Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Read first, pay what you want later

For discussion about particular book sellers (brick-and-mortar bookstores, online book sellers, auction sites, swap sites, etc.)
User avatar
Lisa
Bibliophile
Currently reading: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Favorite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Mostly UK/Europe HF 1000AD onwards from female POV, but will read and enjoy anything.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Read first, pay what you want later

Postby Lisa » Mon April 13th, 2015, 12:00 pm

I just came across OpenBooks - self-published authors sell their books via the site, getting 70% of the revenue.

The difference is, readers download the books (in a variety of formats), read the book, then pay afterwards. The amount they pay is up to them - they decide based on what they think book is worth.

The website continually curates the books based on what the readers think, so popular books stay on the site, and the unpopular ones are removed.

Seems like a good idea, as long as readers are honest and not just trying to get books for free (or 1 cent or whatever).

As long as the site is well-publicised and lots of people use it, it seems like it could be a good place to find decent self-published reads. Of course, if books got really popular they might get withdrawn anyway if the author ended up signing a publishing deal, but that's always the case with self-pubbed books on Amazon etc. And I don't think that happens very often.

Interesting concept, anyway.

User avatar
blueemerald
Reader
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Postby blueemerald » Mon April 13th, 2015, 1:37 pm

Thanks for sharing LadyB. That IS very interesting.

The definition of "value" is quite individual. And when applied to a book...? Value to me might be how many accurate historical facts were imbedded, or how much pleasure/entertainment it brought, or the "literate" factor. Another person's assignment of value might be based on the length or ease of the read, or the draw of the subject matter. Or all of the above, or more, or otherwise!

In the bookworld, authors make money relative to the volume of books sold. And popularity breeds more popularity, sales and income. But on this site, popularity does not directly relate to income, since income is individually assigned using a subjective sliding scale.

I think it is a bit awkward to determine payment based on individual value assignment. This seems a slippery slope. And it could well be disadvantageous to the author. Perhaps authors participating in this site are not singularly driven by generating income? Perhaps it is the exposure. Will more people read the books knowing they can read it for free if they desire?

Interesting indeed~

User avatar
Mythica
Bibliophile
Currently reading: India Black (Madam of Espionage #1) by Carol K. Carr
Preferred HF: European and American (mostly pre-20th century)
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Postby Mythica » Mon April 13th, 2015, 7:38 pm

There were some bands who tried this with their music. It never lasted.

I've never really considered the price tag on a book connected with the quality of it because the quality can be so dependent one's personal opinion. I get that they are trying to make the price tag be about personal opinion too - but I've never bought a book for $10, disliked it, and felt I didn't get my moneys worth. I paid $10 to read it, not necessarily to enjoy it. I really have no idea what a book should cost based on whether I enjoyed it or not. In any case, I don't read many self published books anymore.

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon April 13th, 2015, 8:09 pm

The process of curating--selecting what is worthwhile from what is not--is undergoing a sea change. I don't see why this model couldn't work, given the new technology.

It's a little like crowdfunding after the fact, isn't it? Instead of getting all these people to buy upfront, so that the creator has the means to produce the commodity, the writer uses their own time and talent and then puts it out there to see who it might fit.

One psychological advantage to this system is that it uses the principle of reciprocity. That is, when somebody does something positive for you, you want to do the same in return, because this enhances brain chemicals that are beneficial to the person who acts. Same thing that makes a well-bonded parent and infant relationship so fulfilling. Transfer this to the reader > creator and creator > reader relationship: if a reader is VERY moved, entertained, touched or rewarded by a work of art, they can get extra goodfeelings by paying in porportion to their appreciation--kind of like a big tip for extraordinary service.

Then the writer feels great, the reader feels great, and nobody feels used.

If, on the other hand, the reader HATES the work, he doesn't get mad, because it need not cost him anything.

Sounds like a win-win. Might even be the wave of the future.
my facebook posts https://www.facebook.com/emilylaurencotton are public, generally things I find amusing.
my passions: fair trade, ending slavery, and justice.
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers
User signature picture

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick & The Snow Rose by Lulu Taylor
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Tue April 14th, 2015, 8:35 am

You've summed it up very well, MLE! Put that like that, it makes sense.
Currently reading "The Phantom Tree" by Nicola Cornick & "The Snow Rose" by Lulu Taylor

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue April 14th, 2015, 1:42 pm

"Mythica" wrote:I've never bought a book for $10, disliked it, and felt I didn't get my moneys worth. I paid $10 to read it, not necessarily to enjoy it.

You are a gracious soul, Mythica. I confess that when I have paid a stiff amount in $$ or especially time and brainspace for a novel, I get VERY cranky if the thing is a turd.

This mainly happens with book group reads, because despite a lack of time or interest, I am obligated to finish them.

And then I write blunt wallbanging reviews. Usually, I only write Amazon reviews if a book is worth promoting.

Now if the book had been sold to me under this system, I would have just shrugged and not finished.
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Tue April 14th, 2015, 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
my facebook posts https://www.facebook.com/emilylaurencotton are public, generally things I find amusing.
my passions: fair trade, ending slavery, and justice.
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers
User signature picture

User avatar
fljustice
Bibliophile
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Postby fljustice » Wed April 15th, 2015, 3:47 pm

As both a reader and writer, I'm always in a dither about such schemes. On one hand, MLE make a compelling neurological case for a win-win (our local National Public Radio stations uses a similar pitch during pledge breaks). On the other hand, this feeds the "everything on the internet should be free" mentality that seems to pervade a lot society today and I believe will, as blueemerald says, lead to a slippery slope. I've head of several musical groups and a couple of authors (didn't Stephen King give this a go?) who have tried this and eventually withdrew. If writers can't make a living writing, the field will eventually be inhabited by those few who are superstars and those who have a "patron/ess" (either inherited wealth, married to someone who will support their art, or some private/public scheme to subsidize art).

As a reader, I've always appreciated the author's effort (whether I enjoyed the book or not) and felt a book was definitely worth the cost of a fancy coffee or glass of wine. Those very very few that I wall-bang are heavily outweighed by the majority of pleasurable experiences and can be chalked up to the cost of doing business.

I think we need to do a better job of educating readers on the economics of reading. For those in dire straits, the library is a wonderland. If I only had $10 a week for pleasure, I'd chose a book every time. After all, a story will give me hours of pleasure/interest. A latte/alcohol lasts only a few moments--unless you count the accumulated calories/fat that seems to stick around forever!
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
User signature picture

User avatar
Mythica
Bibliophile
Currently reading: India Black (Madam of Espionage #1) by Carol K. Carr
Preferred HF: European and American (mostly pre-20th century)
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Postby Mythica » Wed April 15th, 2015, 10:10 pm

"MLE (Emily Cotton)" wrote:You are a gracious soul, Mythica. I confess that when I have paid a stiff amount in $$ or especially time and brainspace for a novel, I get VERY cranky if the thing is a turd.


Oh, I'm not that gracious, if I hate a book, I will slaughter it in a review but because I feel I wasted my time reading it, not necessarily that I wasted my money. Regardless of how much money it cost me, I still spent the same amount of time and effort suffering through a book, therefore I don't really care how much it cost. I might make a mention in my review that it especially wasn't work X amount of money, but that is really a very minor concern for me.


Return to “Book Sellers/Traders”