A Poland-based independent e-book retailer which operates a "Read First, Then Pay What You Want" model is launching at the London Book Fair today (14th April).
OpenBooks.com allows readers to download an e-book for free in EPUB, MOBI or PDF, read it, share it with their friends and decide if and how much they want to pay based on what they feel the book is worth.
If the customer pays for the book, 70% of the net revenue sales goes directly to the authors and they also maintain all rights to their content. The platform also actively encourages unlimited sharing and copying of e-books files as anyone who receives a copy of the book can make a payment when they decide to support the author.
The site has been operating in BETA mode since January. It currently holds over 200 titles, covering fiction, non-fiction and self-help and has focused heavily on user engagement and feedback to shape it for its official launch. The site includes 'pick of the week' e-books chosen by the team, bestseller and top contributed book lists, as well as community content such as user reviews and book discussion threads. There have been 6,000 downloads of e-books via the platform to date.
Founder Michal Kicinski said: “By providing an open and limitless copying/sharing policy and a value-based pricing model, OpenBooks.com offers booklovers the freedom to discover great new reads without having to commit any money upfront. As a booklover myself, I’ve often wanted to recommend books to friends, but until now you could only send a link to purchase the book. The OpenBooks.com lets you directly share the books you love easily and quickly, whilst also supporting the authors too.”
He added: “Some call it progress, but I actually think it’s a regress. It’s a back to basics approach that utilises modern technology to reignite a passion for reading that’s been overshadowed by large corporate publishing machines that simply don’t put the interests of readers or authors first.”