The right medium?
Perhaps the biggest issue, when it comes to Parker’s fact-based books, is whether this is the right medium. One reviewer dissected the rosacea guide and observed: “The book is more of a template for ‘generic health researching’ than anything specific to rosacea. The information is of such a generic level that a sourcebook on the next medical topic is just a search and replace away.” And that’s the point here. Could Parker really be offering repackaged Google searches, or the equivalents, rather than real books?
Actually Parker is providing a rather useful service for those who understand the limits of his “books.” I just hope that the “Make Money Fast” crowd doesn’t catch on too quickly to the possibilities here and come up with yet another product category to push through e-mail and blog comment spams. As for Amazon, I wouldn’t mind a filter to separate Parker-style books from the purely human-done variety. Meanwhile perhaps Parker and his machine-aided crew can go on to write a coping guide to for victims of technology.
The Kindle angle: Will Amazon eventually include at least some Parker-style books to inflate the the number of Kindle books listed? Might a little of this already be happening? I don’t know, one way or another. I’m just curious. At least some of the books, according to the Times, are “delivered electronically.” You never know. Still, when I tried the Times-mentioned titles on the Kindle store search engine, none showed up within the store itself. Let’s just keep an eye on this in the future.