Has it leaked? is a rather nice specialist search tool for free content, from Sweden. Focussed on forthcoming arty music albums, it basically saves fans the task of tracking down the tracks / snippets / “making of…” etc that the official marketeers ‘leak’ for free in advance of the album, or during the release window. It’s not a pirate site, though, and firmly states: “No download links are allowed!”.
I’d say there’s room in the market for something similar for all quality non-fiction books, perhaps in partnership with a book-summary service like Blinklist, and with user-configurable topic filters.
Why would such a site be needed? Here’s an instance of the limited way in which current mega-services offer to group versions or offer preview options. If one looks at Amazon UK for the new Matt Ridley book The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge one only sees two options there for the audiobook: free with an Audible direct-debit subscription, or a £30 pre-order and wait until November for delivery. Even then the audiobook pages are not linked from the print book page, so someone landing on the print page via Web search would have no clue there even was an audiobook version. No mention at all on Amazon UK that it’s actually available now for £13 on the Audible UK site, or that there’s a free 13 minute extract of the introduction of the audiobook available via publisher on SoundCloud. Only my deep searching surfaced the free audiobook extract.
The above suggests that two mega-services (Amazon and Audible) and a mega-publisher (Harper) can’t even co-ordinate promo material and version offers for a major book in the globally important UK market. So I’d say there’s a lot of scope for savvy curators to do it for them, also adding author podcast links, newspaper book review links etc.