Italian publisher RCS Libri has reportedly teamed up with Italian train company NTV to offer free e-reading for riders. PaidContent.org reports: “The e-books are available on the Italo high-speed train line. Passengers can read them through on-board devices or stream them from a website on their own tablets, laptops or smartphones. The program, in a beta test now, will expand in 2013.”
Some airlines offer audio books as part of their in-flight entertainment packages, and back in ’07 Brazilian book blog The Spectacled Bear posted about free books at bus stops in Brasilia, but this is the first I’m learning of e-books as passenger entertainment. I think it’s a brilliant way to introduce new titles and authors to readers, particularly when they have a few uninterrupted hours to read. It also offers authors and publishers a new revenue stream.
According to the paidContent piece, the publisher would not discuss how authors are being compensated. Depending on the deal for authors, I hope the idea takes off and ultimately spreads to planes and other countries.