Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Amazon Wants Patent For Inserting Ads Into Books

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the it-was-the-best-of-times,-it-was-comcastic dept.

Books 219

theodp writes "Three Amazon inventors set out to correct what they felt was a real problem: that 'out-of-print or rare books ... typically do not include advertisements ... the content is fixed and, therefore, has not been adapted to modern marketing.' Their solution is spelled out in newly-disclosed Amazon patent applications for On-Demand Generating E-Book Content with Advertising and Incorporating Advertising in On-Demand Generated Content. From the patent apps, here's what the future of reading may look like: 'For instance, if a restaurant is described on page 12, [then the advertising page], either on page 11 or page 13, may include advertisements about restaurants, wine, food, etc., which are related to restaurants and dining.' So, what would a delightfully-tacky-yet-unrefined Hooters ad do for your Hemingway experience?"

cancel ×

219 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

How Pointless.... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576327)

This is totally pointless. I mean, if you already paid for the book, why should there have to be ads? Heck with digital distribution why even have ads on free stuff because the price of the device itself more than makes up for the minuscule price of transfer.

Re:How Pointless.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576341)

Yeah, I mean when I paid for cable TV they took out the ads! Wait. Shit.

Re:How Pointless.... (5, Insightful)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576403)

Because they are greedy. Why stop there? Why not insert the name of the restaurant into the text? Auto replace "restaurant" with "Chili's". Does the main character put on a coat? Why not make it an Armani coat? Does she take a sip of water? Spice up that water to your brand soft drink for a small fee! Why stop there? Let sponsors have characters "As Captain 'Pizza Hut' Ahab looked out over the sea, he saw her, Moby Dick, brought to you by Target."

Seriously, though if I wanted ads breaking up what I was reading, I'd buy a newspaper. But I don't so I'll never buy one of those books or a newspaper.

Re:How Pointless.... (3, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576517)

I know a better solution:

'Share and Enjoy' is the company motto of the hugely successful Microsoft Complaints Division, which now covers the major land masses of three medium-sized planets and is the only part of the Corporation to have shown a consistent profit in recent years.
The motto stands-- or rather stood-- in three mile high illuminated letters near the Complaints Department spaceport on Eadrax. Unfortunately its weight was such that shortly after it was erected, the ground beneath the letters caved in and they dropped for nearly half their length through the offices of many talented young Complaints executives-- now deceased.
The protruding upper halves of the letters now appear, in the local language, to read "Go stick your head in a pig," and are no longer illuminated, except at times of special celebration.

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576863)

Posting because I modded you down.

If you read TFA you'd know that Microsoft dosen't have a complaints division. Their highly-advanced proprietary software automatically sets all complaints equal to null.

Back on-topic, there is a bright side to this: people will begin to buy analog paper books again. Oh, and the Kindle is an overpriced piece of shit geared towards yuppie scum.

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576981)

yuppie scum with a penchant for nasty white plastic devices rather than yuppie scum who prefer the more expensive but far more desireable, open, drm-free, multiformat iliad reader [irextechnologies.com] .

Re:How Pointless.... (5, Insightful)

Garbad Ropedink (1542973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576543)

If that ever came to be I would wholeheartedly endorse book burning.

Good god, why not just stick ads in all the old works? I'm sure Picasso would have put a coke machine in Guernica if he knew how cool and refreshing it was....
'I painted this to protest the lack of coca-cola in my homeland. It will be returned to Spain when there is a coke machine on every corner'

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576659)

...I would wholeheartedly endorse book burning.

Good god...

AHA! So you're on the God/book-burning side, eh? No need to read the text before and after that: I've heard all I need to know.

Re:How Pointless.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576845)

About Terry Fox
Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and raised in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, a community near Vancouver on Canada's west coast. An active teenager involved in many sports, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977.

While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

He would call his journey the Marathon of Hope.

After 18 months and running over 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles) to prepare, Terry started his run in St. John's, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 with little fanfare. Although it was difficult to garner attention in the beginning, enthusiasm soon grew, and the money collected along his route began to mount. He ran 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through Canada's Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario.

It was a journey that Canadians never forgot.

However, on September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs. An entire nation was stunned and saddened. Terry passed away on June 28, 1981 at age 22.

The heroic Canadian was gone, but his legacy was just beginning.

To date, more than $400 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name through the annual Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world.

Re:How Pointless.... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576997)

Can't we just start burning Amazon marketers?

Re:How Pointless.... (2, Informative)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#28577101)

Can't we just start burning Amazon marketers?

