SAS man makes phone-based publicity lunge
McNab in booky attention grab
Ex-SAS man and action author Andy McNab's latest book is going to be promoted with a short-code that responds with a link to the first chapter of the book, free to your mobile phone - but unlike previous promotions of this type the chapter is also available in spoken form.
Giving away the chapter of a book for reading on mobiles is nothing new - Borders only launched its free-chapter-to-your-mobile service back in July, and it appears strangely bereft of content.
The problem is that mobile phones are very ill-equipped for reading books - they have small, low-resolution screens, and LCD isn't the ideal display technology for reading text anyway. Whether it's a question of technology or habit that we don't use phones as mobile libraries we'll find out next year, when the next generation of electronic-paper-based devices become available. But for the moment it seems that reading text on a phone screen is a non-starter.
The spoken word, on the other hand, can work on a mobile. Many phones are routinely used as MP3 players, and podcasts have shown how popular the spoken word can be. The publisher couldn't confirm if Andy would be reading the text himself, but it seems likely given the popularity of the readings on his website.
So users might find themselves hooked into McNab's latest thrillfest, Crossfire, by listening to the man himself reading the first chapter - assuming the cost of the download doesn't bankrupt them first. ®
The Register missed the point of McNab's new mobile campaign. Reading a book on your mobile? Sucky idea. LISTENING to a book on your mobile? Something totally different.
"Why should I download a book to my mobile phone when I can wait until I get home and then download it to my laptop, at zero marginal cost of download?"
Because you aren't at home? Most mobile networks have extremely cheap data plans now, and the takeup of these have been pretty impressive.
"If I'm stuck in an airport or railway station, desperate for something to read, then there are shops/kiosks that sell a bewildering variety of low cost books made of paper, which I've found to be very easy to use."
The point is that you can listen to McNab's audio stories where ever you are. If you're on the train and you didn't have time to get a book, you can have a listen. If you're travelling down the motorway you can listen to his audio series without having to stop at a service station. The list of scenarios is endless...
Of all the cornball ideas
A book on a mobile phone. Great, count me impressed.
No really, I am. Anyone using that is going to spend as much time pressing the "next word" key as he is reading.
In the list of other utterly useless things to add to mobile phones, I suggest we add a sunshine detector. That way, if ever you have doubts about what the weather is like, just check your phone and it will tell you that, yes, that blinding light up in the sky is the sun !
Come on, you know we need it.
Shouldn't that (in accordance with current practice) be "surge"?