Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How you combine free book swapping with generating more income to authors? "Mooch Before You Buy" may be the answer!

Our friends at BookMooch are conducting a very interesting experience that could generate a new model into the
book world.

The concept behind the new "Mooch Before You Buy" program is actually very simple as John Buckman, the founder of BookMooch, explains on BookMooch blog:

"An author freely gives away copies of their book through BookMooch. Once you’ve read the book, if you:

* didn’t like it: relist it on BookMooch and send it to someone else.

* liked it, but want to give it away: consider a small donation to thank the author.

* want to keep it: give the author a larger gift, about the price you’d pay for the book new in a bookstore. "

The goal Buckman explains is to encourage authors to publish books in this “Mooch Economy”, as an alternative to the traditional publishing industry route.

I think this can be a great win-win model, adding another important layer to the swapping system - compensation of authors, who so far didn't receive any proceeds after the first sale of the book, no matter how many times their book was swapped and read afterwards. We had the chance to learn a little bit about this issue from a guest post we had on our blog of author Justine Locke who addresses a similar problem with sales of used books.

In all swapping provides many other indirect benefits for authors such as exposure to new readers, which will be translated in some cases to reviews on Amazon and in other cases to purchases of other books of the author when the reader wants to read more of the author's work. But again I'm sure some authors would still find it unsatisfying in terms of compensation for their hard work, and that's the missing part this new model can provide.

We're living in a digital era, where free content becomes more and more popular, or as Chris Anderson, the author of the upcoming book "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" defined it:"In the digital marketplace, the most effective price is no price at all". We see creators constantly looking for new models that adopt to these changes and still provide them with fair compensation for their work.

Taking that in mind, it will be interesting to follow the BookMooch new model and see how well it manages to make both readers and authors happy. We hope it will generate great success because as we said before the concept of book swapping is very eco-friendly, making the most out of every printed copy, and hence communities such as BookMooch are a great example of sustainable reading.

The first book on the "Mooch Before You Buy" program is “A Cat May Look at a King“ of author and moocher Ramsay Wood, who had provided BookMooch with 32 new copies of his book. “A Cat May Look at a King“ is a beautifully full color illustrated set of ancient stories featuring cats, retold by Ramsay.

And last but not least, I would like to mention our ongoing partnership with BookMooch to offer Green Mooching, a special incentive to BookMoochers to balance out their books, and to Eco-Libris fans to start mooching some books. For every 10 books you balance out you will receive a free BookMooch point you can then use to mooch a book online for free.

So if you don't have a BookMooch account yet go get one :)

Raz @ Eco-Libris

And we have a winner on "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling" giveaway!

Following our review of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling" last week, we had a give away of our review copy. We asked you to share with us what you do at home to lower your energy costs and/or use water more efficiently.

We got great replies with many great ideas that only show how many things can be done at home with not too much trouble to save energy and money.

And we have a winner!

Our winner is the reader ethnically ambiguous who wrote the following:

We recycle our raining water to water our garden & lawn, we uplug all non-essential electrical items in our household, as appliances burn out in our house we replace with only energy star rates appliances, in the winter we cover all windows with a layer of plastic and flannel to make sure we are keeping the house as warm as possible, we just bought a water efficent toilet and water savers on all faucets & showerheads...

Congrats to the winner! You will receive a copy of the book and we'll also plant a tree for it. Thank you also to all the other participants!


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting
green printing