+11 Insightful
+11 Inspiring
+1,000,000 JUSTICE

Re:How Pointless.... (3, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576583)

This is no different than cable TV. I pay x dollars a month just to watch via cable. But then I still get advertisements thrown in. I get ads between "scenes", I get ads that are product placements, and then, imho the worst are those that the channel overlays some animation in the corner.

So changing "Bob goes into his local restaurant for a greasy cheeseburger" to "Bob goes into TGIFridays for their Super Texan Bacon Burger" is only one step. Most of the books I own have blank margins. Why not put a few ads in there? At the end of a chapter, if the chapter ends with a partial page, why not just put a 1/2 page ad there? I'd love to see, "STIHL Chainsaws present, Chapter 6 in Stephen King's new thriller..."

My phonebook has a section in the middle with coupons, why not inject a few pages of coupons into the next Harry Potter book? I'm sure all the teenagers reading it could benefit from the acne cream ads.

I always thought that most people today that read Stephen King's Christine had no idea what a 1958 Plymouth Fury looked like. So maybe they should update it to be a 2008 Toyota Prius. Now while the Prius doesn't evoke fear due to it's toothy chrome grille or tension with it's low rumbling demon-like engine. I'm sure someone would be scared of being sneaked up on by a hybrid.

   

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576827)

Channel overlays are a crime. There's a reason more and more people go to sites like watchtvsitcoms.com and Piratebay. People are revolting and instead of figuring out the cause, the companies complain.

Is producing TV cheap? No, it's not. But instead of giving multi-million dollar contracts to stars, cancel them. Simon wants $1.4 million per show? Bye-bye. Friends want $750,000 per ep each? It was a nice run, have fun in your next ventures.

Re:How Pointless.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576771)

Let sponsors have characters "As Captain 'Pizza Hut' Ahab looked out over the sea, he saw her, Moby Dick, brought to you by Target."

  Target?! That's prime ad space for Trojan XXLs!

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576797)

Or, I could prefer making literary references over penile.

Re:How Pointless.... (2, Insightful)

linguizic (806996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576861)

Somehow "the Fudruckers at the End of the Universe" just doesn't ring right too me....

Re:How Pointless.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28577077)

"As Captain 'Pizza Hut' Ahab looked out over the sea, he saw her, Moby Dick, brought to you by Target."

I'm posting anonymously because I don't want to be killed by the book mafiaa, but that would only make Moby Dick better. I find it interesting that so many people use Moby Dick as an example of great literature, when it really really isn't.

There are so many great books that would be better examples. Count of Monte Christo, Sea Wolf, Call of the Wild, Frankenstein, Farenheit 911, anything from Assimov, One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich...

basically every other book I was ever asked to read in school.

As for the advertisements, it won't ever go anywhere. Hopefully, it get's use as a defense, to prevent people from doing it. In any case, I highly doubt anyone would put up with it for a second. Moby Dick aside, such actions would fundamentally ruin the experience of reading in general and would most certainly not be acceptable in an academic setting.

"Why did I get an F?"

"You did not read the REAL book"

Re:How Pointless.... (0, Redundant)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576423)

Three words for you "Follow The Money". Whenever something doesn't make sense, be it politics or corporate actions, "Follow The Money"...

Re:How Pointless.... (2, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576513)

This is totally pointless. I mean, if you already paid for the book, why should there have to be ads?

I keep seeing this faulty argument involving the concept of "paying twice". It's not that you're being asked to pay again, it's that you didn't fully "pay" the first time. It'd be like buying a $10 product and paying $5 up-front, and having the other $5 paid by advertising it shows.

That aside, isn't this patent a good thing? It means that only Amazon's products will be crippled with advertising inserted in this manner.

Re:How Pointless.... (2, Interesting)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576625)

I disagree with your point that you can pay in two halves in this manner. To me, it's a matter of courtesy and respect. A company should treat its customers well, and to ask someone for payment in money AND annoyance is just wrong. A customer might say "well, at least it's free," if it's got ads inside or else enjoy a product that allows her a bit of dignity if she has to pay, but to ask for both is a bit insulting, don't you think?

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

Chris Kamel (813292) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576627)

Indeed, they may even give you the book for free with enough ads stashed in.

Re:How Pointless.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576921)

Free as in cable TV? Oh wait...

I prefer free as in Project Gutenberg.

Today's magic word is: retail

Re:How Pointless.... (5, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576661)

I keep seeing this faulty argument involving the concept of "paying twice". It's not that you're being asked to pay again, it's that you didn't fully "pay" the first time. It'd be like buying a $10 product and paying $5 up-front, and having the other $5 paid by advertising it shows.

