Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Onlyindie.com Turning Heads

Onlyindie.com, an online e-bookseller, has been in operation just a few months, yet its business model is turning heads in the publishing industry. The privately owned company calls itself the world’s first dynamically priced e-book store.   

Onlyindie actually gives away the first 15 downloads of the title. Each e-book downloaded after that increases in penny increments until it reaches a maximum price of $7.98, where it remains until 24 hours pass without a download. At that point, the company uses an algorithm that over a period of time lowers the price back to zero again.

Writers receive 50% of the sale price on books priced up to $1.99. That increases to 75% for books priced $2 to $7.98. Although authors are permitted to set their price limit lower than $7.98, they cannot increase it. Authors are paid via Paypal with no minimums and no waiting for the check.

The web site got a big boost when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban agreed to have his book, How to Win, sold using Onlyindie’s model, even besting the price-busting Amazon for some time. The bookhowever, is no longer on the web site.

As of July 13, 2012, Onlyindie.com had 20 free e-books available and 31 at varying prices below $7.98. The e-book categories were typical for the trends this year, including some vampire tales, adult fiction, advice and how-to, science fiction and fantasy, and short stories.

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