Friday, May 24, 2013

E-Books For Indies. An update

A few months ago I wrote a blogpost asking Independent Bookshops to band together in order for us to see if we could get a better deal on e-books than we are currently getting. It was relatively successful and we had around 15 Indies get in touch to express an interest. Not bad.
The trouble was that we are all very busy, trying to survive and thrive, so the opportunity to get together and chat regularly wasn't possible.
However, this doesn't mean that we gave up. Oh no. Some wonderful groundwork was put in by Nigel French, owner of Cole's Bookshop in Bicester. He's been in touch with a company in Australia called "ReadCloud", who supply over 100 Indie bookshops down under with a platform to sell e-books. They're keen to work with us over in the UK too.

It looks rather good too.
Here are the benefits of using ReadCloud

  • the bookshop gets around 35% of the download price.
  • bookshops don't have to do anything to process the sales, it's all done for you.
  • The look & feel of the e-book section of your website will match that of your existing website. Here is an example of what it looks like. This is a test site for Nigel's shop.
  • You can decide the books that are highlighted on the website. 
  • The prices of the books on sale are negotiable (not necessarily r.r.p.)
  • There are over 100,000 books available to download (all major publishers are included, and many smaller imprints) and the number of publishers signing up to it is increasing all the time. 
One of the big draws for me personally, is that ReadCloud is an Indie company, just like us. I like to support independent companies and I want to support this one. 

So, here's the deal. They need around 50 shops to sign up in the UK to make it possible. If they get 50 shops, the set up cost will be approx £950 (it's likely to be less if more indies join). There will then be an annual charge of £450ish after that. 
Phew, £950 sounds like a lot of money. But we broke this down into sales. That's about £3 a day. If you sell ONE e-book for £8.99, you've made more than that. 
We have customers who buy both physical books and also downloads. I'd like to think that if we sold downloads, then some of those customers would buy them from us. 

I realise the timing of this isn't great, but please get in touch with me or Nigel if you're interested or have any questions. 
Nigel can be contacted here
I can be contacted herehere or here on this blog. Or tweet me @biggreenbooks

We've already had a few indies expressing an interest, including Bob from the mighty Gutter Bookshop in Dublin. He knows a good thing when he sees one. 
Please share this with anyone who you think may be interested. 


Adam said...

Beware of rights issues. Some of those books will only be available in Australia/NZ only - look up Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on Cole's eBooks - 'Sorry, this book is not available for sale in your area.' Anything with Australian rights only won't show up. Potentially quite a few. They'll be looking by IP address probably.

Also, are the prices in Aussie dollars only? Or, do they offer GBP.

The NBT offer seems to be going ok for indies, what's wrong with them? I'm not from NBT by the way, just curious why you would reject them.

Simon Key said...

Thanks Adam, The Cole's Ebooks site is a testsite, showing what it looks like and its functionality. Once set up in the UK, the correct editions will be listed and it'll be in GBP. I think that's what the initial set up costs cover.
The NBT offer is certainly better than what's been available previously, but I wanted to raise this as an alternative.