November 26, 2014

Ebooks infiltrate JetBlue Wi-fi


PlaneEbooks were supposed to take over a few years ago, and after rising astronomical percentages for a couple of years, they still haven’t completed the planned takeover of Planet Earth. Yesterday, though, they took over the sky.

HarperCollins has announced it is partnering with JetBlue to offer excerpts of twenty bestselling titles via each plane’s Wi-fi service. Full books are available for purchase if those excerpts get you hooked. It’s like reading a Nook in a Barnes & Noble store (dated reference).

The customer will have the option to buy from a number of retailers, not just the publisher. The available titles will change monthly, and now some poor soul is nagging every editor to submit excerpts for the monthly plane sampler.

Time Inc. recently made the same deal for a bunch of magazines: InStyle, Real Simple, Southern Living, Essence, Health, Travel + Leisure, People en Español and Golf. National Geographic and Fox are available, too.

Airline content is getting a big boost before the holidays. It’s kind of amazing this didn’t happen sooner, right? It’s a deal not with the booksellers in the airport, but directly between the publisher and the airline.

Wi-fi service is only available on 35% of JetBlue planes. It goes by the unfortunate name “Fly-Fi.”


Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.