Book Chats

It's official. It's now more likely that someone will buy an electronic book than a printed one, by a wide margin. For every 100 printed copies of a book 143 digital versions are now sold, according to Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

Despite its rapid growth, or maybe because of it, New York-based DMC Worldwide wants to give the fast-growing e-book marketplace a social makeover courtesy of Copia, a social platform for promoting electronic editions of books, newspapers, magazines and other digital e-book content.

With apps designed for Macs, Windows 7 and Android tablet computers, users can buy and download content, and integrate it with a slew of social media capabilities, such as posting comments, hosting chats or and discussing books with communities of like-minded readers. Students, book club members, professional groups, or even average readers can comment on content in real-time, trade information and share their views on all things bookish.

Copia gives book fans the ability to post directly to its own community or to big social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Executive Vice President Ben Lowinger says these Web 2.0 tools are only the initial touch points for Copia. The real goal is to "re-imagine" how books are bought for the tablet generation, by stepping away from the browser-centric, Amazon-like endless list of available books.

Instead, Copia offers a more visual and curated iPad-like shopping experience that Lowinger claims will drive sales for publishers. "At the end of the day, the consumer does not want access to every book in the world," says Seth Kaufman, vice president of marketing for Copia. "They want access to good books in an environment they trust."

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