In an effort to provide readers with a pseudo-tactile browsing experience, HarperCollins will begin offering free electronic editions of several of its titles on its website.While entire copies of the books will be available (for virtual thumbing-through, not to download or to print), publishers don't expect consumers to read every page of the manuscripts online. Rather, they anticipate readers will sample a work and then choose whether to purchase the real thing or not.Though the music industry has been testing this model for some time (in large part to combat illegal downloading) by streaming the whole of a new album on an artist's website, this is one of the first efforts by a large publishing house to make such an option available.
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