Reading a book excerpt is like taking a car for a test drive; well, sort of. To me, only reading the back cover of a book is like only looking at a car’s specifications and simply driving it off the lot. How will you know if you truly like a book if you don’t take it for a spin around the block? When it comes to online book shopping, book excerpts can be hard to come by. Amazon does have the “look-inside-the-book” feature, but what about other online book retailers? Do we even have the capability to share the book excerpts we find on Amazon and share them with our friends through social media? I don’t think so; at least, not without simply sharing the entire webpage link. Also, not every book on Amazon has a book excerpt available for our perusal.

Well, what if publishers and self-published authors had the ability to create their own high quality book excerpts that could then be shared anywhere? Now they can! Introducing BookSnacking from Yudu.

According to Publishers Weekly, “Yudu, a U.K. digital publishing and retailing platform, has launched BookSnacking, a browser-based feature that allows publishers to distribute excerpts and samples of titles with buy-buttons anywhere online. BookSnacks can be circulated via blogs, websites and social media and also offer publishers data and feedback on consumer behavior.” Sounds great, right?

Yudu CEO Richard Stephenson said, “You can read it immediately and it gives readers a choice of where they can buy the book. . . . It emulates the bookstore experience and allows the user to pick up a book and check it out.”

The BookSnacking technology also is platform responsive and will configure to the device you are using, whether it is a computer or a mobile device.

All publishers have to do to create their BookSnacks is fill out a form, pay a little money, and Yudu will do the rest. Within 48 hours, the excerpt, complete with downloading, note-taking, buying, and sharing capabilities, will be ready for use.

How will services like BookSnacking affect the online book buying world? Will it improve the online purchasing experience, or will it create confusion? I am hoping that it will enhance readers’ experiences with online book shopping. I believe, after all, that a test drive with a book is one of the most important factors when deciding if it will make it to your bookshelf, physical or electronic.