This is to determine if there is any interest in a trial of one small way to improve the availability of uploaded books for the site. The trial will involve only audio books at this time; but if there is interest and it works out then it could be expanded to ebooks. We have been approached by a third party who is willing to purchase books in bulk at a tremendous savings, convert them and deliver them to us for upload.
The cheapest normal plan is approx. $10 USD per book while the normal monthly plan is $15 USD. We have been thinking of offering the users the option of donating a small amount ($5 USD) to cover the cost of the bulk purchase and the conversion and uploading cost. Our staff would oversee the selection based on your request and ensure the quality of the uploads (Audible .aax format converted at 64K to MP3 is currently felt to be the desired format).
We therefore would like to ask you what your opinion of this option and whether you would like to participate in a trial to help develop the procedures for such an offering. The rules would be that you could request any ALREADY PUBLISHED Audible offering (NO PRE RELEASES). You would donate through a special option on the webstore and then PM me the transaction number and your request with the link to the Audible offering (US only at this time).
Once a week if we have 20 purchases we would submit our purchase on Friday and do the conversions and uploads over the weekend and hopefully have them available to you on Monday. This scedule is all tentative and times could vary because that is the purpose of the trial. If we do not have 20 on Friday we would delay the purchase until such time as the minimum number is reached.
The success of any request system depends entirely on the good will of uploaders. If your needs do not match with theirs the chances of you getting your request could be low. That is if you are not looking for the mainstream authors and the latest releases. Even some of the more popular fantasy offerings are a long time being uploaded. If you are requesting multiple books or authors this also cuts down on your chances of getting your request filled. Remember books have to be procured by someone and this involves asking others to put out their own time, effort, or money.
This could be used for both request that you may have that have not been satisfied or it could be a way for users who would like to upload (but have limited budget or knowledge of uploading) to provide new material to other users at a much reduced cost and with less work. They can provide 3 new books for the price they normally would have to pay for one on their own.
Please let us know if you feel this is a workable option and PM me directly if you would like to participate in the trial.