The social reading platform Copia is back in the news today with a new special offer.

Copia has signed a deal with Matt Lewis, the author of The Quotable Rogue: The Ideals of Sarah Palin in Her Own Words. He’s agreed to work with Copia to offer never-before-shared source material. Copia members will be able to buy the eBook and then download Matt’s annotations and marginalia. They’ll receive exclusive details on the book and its subject.

“As a new digital resource for publishers and authors, we think Copia – which is Facebook meets an online book club – is going to create a new movement in eReading,” said Ben Lowinger, Executive Vice President of Copia Interactive. “For authors, it’s a way to attract more readers by giving them exclusive access they wouldn’t get in a hardback book and to identify and maintain their fans and readers for future books. For publishers, it’s a new resource to directly reach out to consumers and increase book sales.”

This is a interesting idea on the part of Copia, and it’s one that is worth copying. But it’s also not new, strictly speaking. Authors have been sharing background details with fans ever since there was an internet, and some have even included their notes in enhanced copies of eBooks.

In fact, annotated books predate the digital revolution. I can recall editions of 1 Mark Twain novel with his notes included  and there are probably many more examples.