This just in from a new entrant into the ebook arena: Total Boox, an Israeli-based company, has announced today the launch of its ebook product bearing the same name. Highlights include simultaneous access, no waiting lines, no up-front payment for books, patrons’ interest driving purchases, affordable metered reading, and, perhaps the most interesting part: ownership of each title (or portions of the title read) that the library purchases is transferred to the patron — indefinitely. Full details are provided in the press release below.
Stay tuned for Sue Polanka’s upcoming audio interview with President and Founder of Total Boox, Yoav Lorch, who will shed more light on the product and the company behind it.
Meanwhile, a November 2013 article featured in Publishers Weekly [bit.ly/1drVBJ1] is a good place to start for more context on the business model. It also gives more details about Total Boox’s pilot with Westchester Library System in New York.
Total Boox Launches and Announces Pilot with Westchester Library System
A new, cutting-edge ebook service brings more reading for patrons and more efficient use of library budgets.
January 21, 2014 (New York, Tel Aviv) — Total Boox, Ltd. is pleased to announce the launch of Total Boox for Libraries, a cutting-edge ebook service designed to give patrons a new digital reading experience, while giving libraries full control of their budget. Thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles are available for instant download—with no waiting lines—and patron access to them never expires. Whether patrons read online or offline and whether they read one page, a chapter, or an entire ebook, libraries only pay for the content they read.
“We want to forever change the relationship between people and books and base it on a new paradigm suitable for the digital age,” said Yoav Lorch, President and Founder of Total Boox. “Ours is the only ebook platform that provides incremental ownership, allowing libraries to only pay for the value received, while giving patrons instant and perpetual access. This is a major shift, bearing on every aspect of the industry.”
To sign up, libraries need to create a Total Boox account and fund it with a minimal starting balance. The system then allows libraries to take full control of their ebook budget, closely monitor patron usage and interests, set annual spending limits, and allocate funds between titles and publishers. Patrons get immediate access to any title in the collection and keep the content they read on their devices indefinitely, even if they relocate. “This combination of freedom to download on one end and freedom to manage spending on the other is truly unique,” added Lorch, “and it will result in a far superior library service.”
In an effort to improve the service further and better understand reading habits, Total Boox has launched a pilot with Westchester Library System (WLS), a consortium of 38 libraries in New York, which now provides access to Total Boox’s entire ebook collection on their site. This includes an array of fiction and nonfiction titles, both trade and academic, from such publishers as Other Press, Elsevier, Sourcebooks, O’Reilly, Microsoft Press, F+W Media, and many others. “One of the best features of the product is the simultaneous use of materials, guaranteeing that patrons will always have access to the titles in the collection,” said Terry Kirchner, Executive Director of WLS. “I see much potential for our partnership to grow and develop over time.”
Visitors to the Total Boox booth (#724) at the American Library Association’s 2014 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia will be able to learn first-hand about the product, meet the team behind it, and test-drive the reading on their tablets. They will also receive a $5 coupon for free reading. Librarians not attending ALA can go to www.totalboox.com/ala and claim their free reading coupon online, which will be available for download throughout February 15, 2014.
About Total Boox, Ltd.
Based in Israel, with representatives in the United States, Total Boox, Ltd. is led by a seasoned team of entrepreneurs, who have previously built large companies distributing and managing digital content. Its main product, Total Boox, is a unique solution for libraries looking to wisely allocate their ebook funds and provide superior service to their patrons. Available to consumers directly or through libraries, the platform comprises well over 20,000 titles from established publishers and is growing rapidly, with new titles added each week. Media inquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.