A Modest eBook Proposal

I’ve got an eBook idea that I’d like to bounce off the dozen or so people who read my stuff. I don’t know if it would work. That’s why it’s called an proposal and not a plan.

Ready? Here it is.

To any publiser willing to experiment with a new distribution model I propose the following:

  1. We will give you a big bag of money each year.
  2. With this bag of money we expect our library patrons to be able to access your entire catalog of electronic material (books and audiobooks)
  3. We also require that the one person per title model be done away with.
    1. We’d like for our people to be able to download any book at any time without having to wait on a digital copy.

That is all we really require. So what are we willing to do to make this more palatable to you?

  1. We will limit the number of titles an individual has checked out to a very low number.
    1. How about 2 at a time?
  2. These digital copies will be packed full of DRM
    1. So copying your material will be difficult for the average user.
    2. The titles will also be unsuable after a few weeks of being checked out.
      1. and need to be checked out again
  3. We will pay a bonus for titles that are very popular.
    1. So if a certain title is checked out 100 times (just a number I made up) we will give you a small bag of money.
      1. On the flip side of this; if a title is purchased by one of our people while he/she has it checked out we get a credit.

This seems like a good idea to me. Libraries get access to a lot of eBooks, publishers get paid, and authors of popular books get paid extra. Granted, there are a lot of details to be worked out. Like:

  1. How big is that annual bag of money?
  2. How big is that smaller bag of money?
    1. How often is it paid?
  3. What is a reasonable number of checkouts to trigger a bonus payment?
  4. How do we set it all up?
    1. Technically speaking

Anyone want to discuss this proposal? Is it silly? Will it work? I’ve got no idea. I’m just tired of people complaining about eBook distribution and not providing any alternatives. So here is an alternative. This is just a starting point. Let’s talk.

3 thoughts on “A Modest eBook Proposal

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