Jennifer B. Davis
As everyone knows, Google is taking over the world. They run the biggest search engine and are buying up companies and extending their brand further and further each week. That said, there is a combination that I'd love to see that I call "AdWords in the Real World." As people know, AdWords is Googles way to insert advertising onto search results pages, onto blogs, websites, and the like triggered by the content of the page. Advertisers pay per click. Presumably, people browsing websites get relevant content and ads delivered to them (that is better than non-relevant ads, if you have to have ads). These AdWords enable a whole economy where people's websites can make money (or at least get supplemented) and advertisers reach those truly interested in their products or services.

So, this leads to my idea. As I have written about in the past, the book publishing industry is becoming frictionless. Anyone can write and publish a book. (Now, that isn't to say that everyone SHOULD write a book, but that is another tangent for another day). But for those who want to write, there actually is some friction to it. It still isn't free to publish and there isn't any truly revenue-share models that are aren't at least a little front loaded. So, what if advertisers sponsored "AdWords" in digitally printed, self-published books, the same way they sponsor links on a website.

An author would write a book about a particular topic, let's say about the history of musical instruments. They would prepare the book using one of the online services like Xlibris, BookSurge, cafepress, or iUniverse. They would select the "AdWord" option and their book would be made available for sale for free. Then, each time the book was printed on demand, trigged by an actual order, a dynamic list of current AdWords advertisers would be listed on a special sponsors page (with easy to type URLs). In its actual implementation, there could be a page of AdWords for every so many actual pages (ie, either in the back like the sponsors section of a high school yearbook or in the chapter breaks allowing the sponsor list to be even more targeted to the content of every chapter).

As long as the price paid for the book at check out covers all hard printing costs and royalties and the online book set-up was easy and "frictionless," I see that this could be an interesting opportunity to extend the Google AdWords to the real world.

The first advertisers I would solicit for this service would be the booksellers and authors themselves ("Readers who purchased this book, also loved this one, and this one"). I am sure there are many aspiring authors that would rather put their money into advertising their book, than paying set-up fees.
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