Buying Books by the Chapter

By Deane Barker on November 4, 2005

Want ‘War and Peace’ Online? How About 20 Pages at a Time?: Would it be handy to buy one chapter of a tech book? I think so.

Consumers could purchase a single recipe from a cookbook, for example, or a chapter on rebuilding a car engine from a repair manual.

The initiatives are already setting off a tug of war among publishers and the potential vendors over who will do business with whom and how to split the proceeds. Random House, the biggest American publisher, proposed a micropayment model yesterday in which readers would be charged about 5 cents a page, with 4 cents of that going to the publisher to be shared with the author.