Vook: An Author Tool in Search of an Audience and a Price Point
Received an email today from Publisher’s Weekly, touting Vook.com, a site they evidently really like, but from which author, ghostwriters, and writers are apparently staying away in droves. Vook is a reiteration of a 2009 company that published print books. By 2011, they went toes up. In March, 2012, they came up with a new concept — publishing ebooks at a truly ridiculous cost to authors and writers.
Here it is late summer 2012, they’ve regrouped again and have a new publishing model for ebooks. If you want to publish your book strictly to their site, you can create it and upload it, list it, and see if it sells — free. FREE means if you sell books, they take 15%. So it isn’t free.
If you want to put it anywhere else through Vook, the price tag is $99 per book. Or, from what I read, you can pay $99 per month. Per month? BTW, their site does not support Firefox or IE browsers. They’re “working” on Firefox and have no plans to support IE. Working on? Haven’t they been online since 2009? What’s to work on that takes years? There goes a chunk of your potential readership.
Vook Is Not a Better Mousetrap or Even a Better Publisher
For some reason, traditional publishers like Simon and Shuster seem to be strong fans of this site. To my mind, the folks behind Vook need to regroup yet again, find a really strong business model with something to offer ghostwriters, authors and writers, get a solid management team to carry that idea, and then come to the marketplace with it. Yep, there is money being made in epublishing, but should that mean anyone can jump on the wagon and start pitching any old kind of hay at authors until they find a way to get some of that money?
With sites like Amazon and Smashwords, or even BookBaby if you insist on paying for services you can either do yourself or get for free, I’m unclear as to how this one will revolutionize our approach to ebook selling. Publisher’s Weekly seems to think Vook is a tool every author should have. I disagree. I dislike that it took me fifteen minutes to unpuzzle the Vook site and find the information I sought. I dislike that they charge a stiff fee for something I can do elsewhere without the fee. I seriously dislike that they make their product seem free when it really isn’t if you want any value from it.
No one (except New York publishers) is talking about Vook. Their reach is far shorter than established sites. I can;t imagine you’d sell a boatload of books at Vook. But I thought I’d pass it on in case you’re desperate. for me, there’s nothing new, innovative, or helpful there.