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Pay-As-You-Read eBooks

Ever start a book and find you didn’t like it very much?  Did you wish you could get your money back? 

A new eBook distributor  says they have a better way to buy books. Total Boox plans to use a pay-as-you-read system that only charges customers for as much of the book as they actually read.

You can actually download the book for free and will only be charged for as much of it as you actually finish reading. Total Boox says if you skip a portion of the book or flip past it quickly, you won’t be charged for those pages. Once you pay for a page, you can read it was much as you want with no additional charge.  They promise to eliminate “complex purchasing decisions” they feel might deter you from buying a book.

Users will have  virtual “shelves,” which are the equivalent of a music playlist. They will be able to share their comments and favorite reads with friends.

The company says it could also be a great tool for people specializing in one particular field, such as a professor. He or she could download whole bookshelves on one topic and just pay for the portions they use. Total Boox is pitching the service to authors as a way to draw new readers and charge higher prices for their work.

In an eBook market dominated by Amazon’s Kindle , Barnes and Noble’s Nook and the iPad, they’ve got their work cut out for them.  I’d have to get past my own personal prejudice against spelling “book” as “boox.”

The service is scheduled to launch in early 2013. No information yet on what authors or publishers they have on board for the launch.

~ Cynthia