Random House Announces Chapter-Sales Pilot Program

At last year’s TOC Conference, Tim O’Reilly unveiled a program making individual chapters available for purchase from hundreds of O’Reilly titles. Today Random House becomes the first major publisher to follow suit, announcing a plan to sell chapters from Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die for $2.99 each. From the Wall Street Journal:

Customers will receive a digital link via email enabling them to download the chapter onto their computers. Random House expects that eventually users will be able to download chapters onto other devices, such as BlackBerries.

The a la carte approach has been in play for a while in the textbook market, including our own SafariU and over at Cengage Learning’s iChapters (which may be facing some DRM blowback, according to Teleread).

Our own experience at O’Reilly has been mixed with chapter sales, but we do believe that customers will continue to demand content in more atomized formats, in part to foster the ability to mix and match chapters and other segments into new forms of content.

We expect more announcements to come while here at TOC 2008.