Bard and Book Publishing announced today a new initiative that puts the power of publishing into the readers’ hands. This new program asks its extensive base of users to vote on which ebooks will make the transition into print publishing. Bard and Books community allows subscribers to read free ebooks, although free members can only read new titles for a short time after they are released. A small monthly fee lifts that limitation. This fee is the primary way the authors are compensated and qualifies readers to vote on their favorite ebooks for print.
“Whether or not a publisher was willing to take on an author used to serve as a ‘short cut’ for readers trying to determine if a new book was worth their time. With the publishers increasingly cut out of the loop, and thousands of new works added to the marketplace monthly, readers have to find new ways to identify quality content,” explains founder, Anthony Horvath.
“If Gutenberg had invented the ebook and print-on-demand technology instead of the printing press, the current publishing model would have never arisen,” Horvath says. He argues that the future of publishing can be summed up in one word: community.
Horvath says that this new model was made possible because of the capabilities of the ebook distribution platform, Smashwords. “Through Smashwords, we upload our books just once and Smashwords distributes them globally for us. Thanks to them, you can find our stories on Kobo, BarnesandNoble.com, and Sony, to name a few. Of course, we put them on Amazon’s Kindle, too. Smashwords also allows us to create 100% off coupons that we make available to our members who can then download the story in whatever format they desire.”
The new model isn’t designed only with authors in mind. “Readers can get to know our authors at little or no risk to them. Those that sign up for a paid subscription can have the satisfaction that they are directly supporting the authors,” Horvath says. “Bard and Book puts the community authors and readers first. The publisher is a distant second.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.