The vast majority of books do not include such advertisements, but the publishers do still turn a profit. It's not like with magazines, where the costs of a print run are typically higher than revenue from subscription fees. With books, you're usually paying for the costs of printing the book and an extra amount on top. Thus, the idea that you aren't paying for the book in full is simply false. The ads are just extra profit for the publisher.

It's greed coupled with a total disregard for the artistic integrity of a work.

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576965)

The vast majority of books do not include such advertisements, but the publishers do still turn a profit. It's not like with magazines, where the costs of a print run are typically higher than revenue from subscription fees.

I do have a few old SF paperbacks with ads in the center. For example my Ace paperback copy of LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea has a thick glossy insert advertizing Kent cigarettes. (Ironic indeed considering that the book won the 1969 Horn Awards, awarded for excellence in children's and young adult literature. "Learn valuable moral lessons about courage and self-knowledge, kids -- oh, and remember to smoke Kents, the ones with the Micronite filter.")

And of course not a few old paperbacks had ads -- even tear-off mail-in order forms -- for other books by that publisher.

Re:How Pointless.... (5, Insightful)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576721)

Except it doesn't work like that with ads. You can watch public television for free and get ads, or you can pay money to watch cable television and get ads. You can pay $50 for Battlefield 1942, or you can pay $50 for Battlefield 2142 and get ads.

Ads increase profit for companies, they never decrease the price of products, except those offered for free (like Google.)

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576749)

Ads increase profit for companies, they never decrease the price of products

That's because people still buy the ad-infested products. Vote with your wallet. I personally pass over anything with ads, like TV, magazines, newspapers, or DVDs with unskippable ads. There are plenty of things not ad-infested.

Re:How Pointless.... (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576833)

It's because whenever people come up with a viable alternative the industry kills it by demanding that legislators make it illegal. They're not always successful, but in most cases they are. Free markets are all well and good, as long as they're actually free. The problem is that in places like the US, we've got a free market when it's convenient to business and a heavily regulated market when it's inconvenient for the consumer.

The cost of TV would go down dramatically if people had the opportunity to make choices. Right now where I'm living, I've got basically 4 choices. No TV, Satellite, Cable or free to air. Of those, really Satellite is the only option with multiple choices, making that a grand spanking 5 choices over all, of which 3 have very little incentive to compete on cost too vigorously.

Which is coincidentally why the news of online ads costing more per viewer is so significant. It's much more difficult to abuse ones market position if a provider from anywhere in the nation has to compete with all the other ones.

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#28577151)

DVDs with unskippable ads

All DVDs have skippable ads.

Just use DVD Decrypter and remove all the PUOs (Prohibited User Operations). Eliminate all the previews, ads, FBI warning, and the other crap along with it.

There are a ton of media devices available, and soon to be available, that you can directly load the DVD image file off a networked drive and view it. HDMI even.

I do this for every single DVD I get. In fact, if for some reason I can't add it to my digital library, I RETURN IT. It's not worth it.

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576983)

You can watch public television for free and get ads, or you can pay money to watch even more channels than you can get OVA and get ads except on the premium channels where you really are paying for the content and not just the delivery of it.

FTFY.

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

delphi125 (544730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576829)

That aside, isn't this patent a good thing? It means that only Amazon's products will be crippled with advertising inserted in this manner.

Patents get licensed. In terms of your description, $10 product would get sold for $6 by other publishers - $5 "up front" and $1 to cover the patent royalty.

Amazon has an interesting self-publishing business (forget what it is called and I'm certainly not going to advertise for them), but I can imagine them offering trade-quality books which aren't otherwise available (out of copyright, let alone print) at a discount if they can use 1 page in 20 for adverts.

"The Scarlet Pimpernel" might be $10 if printed without ads, but less if the buyer chooses that option. Amazon could advertise it's own related goods (perhaps a Hornblower video, to suggest something not directly related but close enough) and provide a discount voucher (with unique code) either per book printed or per advert.

Of course, some time soon, printing on demand will become efficient for individual books. If Amazon wants a slice of advertising in any of them, then a patent "works" - but as far as I can see it is a business method.

In short: if they want to put ads in books printed to demand to cut end-user costs, fine. If every left=even page had an ad and books were free, I'd love it. But patent? Printed media have sufficient prior art for advertising, tyvm.

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576875)

We will get to pay a third slice, when amazon licenses its patent to other parties and they increase their costs correspondingly!

