It could work.
An online used book selling site, that also manufactures an eReader device, such as Barnes and Noble or the Amazon Marketplace, partners with publishers to provide kickbacks on used book sales in exchange for distribution rights of eBooks. Let’s call it UpgradeToEbook.Amazon.com. It would work like this:
Here’s an example:
Let’s say Bookseller_675 has a print copy of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. But he’d like to read it on his Kindle. It’s not in this reader’s best interest to purchase the book again. The publisher gets no new money. The book sales site gets no new money. The reader gets no eBook.
What do to do?
Bookseller_675 decides to sell the book on the Amazon Marketplace using the UpgradeToEbook.Amazon.com platform for $6. Amazon takes its cut (15%; $0.90), but for this transaction the seller agreed to kick an extra 35% to Amazon in exchange for an eBook copy. Amazon then gives that $2.10 to the publisher and facilitates distribution of Bookseller_675’s Kindle copy of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
I know what you are thinking? Why would a publisher sell an eBook for $2.10 when they would normally net around $7.00 (70% of a $10 cover price, as an example)? Consider this: a person selling the print book has already bought a copy of the book. So the publisher, under the current model, makes no money off of Bookseller_675 for the $6 resale. Under the UpgradeToEbook.Amazon.com model, the publisher has the potential of making money multiple times.
There, a print book is essentially traded for an eBook.
What’s to keep the buyer of the book from reselling the book the same way? Nothing. The publisher gets money from each transaction, so the publisher, and the book site, would actually encourage resale.
Where are the holes? What’s to keep this from working?
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About Caleb J. Ross
Caleb began writing his sophomore year of undergrad study when, tired of the formal art education then being taught, he abandoned the pursuit in the middle of a compositional drawing class. Major-less and fearful of losing his financial aid, he signed up to seek a degree in English Literature for no other reason than his lengthy history with the language. Coincidentally, this decision not only introduced him to writing but to reading as well. Prior this transition he had read three books. One of which he understood.