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It sounds like an interesting idea, although I think authors might be put off if you're planning on selling their books directly, as no doubt that means you'll want a cut of the revenue and it's another place to keep track of when it comes to adding books / calculating royalties and sales.

I'm a web developer too (well, I'm a full-time author at the moment, but keep my hand in), so I'm trying to figure out how you'll make it work, and what benefit it would have to readers / writers over all the other sites out there where they can promote their books. I already find it difficult enough to keep track of places like Shelfari, Goodreads, Book Blogs, e-library and co when it comes to my books. Having said that, I'm about to create a site for where I'll invite authors in my primary genre to share their book blurbs / excerpts / purchase links in a co-op fashion.

I imagine this is going to be a lot of work for you, so I guess you have to weigh that up against what you'll expect to get out of it, and also factor in how much time you'll have to dedicate to the site each week with your job and writing too.

Back to my original query. Will you be selling books direct on your site and taking a fee?

Felicity Heaton
 

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felicityheaton said:
It sounds like an interesting idea, although I think authors might be put off if you're planning on selling their books directly, as no doubt that means you'll want a cut of the revenue and it's another place to keep track of when it comes to adding books / calculating royalties and sales.
I'm assuming he meant not selling the books but providing a link to Amazon and making income off the Amazon affiliate program, which is how most of the review/book blogger sites earn income. It's not exactly a windfall, considering most indie Kindle books sell for less than $5, and the affiliate program provides 4-8% (i.e., 4 cents on a $.99 book). But the idea is nifty. If you could make the random samples personalized enough with search tags, etc., as mentioned, and market it sufficiently to Kindle owners, I think it could work.

--Maria
 

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I think it sounds interesting. A good way to see books you wouldn't normally even look at.
 
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meromana said:
I'm assuming he meant not selling the books but providing a link to Amazon and making income off the Amazon affiliate program, which is how most of the review/book blogger sites earn income. It's not exactly a windfall, considering most indie Kindle books sell for less than $5, and the affiliate program provides 4-8% (i.e., 4 cents on a $.99 book). But the idea is nifty. If you could make the random samples personalized enough with search tags, etc., as mentioned, and market it sufficiently to Kindle owners, I think it could work.

--Maria
I have an Amazon affiliate account. You can't even direct link to a Kindle book with it. There are workarounds, but they are cumbersome.
 
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It isn't a bad idea.  It could also be a centralized resource for authors to post samples for things like Sample Sunday on Twitter. 

Brainstorming possible problems:

1. You would need a standardized format.  If everyone is not using the same format for their samples, it can make the site look trashy.  You don't want some samples double-spaced and others with jagged margins and some with justified margins etc etc. 

2. Quality control.  The site will only be as effective as the quality of the samples.  Do you allow everyone on the site, hoping the readers will just sort through the crap?  Or do you put in minimum quality controls and have to approve samples first?  If you allow anyone to add a sample, you get the most participants, but risk losing readers if they have to drudge through pages of sub-par work to find anything interesting.  If you put in quality controls, you get cleaner submissions but have fewer participants and risk alienating indies. 

3. Funding: as a web developer, only you know how much time and money it will take to get this up and running.  How will it be funded?
 

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Sounds like you already have a lot of the details thought out. As far as the money earning potential, I agree with the suggestion to use an Amazon affiliates account. It's true that you won't get a lot of money at first, but if the traffic grows and the popularity of the site is there, then it may start to pay for itself pretty soon. The better the quality, the better your potential for earning.
 
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