I build websites for authors all the time. Most authors don’t want to sell their books themselves, so we end up setting up links to Amazon and B&N. But we all know that authors only collect a very small percentage of the profits on these books. And a small percentage of a 99 cent e-book … well, it barely buys you a tic tac.
Here are some of the quotes in the article from co-founder (and self published author) Ben Galle about the new venture:
“Libiro devotes its shelf-space entirely to self-published and small press titles. … To authors, we’re a marketplace for their books and a platform that can help them make waves. And to readers, we’re an exciting place to shop, providing the latest indie talent and exhibiting what indie authors are capable of.”
“The opinion is that these books are all of terrible quality, simply because they haven’t seen the inside of a big publishing house. I’ve always been on a mission to quash this stigma, because it simply isn’t true. Libiro, being a purely indie store, can showcase the indie market, offering readers an opportunity to see what we’re really made of!”
“At stores like Amazon, quality indie authors can often struggle to get noticed amongst the crowd, especially when they don’t have the marketing budgets of the big publishing houses. The point is that indie literature is exciting — it can be raw, it can be fresh, and it can be just as good as traditional literature. We want Libiro to be the go-to place for readers wondering what indie authors are all about. We want to create our own bestsellers.”
And that’s not all. The biggest benefit to authors, according to Galle, is the royalties. A far cry from other e-book stores, Libiro offers a whopping 80 percent royalty as standard, regardless of book length or price.
But, of course,nothing is perfect. As a new venture, Libiro doesn’t quite have the following yet of a big e-book store. In addition, their technology is still sorely lacking. According to the Forbes article, “They don’t yet have an author dashboard, for example. Instead there is a simple book upload form on the site, and if authors want to request changes, they have to do that via email. And Galley is still figuring out how to give authors access to the website analytics and mailing list integration that comes baked in to the backend of a BigCommerce site.”
Galle claims that the site is currently working on building these services and should have them available in the next few months.
So Who’s on Libiro?
Not too many people … yet. The site currently lists 70 books from 30 authors. But it appears that the site is continuing to grow its portfolio.
In the Forbes interview, Galley says: “The priority for us at the moment is to build up a big catalogue so the reader has more choice and access to an entire spectrum of indie books. We’re reaching readers at the grass roots level, building relationships on social media and via word-of-mouth. What’s good for our readers is that authors can sell their books in any and all formats – PDF, ePub, and Mobi – meaning we can cater for any reader and any device.”
There’s no way to predict what the future holds, but my bet is that this site will continue to grow. After all, an author being able to take hope 80% is nothing to sneeze at!