In a couple of months from now, we will be launching our own e-book development and distribution service via dogearsetc.com and cinnamonteal.in. While the technical aspects of this service are ready, a few loose ends to be tied and we will be ready to go. Although e-book development and sales services are already available widely, although to a lesser degree in India, we decided to develop our own solution with the following features in mind:
= The service will be non-exclusive: Authors and publishers will be allowed to terminate the contract at will. Upon termination, only those titles that have already been purchased will be retained so that those buyers are not affected.
= There will be “agency pricing”: We will not offer any discounts unilaterally, only those offered by the publisher or author. That allows the publisher/author to develop a unique pricing structure for each book without fear of it being upended by the e-commerce platform. Agency pricing is a favoured model these days because it allows the publisher to control the price of the book. While some argue that this may be the publisher’s way of keeping prices high, we act in the good faith that publishers will understand what price will drive sales. This price can be revised as many times as needed by the publisher
= Social DRM will be implemented: The idea of DRM is a tricky one, with forceful arguments for each side. While we do not support piracy, we also think that DRM is not as effective as it is said to be. Add to it the costs of implementation and monitoring and you have a large investment that does not pay for itself. We would rather appeal to the buyer to use his purchase honestly. We have decided therefore to implement a model of Social DRM where the book file is identified with its buyer. Should the buyer pass it around irresponsibly, we will be able to track the book to its buyer and warn him of the consequences of his action.
= The service will primarily cater to the needs of Indian language publishers: Most e-commerce websites available thus far do not cater to the specific needs of Indian language publishers whether in the type of books they hold or the way books in these languages are developed. We have spent a lot of time working on these aspects and are now able to both develop e-books in most Indian languages and display their information adequately on the website in that language, thus allowing it to be searched by various search engines. We hope that this effort will go some way in making books in Indian languages more accessible to readers around the world.
= The royalty rate will be fixed at 75% of the list price: We wish we could keep it higher than that but there are some administrative costs involved that just won’t allow us to retain a lesser amount. We have therefore kept the royalty rate for publishers and authors at a fixed 75% of the list price. We hope we will be able to stick to that rate for a long time.
= Publishers will have the option to pay for development fees or receive a reduced royalty rate: If the books are not developed as yet, we offer this development service and will develop books in the EPUB, MOBI and PDF/A formats. Together, these 3 formats will allow the book to be read on most readers. Publishers will be offered the choice to either pay for the development of the e-books or accept a reduced royalty rate of 50% in lieu of payment.
= Customers outside India will also be able to buy these books: With the e-book market in India not fully developed, we believe that the majority of buyers for such books, especially for those in the Indian languages are based outside India, primarily among the diaspora. Our e-commerce platform has always allowed non-rupee transactions and will continue to do so. Books can therefore be sold to those based outside India, subject to territorial rights of course.
= We will sell in 3 formats: EPUB, MOBI and PDF/A: There will be no restrictions on the formats of e-books sold on our platform. While our e-book conversion service includes development in 3 formats i.e EPUB, MOBI and PDF/A, other formats will also be allowed for sale.
We are very excited about this new service and the opportunities it offers authors and publishers and hope that they take advantage of this to the fullest. For details contact us at [email protected] dogearsetc.com or call us at 94226 85530 and ask for Queenie or Leonard.