Re:How Pointless.... (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576985)

Well the ads will cut the cost for you the consumer, at least that is what they will tell you.

And besides they'll make sure there are no real alternatives to getting the book.

Re:How Pointless.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576995)

To me, if it gets out-of-print and rare books back into circulation (e.g. the stuff I can't currently get, because no one can be arsed to scan the original text into a computer) I'm perfectly fine with it. There are a handful of books where I've had to go through great lengths and pay quite a bit more than the original cover price to get a used copy. If ads provide incentive for publishing companies to keep their old out-of-print books available online, fine. I can flip over a few pages (preferably at the beginning or end - interrupting readers in the middle of a chapter with ads is asking for rage).

There are tons of books out there that the copyright hasn't run out on (fuck you Mickey Mouse) but no one is currently bothering to make available because of the effort involved in going digital and the lack of a known market for a reprint of the physical version. It's a bit of a tragedy since many of those books are still very relevant to their subject matter.

For new books it doesn't quite make as much sense to me - they are already electronic, no incentive needed to perform the conversion to digital - it's done. Put the ads on the page you're selling it from (Amazon's recommendations are amazingly effective ads IMHO, and I don't find those annoying), and if there's not enough market for a physical reprint leave it in the Kindle archives and/or have it available as print-on-demand.

This was their plan all along (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576329)

I TRUSTED THE KINDLE!! Oh what a fool i am. capsssss

Well... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576357)

So, what would a delightfully-tacky-yet-unrefined Hooters ad do for your Hemingway experience?"

End it immediately, because I'd go ogle some babe in a push-up and hot pants while chowing down on a plate of buffalo wings while some sporting event plays in the background.

This would be quite an improvement.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576763)

"So, what would a delightfully-tacky-yet-unrefined Hooters ad do for your Hemingway experience?"

I for one welcome our new hot wing and beer serving overlords!

A Hooters ad in Hemingway might make one page more bearable. Of all the authors to pick to try to make a point.

If it's actually tasteful, I wouldn't mind so much (4, Interesting)

Mad-cat (134809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576395)

I wouldn't mind a tasteful, text-only add in its own table that doesn't interrupt the flow of the text I'm reading. I would mind full-image or full-page ads.

I suggest doing it the way authors like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams used footnotes. Put an asterisk, add a footnote advertisement, and make it funny and in context with the text. Then I might actually buy whatever crap they're hawking.

Re:If it's actually tasteful, I wouldn't mind so m (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576461)

Amazon can't force other distribution networks to infiltrate propaganda in their texts, so your indoctrination doesn't affect the us in this regard.

Re:If it's actually tasteful, I wouldn't mind so m (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28577125)

Exactly. People get their panties in a bunch over the idea of in-program ads in TV shows (rather than between them), or ads in books, or wherever they aren't already, but a lot of the old shows from the beginning of broadcast television had actors or their characters do amusing and sometimes even witty product placements. More recently, I've seen things like Arrested Development's Burger King endorsements in an episode where it was so ridiculous that I wondered if it was actually a sponsorship or a satire of a sponsorship.

It's not the fact of having ads that's bad, it's how they're done. Personally, if Arrested Development had to do multiple sponsorships per show but it would have saved the from cancellation, I would have told them to go for it. (I'm looking forward to the movie, but much of what makes it such a great show comes from its masterful use of the serial format of TV.)

Why are we still doing this? (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576397)

The reason why patents, such as this fine example, exist is simple. It's so fucking retarded that whenever you want to argue against it you don't even know where to begin. Mark my words, soon you'll read a /. article saying that breathing oxygen has been patented, and that you'll have to pay royalties in order to exercise it.

Re:Why are we still doing this? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576619)

...breathing oxygen has been patented...

Monsanto "pollution free" Oxy-Gen just might be. Their corn is.

Re:Why are we still doing this? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576773)

...breathing oxygen has been patented...

Monsanto "pollution free" Oxy-Gen just might be. Their corn is.

Yeah. Do you know much about Monsanto, at all? I assume you do, given the way you have worded that comment.

A person I greatly respect once described them this way: "evil has a name."

Let them patent it (2, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576401)

Seriously. It means that anyone else with this idiotic idea will have to pay a royalty fee, which should discourage them. Unless you want to fight a prior art campaign against Amazon, claiming magazines with ads are prior art. Either way the money will discourage people from trying and this idea will die a lonely death.

Except for Amazon of course, since they hold the patent. But they can try it, and then they can see for themselves just how great this idea is when they launch it. It'll tank, hard. Nobody will want this.

