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The embed tool on a Kindle book page for “The Martian” on Amazon.com.

Web publishers embed video and audio all the time. So why not books?

embedAmazon is answering that question with the rollout this week of a new feature, Kindle instant book previews — letting third-party blogs, sites and apps give their users the ability to browse excerpts from books without leaving their sites or apps.

“We were inspired by other media types on the web and within applications that were giving people immediate access to content, and we wanted to do the same thing with books,” explained Mike Torres, director of product management for Amazon’s Kindle Reader, in an interview this week. “We think that by doing so, people will discover more to read, and they’ll be exposed more to reading.”

Of course, if the strategy works, it’s also good for Amazon’s business. As you can see in the example below, the embeds include a button giving readers the option to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.

Amazon Associates — online publishers who receive fees for referring users who make purchases on the e-commerce site — can also include their Associate IDs in the embeds to receive credit for the referrals.

GeekWire was among a small number of sites invited by Amazon to test the feature in advance of its public release.

The feature is an extension of the existing Kindle book samples offered on Amazon.com, and didn’t require any new licensing deals with publishers, the company says. Readers can browse through the previews on any site or app, without needing to log into an account.

The embeds are available via the <embed> link next to the share buttons on the individual Kindle book pages on Amazon.com. The feature is rolling out now, and the company says it will be available on the vast majority of Kindle books.

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