Within the framework of The Launchpad, Mashable introduces readers to compelling startups. One of these is Total Boox, an e-bookstore and e-reading platform that lets you pay only for what you read.It's a really interesting and of course an innovative idea which changes e-reading experience.
Take a closer look. I think that it's worth while to try it!!!
Why It's Taking Off: Total Boox lets you sample e-books, and take in single pages or chapters, without forking over the full purchase price.
In the days when books were only available in wearable and tearable bound editions, it made sense for buyers to pay money upfront. But with the advent of e-books, that model may no longer be desirable or even necessary, contends Israel-based entrepreneur Yoav Lorch. Lorch, who is also a published author, is the founder and CEO of Total Boox, a web and app-based system in early beta that lets you "read first, pay later."
Sign up for Total Boox through its app for Android tablets and you'll receive $2 in book-buying credit. (An iPad app is scheduled to hit the App Store in mid-February.) You can then download any e-book in the catalog. You can also browse other readers' book "playlists" and download them with a single tap, and create your own. Selection is limited to 10,000 e-books at present, as only a handful of small publishers, including F+W Media and Chicago-based Sourcebooks, have signed on to the platform. Lorch says he is currently in discussions with Penguin about bringing its titles to Total Boox — a deal that could bring both quality content and other big publishers to the system.
After downloading an e-book, you're welcome to flip through it from beginning to end for free. Only if you stay on a single page for more than six seconds — the minimum amount of time Lorch argues you would need to "read" a significant part of a page — will you be charged, and then only for what fraction of a book you read. So if you read 10 pages of a 100-page book that costs $10, you'll only pay $1. Those pages don't need to be consecutive either; you could read the first chapter and the last chapter, and won't be charged for any of the content in the middle. After you've exhausted your $2 credit, you can purchase additional credits starting at $10 using a credit card or PayPal, just as you would with Skype or the Paperless Post.
The advantages for consumers are clear: Just as you might in a physical bookstore, you can download and explore a wide variety of books without committing to purchase. It's a less restrictive system for e-book discovery than Amazon's, which will often only let readers sample the first chapter of a book. The opportunities for the education market are perhaps even greater, when you think of all the students and researchers who may only require access to a single article or chapter of a book. It's easy to imagine a system — perhaps subsidized by university libraries — where they could pay for just the portion they need.
Some publishers may dislike the notion of receiving only partial payments for the books they distribute, but Lorch thinks it will encourage people to explore more and read more, confident in the belief that what they do pay for they will enjoy. "Buying first creates a barrier," Lorch said in a sit-down interview with Mashable last week. "[With Total Boox], readers may be paying smaller amounts, but there will be more of them."
Lorch also thinks there are interesting data possibilities. Total Boox could build a recommendation engine based not on what e-books you've purchased, but the ones you've actually read. Authors and publishers could see what sections are the most and least read, allowing them to expand or nix a chapter in a future edition.
With limited publisher sign on, Total Boox is, at present, more interesting as a concept than as an experience. But after having tested its iPad and Android apps, both of which are pleasingly designed and easy to navigate, I can say that the experience is very promising. The real threat is the more established players in the space, like Amazon and Barnes & Noble-backed Nook, which, should Total Boox's model prove successful, could rather easily copy it themselves.
Dimitra Zervaki, EMBA, PMP, TTT
Images source: Total Boox