Re:Let them patent it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576521)

The problem being that they will implement this and no one will do anything about it. I am sick of marketing on everything, I'm actually quite shocked they have not come up with ways of advertising on toilet paper or tissues. Before you know it they will figure out new ways to advertise on biological items, ie. fruits, plants, etc.

Re:Let them patent it (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576857)

If you've ever met somebody involved with marketing or fund raising you'd realize that they see $ on everything. Trust me, they'd charge a person being given an award for the plaque if they could get away with it. The only thing that ever kills ideas like that is if people opt to have nothing than accept whatever it is.

Re:Let them patent it (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576585)

It wouldn't at all surprise me if somebody or somebodies, including the big guys, try hard to kill this one before it leaves the application phase.

A huge percentage of web pages these days are dynamically generated, on demand, and includes ads. This patent could, plausibly, be seen to cover that. First, that provides a giant helping of prior art. Second, it means that there are loads of big serious companies who Amazon could theoretically go after if they got this patent.

Re:Let them patent it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576597)

Yah. Let them use patent law to stick ads in books, and then the pissed-off authors can use copyright law to stop them from creating unlicensed "derivative" works.

Oh, and can I be the first to patent a technology for automatically spraying perfume onto ads in romance novels?

Re:Let them patent it (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576683)

Yah. Let them use patent law to stick ads in books, and then the pissed-off authors can use copyright law to stop them from creating unlicensed "derivative" works.

That and the GNU Public License makes me think, "man, I'm glad copyright law as we know it is good for something."

Keywords: "as we know it."

Re:Let them patent it (2, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576675)

Seriously. It means that anyone else with this idiotic idea will have to pay a royalty fee, which should discourage them. Unless you want to fight a prior art campaign against Amazon, claiming magazines with ads are prior art. Either way the money will discourage people from trying and this idea will die a lonely death.

Except for Amazon of course, since they hold the patent. But they can try it, and then they can see for themselves just how great this idea is when they launch it. It'll tank, hard. Nobody will want this.

That's the thing I don't understand, about all of these ideas. None of them come from overwhelming customer demand.

Am I to believe that no one EVER gives them any suggestions, feature requests, etc.? Should I believe also that they never conduct any sort of market analysis, or hold focus groups, or otherwise try to find out what people already want so that they can come up with ways to meet that need?

This is about control just like far too many things I hear about that come from either corporations or governments. For just that reason, it deserves to fail. Miserably. The problem is that there seems to be a long-standing tradition involving inherently failed ideas: when they don't work out, the perpetrator responds by trying harder instead of recognizing that the idea is a failed idea.

I would like to find a reason not to agree with Bill Hicks and what he said marketers should do ("there's no fuckin' joke"), but I can't. "Ooooh, the anti-marketing dollar, that's a huge market ..." "OOOOOhhhh, the plea-for-sanity dollar, that's a HUGE market, HUGE!!"

Books already have ads in them (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576841)

Open your every day pulp fiction novel. Go to the back of the book. You'll see ads there for other books from the same publisher. Sometimes they are ads for books from the same author you just read, sometimes they are ads for similar genre books.

Re:Books already have ads in them (1)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576979)

also, back in the early 70's there were occasional ads bound into the middle of some paperback books. You would look at the book and see a dark/glossy page that looked similar to the pages in books that have a chunk of pictures. The idea did not last long.

Best Department (0)

Jeff321 (695543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576411)

from the it-was-the-best-of-times,-it-was-comcastic dept.

I laughed at that one.

Hold your horses (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576441)

Calm down, and let us enumerate its qualities in regard to novelty and usefulness.

Go ahead, you clowns first.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28577047)

Well, web page advertising reads on the first several claims. Viewing a printed newspaper on an electronic device might read on certain other ones.

I don't know whether anybody's done this on an e-book yet, though.

Sick of ads (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576463)

I am so sick of ads. Just yesterday I swore off using youtube, what with all their ads overlaid on top of videos now.

I also recently compared the same exact video on hulu (which has ads) to itunes. The video from itunes was much, much better (sharper, better framerate) and no ads. Hulu video was complete crap - now way I could stand watching that. I'll gladly pay a reasonable price for a superior product.

Commong soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576467)

To a Kindle near you

Very telling ... (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576473)

the content is fixed and, therefore, has not been adapted to modern marketing.

So to them a book is nothing more than a marketing instrument.

Re:Very telling ... (3, Funny)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576593)

So to them a book is nothing more than a money making instrument.

