There is a new online indie bookstore in Australia today, by the name of Tomely. It allows small publishers and independent authors to sell their ebooks on a new platform, DRM-Free.
Tomely provides publishers and authors with the ability to sell directly through their own existing websites, manage their own promotions using a flexible coupon-code generator, and easily send galley copies of books to reviewers. While other ebookstores can force publishers to wait weeks or months for payments to process, Tomely facilitates direct transactions between readers and publishers.
So what type of publishers and authors are using the new ebook platform for launch day? Connor Tomas O’Brien, the founder of Tomely, told Good e-Reader, “We’ve got some exciting Australian small publishers like Editia, Xoum, The Lifted Brow, and The Review of Australian Fiction on the platform, and fairly well-known American indies like Publishing Genius Press and Dzanc. We’ve also got writers like Jack Cheng, Adam Ford, and Lisa Dempster. We’re very geared toward working with small independent publishers, as well as indie writers. Over the next couple of months, post-launch, we expect the number of publishers we work with to grow considerably. We have about 500 books currently in our system.”
Connour elaborated on his company’s ebook selling strategy, by explaining, “At this stage, we’re not acting as a distributor for free books (we believe that market is already fairly well-served) so all of our books are paid. However, we do provide the ability for authors/publishers to allow readers to receive books for free by ‘purchasing’ them in the form of a promotional tweet. This system has been really successful. We also provide a fairly sophisticated system for authors/publishers to create and manage download/discount codes, which also lets them distribute books for free to their audience.”
So how does the entire payment and revanue system work? When somebody buys your book through Tomely, their payment flows directly to your designated Paypal account (minus Tomely’s 20% revenue share). You can opt to collect customer information to build your mailing list, and use Tomely’s analytics to find where your readers are coming from.
One particularly interesting component of Tomely is the Infinite Book, which generates an endless page full of random samples of text pulled from inside ebooks uploaded to Tomely. When it was launched last year, the Infinite Book was praised on the Oprah.com blog as “a lovely way to find a new book to read and a lovely way to think about reading.”
Many bookstores, such as Pottermore and TOR, have successfully adopted a DRM-Free policy for selling ebooks. It will be interesting to see if a 3rd party store focusing exclusively on indie titles has a place, and if authors will gravitate towards the platform.
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.