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Easy and transparent eBook service opens up rich promotional opportunity for entrepreneurs

Monday, 17 June 2013 | By Rose Powell

A newly launched e-publishing service, Tomely, is offering entrepreneurs better control over their eBook sales process.


Co-founder Connor O’Brien says the service allows entrepreneurs to connect directly to readers and customers without any of the drawbacks offered by eBook industry dominators Amazon and Apple.


“From small and independent publishers all the way up to the very large companies, everyone wants to control how they sell their work,” he says.


“A lot of small publishers are pretty uncomfortable selling through Amazon and Apple. They put up with it, but they aren’t comfortable with the level of power these guys have and want to sell directly.”


Once an ePub file is uploaded, the Tomely system creates the sales system to either buy the eBook on their site, or sell it directly from the publisher’s site. It also generates a sample (the length of which the publisher can choose), a version that can be read on any ereader including the Kindle and one that can be sent to iPad app ReadMill.


Valerie Khoo, director at the Australian Writers’ Centre and author of Power Stories: The 8 Stories you Must Tell to Build an Epic Business, says creating an eBook is a smart promotional idea for entrepreneurs and start-ups.


“Content marketing is a great idea for entrepreneurs and eBooks are part of that,” Khoo says.


“You can consolidate a lot of your knowledge and information. And for readers, customers, it’s easy to access and read on mobile devices because they don’t need to search and read 40 articles online, it’s all in one spot.


Tomely takes a 20% revenue share of the sales. Entrepreneurs immediately receive their 80% of the revenue, unlike larger bookselling sites such as Amazon that can take months to process revenue, and require users to navigate US tax systems.

Tomely users also have complete access to their sales and customer data.


“We’re very transparent about it. We’re facilitating direct sales so we can be open with the customer info. So the publisher can know exactly who is buying their eBook, and add them to their mailing lists,” O’Brien says.


The e-publishing start-up will begin to promote book bundles of eBooks for similar readers from next week.


Khoo says that it’s not enough to slap a series of blog posts together; entrepreneurs should be as goal-focused in creating their eBook as they are in any aspect of their business.


“While you may still get some downloads for a series of blog posts slapped together, the reality is readers will have a far more enriching experience if it’s written as book,” she says.


“You need to have a goal if you’re going to create an eBook. If it’s written well, you can position yourself as the leader or at least an expert in your industry.”