The recent news about iBooks Author has caused a flurry of activity among digital textbook publishers. One in particular reached out to eBookNewser this week. BookBoon didn’t want to get lost in the Apple hype.
While we are all used to paying for books directly, BookBoon has come up with an alternative. For the past 7 years, this London based publisher has been pursuing a new business model. Rather than charging customers directly for downloads, BookBoon has been giving away the eBooks, and they’ve been covering their costs by selling advertisements in the eBooks.
And it seems to be working out for BookBoon. They’ve reported seeing 11 million downloads in 2011 – a new record. BookBoon now offers over thousand titles in 7 languages, including travel guides for 6 continents and textbooks for a couple dozen different subjects. The eBooks are available as DRM-free PDFs, and the eBooks I tried had between 6 and 9 half page ads.