Books on SMS

Move over ‘books-on-tape’, here comes books-on-SMS. A Chinese publisher is preparing to offer an abridged version of a pop book over installments of SMS, WAP, or voice response systems. This service is interesting because even a shortened book will be very slow to deliver by SMS – like filling a swimming pool by bringing cups of water from the kitchen. However, it turns out the condensed “Outside the Fortress Besieged” is only 4,200-character long (this post is 884 characters itself), which makes the label “book” somewhat misleading. Subscribers will be able to read the story in about 30 SMS messages. The idea of serial content with short installments suits mobile phones well, and we’ve seen limited success with short video soap operas in Korea. SMS-based serial content is expected to attract a wider audience.

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