I sort-of fixed it for you... but I don't really feel good about it... Read all about why I don't feel good about it in my next post for only $14.99!

Google itself can't find relevant ads for classics (4, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576477)

I wondered what sorts of ads Google would put in Tom Sawyer. Cave tours? Paint companies? Anatomy textbooks? But I see that Google itself offers no paid links when I search on "Tom Sawyer."

I wondered what sorts of ads Google would put in "The Pit and the Pendulum." Rat poison? Grandfather clocks? Surcingles... whatever a surcingle is? But I see that Google itself offers no paid links when I search on "The Pit and the Pendulum."

"To Kill a Mockingbird?" No paid links. "Gargantua and Pantagruel?" No paid links. "Lolita?" No paid links.

Inserting relevant advertising into books may be sooner said than done.

Re:Google itself can't find relevant ads for class (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576867)

Viagara ads.

Re:Google itself can't find relevant ads for class (1)

GryMor (88799) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576963)

I just pulled an paperback from 2003 off of my shelf, it has the following ads in the back:
Mercedes Lackey (19 distinct books)
Eric Flint (15 distinct books)
Classic Masters of Science Fiction Back in print! (15 distinct books)
A page for 1632 and 1633
Mary Brown (5 distinct books)
Amazons 'r Us (The Chicks Series, 5 distinct books)
Harry Turtledove (7 distinct books)
Doranna Durgin's Fantasy (6 distinct books)
Andre Norton (5 distinct books)
Baen's Bar!

So, at least for fiction it seems to be normal to have ads for the other books of the authors (this was 'The Shadow of The Lion' by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint nad David Freer), other authors from the same publisher and some additional resources from the publisher.

If for example, Amazon were to insert ads for other HP Lovecraft books into the back of an HP Lovecraft book along with books inspired by the Mythos, this seems reasonable.

Re:Google itself can't find relevant ads for class (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576999)

I wondered what sorts of ads Google would put in "The Pit and the Pendulum."

Zoloft.

Re:Google itself can't find relevant ads for class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28577001)

I wondered what sorts of ads Google would put in Tom Sawyer.

Rush song clips and Rock Band DLC offers?

Ads in books? (4, Funny)

A Pancake (1147663) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576485)

Reading books with ads in them? No thanks. I'll be off to the pirate ba... shit.

Re:Ads in books? (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576725)

Reading books with ads in them? No thanks. I'll be off to the pirate ba... shit.

Hey look, the story is about advertisements in books. And wow, look at that! - this comment is also about advertising in books! ... and for some reason, it was modded Offtopic.

That's a good example of shitty moderation. As in, this is what not to do.

As for me, do your worst. I have karma to burn. Any points you waste on me for saying what you know to be the fuckin' truth are points you won't waste improperly modding someone else. So, make my day.

Re:Ads in books? (1)

denttford (579202) | more than 5 years ago | (#28577087)

Worse is that the OP lost point(s) for the (stupid) off topic mod, but the funny mods do nothing to restore it. While I understand not giving points for "funny," they should mitigate downmods on the same comment.

In the meantime, someone give the guy an insightful mod or two. Until the mod system corrects for the above flaw, there remains a manual solution.

Re:Ads in books? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576939)

Want a Demonoid invite? That's where the coolest of the cool that torrent go.

Great Minds (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576487)

It honestly makes me weep just a little for our future that this is the best that the greatest minds over at Amazon can come up with - let's basically repackage a technique that has been around for ... well .. since publishing printed material ... and be smart enough to convince patent attorneys that it's been significantly altered such as to warrant legitimate consideration for being granted a patent. Honestly they should be ashamed and monumentally embarrassed of themselves!

Hmm... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576527)

I think I'd like to "adapt" the inventor's face to the realities of modern marketing... With a cluebat.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576837)

I think I'd like to "adapt" the inventor's face to the realities of modern marketing... With a cluebat.

Make sure that you sell some ad space on the cluebat. I'm thinking drug companies, ambulance services and lawyers might well be interested.

The only way (1)

mad zambian (816201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576529)

that this sort of bullshit would be in any way acceptable would be if the book was free for the asking. Ads (for other books, or closely related areas) at the end of the book is entirely acceptable. Solid pages of ads for [whatever] in the middle of the text? And you expect me to pay for it? What substances are you abusing?
Note to Amazon. The printed page != web pages.
The world is covered in far too fucking many adverts as it is.

Re:The only way (0, Troll)

Omestes (471991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576881)

The world is covered in far too fucking many adverts as it is.

