It seems like every week I read about a new online ebook retailer featuring a new twist.
I recently told you about eBookPlus (see “Ad Supported eBooks“). This website allows readers to download and read ebooks for free, but the ebooks come with advertisements that the reader must view before each chapter.
Now, a new start-up, Total BooX, is offering ebooks for free, but charging customers for what they read. In other words, customers can download as many ebooks as they want and look at them. However, if they stay on a page of the ebook longer than 6 seconds, they are charged for reading the page. The charge is a fraction of the ebook price and based on how many pages the reader reads. In other words, if a customer reads 10 pages of a 100 page book priced at $10, he will pay $1.
With the recent data showing that most people only read about one-half of any given nonfiction book, maybe Total BooX has stumbled upon a brilliant idea. What better way to determine if you want to read a digital book fairly risk-free.
Gone are the days when you bought the whole print book and found out part-way through it wasn’t what you had hoped. Now, people can pay for just what they read—allowing them to take risks on more books.
Besides being an additional way to obtain revenue on ebooks, Publishers might benefit from a program like Total BooX. Knowing which pages in your books people read the most gives you feedback on what information people are most interested in.