I’ve uploaded my geeky, pulp-western novel, Fistful of Reefer, to a half dozen new eBook retailing platforms over the last couple of months. Let’s see. Off of the top of my head I can remember Bilbary, Bublish and Snugnugget.
I figure if a group of forward thinking nerds are crazy enough to launch a new ebook-fangled website on a latte and a dream then I’ll spend twenty minutes decoding their scheme and tossing so many of my ingenious 1’s and 0’s at them.
(See bottom of post to help me with my experiment before you go…)
The latest eBook store I’ve discovered is Only Indie (www.onlyindie.com). I have to admit the name itself grabbed my more than the others. (What’s a snugnugget? And does Bilbary refer to Bilbo Baggins personal library?)
Anywho, Only Indie boasts being “the World’s First Dynamically Priced eBook Store.” But I’ll get to that in a second. The thing that drew my attention first was that they are focusing on only independent authors and books. This is a first that matters to me.
Only Indie = Indie Love?
Amazon has thus far been the only eBook retailer who has courted indies with any sort of genuine follow through. Their tagging system and inner kill-bot promotional algorithms give someone willing to learn the rules a chance to boost their material into the same realm as the big boys (granted enough readers think the book is good enough).
This attention to the small guy has brought Amazon all the added internet juice of thousands of enterprising authors trying to generate sales. Now a startup is claiming to take a step beyond Amazon in their love of the indie author. I’m interested.
Will Readers Care?
This is the only question that matters. Sure independent authors desperate to pimp their wares will care. Some will even write blog posts with the hope of getting people to go and download their book just to test the promises made by the platform (wink, wink), but Amazon dominates first and foremost because of the readers who can’t resist their low, low prices (and mega-awesome search features powered by their ever watching kill-bots).
So how does Only Indie work? Books get uploaded by folk like me (Even Mark Cuban has uploaded his book). The first 15 readers to find the book get it for free. After that every download drives the price up a penny at a time. (Books can’t go higher than $7.98) Buyer number 17 pays $0.02. But if no one buys the book for 24 hours the price begins to drop a penny at a time.
I understand why this would make authors want to promote their book. More sales = more money. But readers? Does this system add the element of gaming (via ebay) that will enamor consumers with the possibility of getting good deals? or hot buys?
Maybe all the free eBooks available will tempt readers who will then succumb when they spot a trending book at $5.99. But enough of my blather. What do you guys think? Are you tempted to go snag the free books? or see what sorts of hot deals are trending?
If you have a moment you could go grab (another) free copy (the next five will still be free) of Fistful of Reefer just to see if I could benefit from a little trending. If you check out the site let me know what you think.