We can circulate thousands of samples in an hour. The Internet has become a place for talent to be discovered. We hope publishers and authors find our site a perfect place to get more readers.”