DocStoc, one of the players in the online embedded documents business, upped its game this week with the launch of DocStore, an online marketplace for people to buy and sell documents that range from a rental agreement to a college essay.
DocStoc is calling DocStore the iTunes of Documents - a place where users can find trusted documents from established companies such as Legal Zoom, which specializes in sensitive and complex documents such as living trusts, powers of attorney or copyright license agreements. Of course, it's not just complex legal documents. There's also simple documents - like an agreement to develop a Web site, invoicing templates or letters of recommendation samples.
Docstoc's DocStore seems to be different from what competitor Scribd is offering in its own store, where the focus is around documents for reading - anything from literature to a how-to manual.
I like where DocStoc is headed with this marketplace. These are documents that people need and are willing to pay for. Consider these examples: I've definitely come across a few contractors who could really benefit from a professional job proposal or invoice template. Anyone planning a wedding knows the importance of a legal contract with the photographer, caterer and florist. And even some college students might be willing to cough up more than $10 per page for instant download and printout of a sample (ahem, cough cough) essay titled The Pitfalls of High Compensation for Employees.
The company also introduced a new proprietary document viewer, which provides tools that enables the publisher to, among other things, restrict access to the full document before purchase. The service also provides a copyright filter that prevents purchased documents from being re-uploaded. The company is also providing publishers with real-time statistics to monitor the demand and sales of their documents.