With an ever-growing catalog of ebook titles available to digital readers from major distribution platforms, readers have more choices than ever for browsing and purchasing ebooks. But one distributor is determined to help readers make their book purchases count for more than just entertainment.
Recent startup SnugNugget allows consumers the option to purchase DRM-free bundles of ebooks to be read on any compatible device, while also letting them set the price they are willing to pay for the bundle. A portion of the purchase price of each bundle goes to Book Aid International, which makes books and literacy education available to communities in Africa.
“I have to admit that this was not an original idea on my part. I am something of an avid PC gamer as well book reader,” said founder Mitch Pagden. “Last year, I heard of an American company called Humble Bundle (www.humblebundle.com) who were selling a bunch of indie pc games for whatever price I wanted. They included two charities as well. Being a book lover my immediate thought was, ‘Hey, this could work for eBooks as well!’
So over the past 14 months or so I’ve been doing a lot of research into the various book related charities and I found that Book Aid International were the strongest in terms of effective operations and transparency, and actually they have been incredibly supportive and helpful in this venture.”
The DRM-free status of the ebooks in SnugNugget’s catalog was important to Pagden, himself a writer.
“Owners of E-Readers and consumers of eBooks in general are becoming increasingly angry at the needless prices that publishers and retailers are setting for their digital books with many consumers turning to piracy as a result. Millions of eBooks, videos, music, and games are pirated every single year. With eBooks, those that don’t pirate feel forced to shop at an ever shrinking selection of online stores that sell eBooks with many of these stores limiting their customers to their own custom E-Reader. Whilst piracy is on the rise the traditional advice, the knee-jerk reaction by publishers is to increase DRM in order to protect the interests of the content creator. Yet the only effective method to combat piracy is simply to offer a more effective service.”
The ability to purchase these titles while supporting the authors and a worthy charity is only the beginning for the site.
“I would very much like to develop the site and Snug Nugget to the point where a customer can come along and select one book from a selection of books in a single genre and they can choose a book like this for all the main genres, essentially making their own custom bundle. This would require a lot more work and is probably six to eight months down the road. My first and main priority is to introduce sliders to the payment section so a customer can choose where they want their money to go, the authors, the charity, and Snug Nugget.”