Livrada e-book cards for authorsAfter closing a $1 million seed funding round led by ICG Ventures, Livrada just went live with e-book cards authors can sell at events, such as conferences, trade shows, books signings and the like.

E-book-only authors (like myself) run into problems trying to sell their books at events. What do you do? Have a laptop or tablet set up so people can sign-in to their Amazon account and buy your books? Just think though the logistical nightmare of that for a minute. (I tried to do it last month at a conference. Didn’t work.)

But selling cards like this? Great idea. It allows authors to both sell and sign at once. I’d love to hear from authors who’ve tried it out.

Livrada e-book cards for authorsThe pricing is a bit steep. Depending on how many cards you order at once, they’ll cost between $0.50 and more than $1.00. Then there’s the activation of the cards. That’s an upfront investment of the price of the e-book, plus a $53 activation fee per batch. Assuming you wanted to have 100 cards for an event, and your book is priced at, say, $3.99, you’re fronting around $600, assuming you purchased the minimum number of wallet-sized cards. (There’s no pricing on their site for the larger signature cards.)

Indie authors on a shoestring might not want to spend quite that much, but I think it’s still a useful service. One nice feature? If readers opt-in during the redemption process, you’ll get their email address. That can be a useful tool for staying in touch with readers when your next book comes out.

What do you think? Useful, or too expensive to be worth it?


  1. This sounds like a great idea in principle, but I would like you to check the numbers in your article.

    You say that it would cost the author $600 to buy 100 cards. Since the hypothetical book sells at $3.99, selling 100 copies would earn $399. Spending $600 to earn $400 is bad business, and leads to bankruptcy.

  2. Gary, which is why I said the pricing was kind of steep. If that was the only way an author sold books, you’re absolutely correct. It’s not worth it. But if you look at selling, say, a first book in a series this way, assuming you can pick up a new fan who will read the rest of your books, then it’s a marketing cost.

    Like I said, indie authors on a shoe string might not want to use it. But an established author, who already has an income stream from their books and is looking to build brand awareness in a new way, might consider it.

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