eBook sales have been skyrocketing since 2011, and the publishing market, of course, has been revolutionized as a result. But as the volume of available e-books grows, so does the consumer piracy of e-books. eBook Plus  has been launched with the intention of improving the system.
As a platform that connects readers, authors, publishers and advertisers, eBook Plus’ claim is that it will correct the piracy problem by allowing readers to legally read e-books for free, while at the same time providing advertising opportunities for businesses. Publishers and authors, in other, will presumably have thousands of people reading their books for free, and yet they’ll still get paid. For those of you with print publishing backgrounds, the model is not entirely unlike that of the closed circulation model, in which free publications are entirely supported by ad sales.
According to a release, eBook Plus claims that free e-books are 100 times more accessed than those costing just $0.99. So instead of paying an author, say, $0.30 for a 10-chapter e-book, eBook Plus would pay the author $0.03 for each chapter read. If a particular reader finishes all 10 chapters, in other words, the author will get paid the same $0.30.
eBook Plus is also offering companies the opportunity to put ads at the beginning of each chapter in a book. These ads can be in the form of a video, an image, or HTML page. But instead of being as intrusive and in-you-face as an online pop-up ad, for instance, these ads will be presented to the reader for just a few seconds, after which the reader will be able to procede normally, and without interruption for the rest of the chapter. (Payments that are debited from the advertiser and credited to the author and/or publisher result not from clicks, but impressions.)
To put it another way: The eBook Plus model is a compromise. To many readers, the mere idea of advertisements appearing in books is akin to sacrilege. But for those readers who don’t particularly mind ads, and who might also concerned about the piracy problem, eBook Plus might just make sense.
What do you think?
[Previously posted video deleted due to accusations of poor editorial netiquette. All hairshirts and/or wooden yokes can be FedEx’ed to TeleRead HQ.]