Where you see "free", I see "opportunity"

Old Idea (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576563)

I think I saw something like this about 25 years ago in some German trashy SF. The story had seomthing about food and then the next page there was an ad for "Heisse Tasse" by Maggi or such a thing.

Attn: Amazon - BOOKS DO NOT HAVE ADS! (4, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576601)

I dont really ever remember seeing and advertisement in ANY BOOK I have ever purchased. I'm sorry Amazon. Blow it out your ass. I'll stick to paper backs rather than your greed infected E-book.

Re:Attn: Amazon - BOOKS DO NOT HAVE ADS! (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576879)

take your normal everyday paperback fiction book... go to the end of the book.

There you go, ads.

Print books had ads (2, Interesting)

henni16 (586412) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576887)

There were (are?) real books with ads.

Maybe it was only done by a handful of (German?) publishers, but I remember going through my parents bookshelves and flipping through some paper back whodunits and some had one or two pages with ads, sometimes in context to the story. i.e. making a reference to the story.
A little bit like with old time radio shows: "While $detective leans back with a $cigarette, waiting for the guy to leave the house again, why not get yourself a $cigarette with their unique flavor and our special brand of cancer.."

Re:Attn: Amazon - BOOKS DO NOT HAVE ADS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576903)

I dont really ever remember seeing and advertisement in ANY BOOK I have ever purchased. I'm sorry Amazon. Blow it out your ass. I'll stick to paper backs rather than your greed infected E-book.

In the past (the 70's and 80's, perhaps early 90's) you could find cigarette ads in paperback books. They'd tend to be a slightly thicker piece of paper, color printed, both sides. Some were perforated so they could be torn out easily.

To be honest I don't recall how common this was. I don't recall seeing it more than a handful of times. If I was to dig through all my paperbacks I'm sure I could find a couple of these ads.

Re:Attn: Amazon - BOOKS DO NOT HAVE ADS! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576941)

You must not buy many books, or more likely, you don't remember. I have three books here on my desk, and one of them is covered on the back with advertisements for other related technical books. Lots of books do this, it's not particularly new. As long as they don't try to manipulate, deceive, or annoy me I am fine with them. Good advertising is good: it lets you know about something you might be interested in. Bad advertising is deceptive and in your face.

Re:Attn: Amazon - BOOKS DO NOT HAVE ADS! (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28577155)

There have certainly been some interesting replies. I really havent seen any advertisements in a book. I have seen the occasional ad at the back of the book for another book from the publisher related to the material but I have not seen ads sprinkled throughout a book ever... and i hope i never do.

I claim my own patent... (2, Funny)

blcamp (211756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576607)

... for filtering book (and book advertiser) content through human decision-making processes.

Re:I claim my own patent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576667)

Apply for that patent and I'll be glad to pay any fees related to the application...

Given the breadth of FOSS, why hasn't there been a movement to proactively patent ridiculous things like this before someone else does? Free software could find itself a solid revenue stream by patent trolling the patent trolls.

Oh Yeah? (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576741)

... for filtering book (and book advertiser) content through human decision-making processes.

I claim MY patent for "a method of monopolizing obvious ideas for which there is lots of prior art by means of convincing the Patent Office that the same old idea, when done with a computer, is somehow radically different and worthy of being treated like a new and innovative invention."

The way I see it, I should make billions. BILLIONS!!

This is a great idea! (1)

agrippa_cash (590103) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576637)

I've already started going through old software patents and adding "in the real world" to them. My one-click vending machine should allow me to buy an island.

learn to ignore ads (1)

karl3 (1521571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576677)

i don't know if i'm a medical phenomenon, but i've always been extremely good at ignoring adds. a couple of months ago, i ended up in a group discussing a mildly controversial billboard, and i was the only one that hasn't seen it. on my way home, i've noticed that same billboard was *virtually* ~5 meters away from my flat, so i must have passed by it dozens of times on way to my buss stop. you've already learned how to ignore lots of stuff (like your own smell or traffic noise), so learn how to ignore adds as well.

Re:learn to ignore ads (1)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576783)

Or, because the advert passes into your brain at only a subconscious level, it's more powerful than it ever has been before.

Re:learn to ignore ads (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576927)

Or, because the advert passes into your brain at only a subconscious level, it's more powerful than it ever has been before.

Nah. I know it's radical and not terribly popular these days, but it's called "being your own person." There's this thing that goes along with that, known as "making your own decisions."

