Monday, February 14, 2011

Goodreads selling ebooks to its members

Goodreads members have increasing opportunities to read generous excerpts and buy ebooks right within the Goodreads system. This popular social networking site for book lovers has not made much fanfare about its foray into direct retailing to its members, but over the weekend I decided to add my novels into the Goodreads ebook retail system and see what comes of it.

Uploading the epub ebook versions of The Rys Chronicles was easy. The Goodreads page for each of my novels included a little link that said "upload ebook." I clicked this, added the epub file, set how much of an excerpt members could read, and then set a price. It was very easy.

Goodreads takes a 30 percent cut on sales made on its website and gives a reasonable 70 percent of the sale to me. The 30 percent has to be far better than any of the affiliate fees it gets for referring members to other retailers, so I understand why Goodreads is quietly positioning itself in the ebook retail market. With over 4,000,000 registered members, many of whom are obviously active on the site, Goodreads could eventually enjoy a respectable and profitable share of the ebook market.

How do members read ebooks on Goodreads?

When you're on a book's page, look for a button labeled "read ebook" just below the description. If it's there, the goodreads ebook browser will open and you can start reading the book. See picture below.

You might get an excerpt or the complete book depending on how the author or publisher set it up. For example, I have 50 percent of Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I available for sampling at Goodreads before a reader needs to pay $1 to download the whole novel.

How do members buy ebooks on Goodreads?

After you've clicked the "read ebook" button, you will see in the upper right corner of the ebook browser a new button that says "buy ebook."

Clicking this button will take you to the Goodreads online checkout system. Goodreads sells ebooks in the epub format and there is no DRM (encryption). The buyer gets the epub ebook and can put it on numerous reading devices, like computers, ebook readers, and smart phones.

To learn more about my fantasy novels at Goodreads, see ratings and reviews, and even follow my reviews if you like, please go to my author profile. Tracy Falbe on Goodreads