With the introduction of digital reading devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and other tablets on the market, many people have transitioned to e-books. While this has made it easier to purchase books and carry them around, the familiar problem of paying for books you end up abandoning half-way through remains. Israeli company Total Boox has come up with a clever solution.
Total Boox allows users to only pay for the portion of the book they actually read. The company’s software enables readers to build digital bookshelves of virtually endless titles, while only paying for what they read. The payment is proportional to how much you read: if you read 10 percent of the book, you pay 10 percent of the book’s total price. Each reader deposits a predetermined sum into their account and with each page read, the corresponding fee is deducted.
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Tool Boox writes on its website: “Currently the dominant commercial model in the ebook market is ‘Buy first, Read later’. With few exceptions, people are expected to pay for accessing a book, regardless if they read it, complete it, enjoy it, etc. The need to purchase a book before reading it is an unnecessary and burdening remnant from the world of printed books. It distorts the market, hampers discoverability, stalls distribution and reduces reading.”
The company adds: “This ‘Read first, Pay later ‘ approach is sensitive to the user, it generates charges reflecting the actual value received by the consumer.”
But Total Boox is not the first to think about our book-buying habits. On Amazon’s Kindle, readers are able to read long excerpts of any book, which makes it easier to decide whether the book is worth buying or not.
Total Boox is scheduled to launch early 2013 and it is unclear how many publishers have already signed with the company. However, the company states on its website that it has “thousands of titles.”
The company is based in Israel and has representatives in the US and the UK. It has recently completed its first financing round, and the beta app is currently only available for Android tablets on Google Play.
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