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January 21, 2013

Search Is The New Storefront

Matt MacInnis Matt MacInnis
Founder and CEO
Last Wednesday, January 16th, at the annual Digital Book World conference, Inkling announced a new way for publishers to make their digital content more discoverable and profitable: the Inkling Content Discovery Platform (CDP). The Inkling CDP lets Google and other search engines see inside every Inkling title and then offer individual cards from those titles in search results. Inkling is the only publishing platform that provides Google-driven discovery for books, units, and chapters of content that was once locked up behind closed paywalls or on paper.

This is a huge step forward in digital publishing. It’s a win-win-win for readers, publishers and authors. Consumers can find high quality online content directly related to their interests, and publishers and authors can drive discovery and sales through the world’s largest information marketplace: Google.

As I wrote in a post last week, it has taken us years of work to assemble the pieces needed to build an independent distribution channel that does an end run around established players and their tight-fisted distribution models.

So what kind of content benefits from the Inkling CDP? The content people use. When you want to learn something, what do you do first? You Google it. Inkling has been growing a library of books that answer just such “who, what, when, where, why, and how” questions. Browse our store, and you’ll find everything from textbooks to books on travel, cooking, parenting, computing, crafts, reference material, how-to guides, and more. What’s more, you still have all the access to Inkling’s unique set of engaging features—including videos, guided tours, and so on—that our users have come to expect. Users are given a generous previewing capability before being asked whether they’d like to pay for permanent access to the content.

Want to quickly find an Inkling result? Type in a search phrase and add “inkling” to the end. For example, type “dslr aperture setting inkling” to find Inkling results to help you adjust the aperture on your new camera. Or if you’re feeling itchy, try “psoriasis inkling” for some trustworthy medical reference content. We cover a pretty broad swath of topics, and the list is growing fast.

Curated storefronts are great for established brands and companies with the power to influence what gets featured. By contrast, when Google ranks content, their explicit goal is to surface the best result for a user’s query. Over time, the best content usually floats to the top. We think we’ve got the world’s best digital content from the world’s most forward-thinking and innovative content partners. In the long run, that means you’ll be seeing a lot more Inkling in your Google. And that makes search, rather than a closed system, the world’s best storefront for content.

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