Does that sound like a bunch of sarcasm? I'm sure it does. It's still the truth. Maybe someone else would have put that in a more palatable way for you, but I was handy, so there you go. Most of advertising is so effective because people are willing to consult anything except for their own reasoning when it comes to making their purchasing decisions.

Really though. If you are that easily influenced by rather blatant attempts to tell you what you should do, how you should feel, what you should think, and what you should buy, then you most definitely are not your own person no matter how badly you would like to believe that you are in fact living your own life. Seriously. It's not difficult at all to see the manipulative nature of all advertisements. To see with clarity it is to reject it. To see it partially or to fail to see it clearly is to be influenced by it, mostly by allowing it to provoke an (intentional, pre-planned) emotional reaction. Rejecting it wholly and properly means that you become conscious of what would otherwise be subconscious influence.

I'll say this with no regard to the (entirely voluntary on the part of the offended) "offense" it may cause to those who don't measure up: the mark of a person who has any sort of personal advancement whatsoever is that these "subconscious" cues increasingly become conscious decisions. What, did you think the (advertising-driven) media was going to explain that to you?

I'll put that another way. If Yogis can go to extreme, sub-zero mountainous regions wearing minimal clothing, and consciously control their body heat output to the point that they can fully dry soaking wet, freezing-cold cloths multiple times a night (because their alternative is freezing to death), then you can be your own person and become aware of subconscious influences and reject them.

Patent? (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576679)

"Patent" my ass. What I would like to send them is a bag of burning dog shit on their front porch for even suggesting such an idea! It seems that every day we really are coming closer and closer to the insane world of the movie Idiocracy; these bastards want to put fucking advertisements on bloody everything! Them, them, fuck them!

Never clicked on a Google Ad (1)

Gruff1002 (717818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576703)

U click on google ads, hello data mining, this in accordance with prophecy.

Hell no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576723)

I cannot say "Hell no." and "I hope the people who came up with this idea are tied down and are burned alive by dripping phosperous." enough.

The day will come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576751)

When all marketeers will be burned at the stake. Hell to get in the spirit of things, we can put advertisements on them, and then burn them.

Subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576769)

Eh, there'll be an Ad Block Plus for ebooks soon if this goes through. Just another reason to stay away from Amazon.

That's one more reason (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576799)

That's one more reason to endorse the institution of a National Marketing Weasel Hunting Season.
No limits, tags, or licenses needed.

I guess for safety's sake, we'd have to use nerf guns, or maybe supersoakers loaded with red ink.

The more adventurous could shoot them with cameras and post the photos on a Webpage of Shame with hints on where to find them for further nerf action.

>^_^\

Yet another reason ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28576877)

... not to pay $500 for a Kindle DX, then even more for the content. Fuck you, Amazon.

What they really want (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576915)

Is a kick in the teeth. Good way to lose business.

Wrong in so many ways! (1)

peter1 (796360) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576947)

Absolutely, totally, without question, no f***ing way! I am a huge proponent of the eBook concept and have a number of them in my collection already. However it is because of such moronic thinking that they are all either in an open format or are unmodified PDF's. I will never purchase an eBook that has been modified in such a crass and unspeakable manner. Why don't we just recut all of our classic media - movies, newspapers, books, music, etc. and put in ads for everything from Hooters to Joe's Pizza Shack? So far my eBook reader of choice has been the Fujitsu p1630 series tablet but I have been eyeing the Kindle for its size, weight and library of books. This right here just changed my mind - the Kindle and its bloody advertising can just keep Bezos warm in his office, I'm sticking with the Fujitsu!

Good thing the specify "on demand" (2, Interesting)

Nyckname (240456) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576967)

I remember ripping ads out of the center of paperbacks thirty years ago. Without "on demand" they'd have that pesky prior art thing to deal with.

What's the difference (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28576975)

I hope they have a good explanation of the difference between a magazine and a book, because non-fixed media magazines with changing ads are incredibly common. Of course, I've read several books online with ads in them [webscription.net] also, so either way, the prior art in this is massive and common.

There Were Ads in Books in the 80s (2, Informative)

miller60 (554835) | more than 5 years ago | (#28577059)

Not sure if this serves as prior art re e-books, but Chris Whittle was including ads in books in the late 1980s [nytimes.com] , before Amazon was launched and e-books existed in a meaningful commercial form.

That's not so bad as it could be... (1)

slaad (589282) | more than 5 years ago | (#28577145)

That's not so bad. From the way the headline read, my first though was that they would actually do product placement within the story.

So instead of King Arthur drinking a a glass of wine he'd be drinking a can of Coke.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?