As the Globe and Mail reports, Shortcovers will launch in Canada and the US at 12:01am on Thursday (tonight at midnight for those who stay up that late on a weeknight for reasons other than Obama getting elected President [so…not me]). From Globe Books:
For its launch, Shortcovers is offering “a humongous” 50,000 book titles for sale, priced from $4.99 to $19.99, as well as individual chapters of books for 99 cents each. In addition, an estimated 200,000 sample chapters will be available free for potential users.
Shortly after the launch, the service will offer magazines and newspapers—“all the big names”—for sale, and the option of buying virtual copies of individual articles, an entire issue or a yearly subscription.
Along with the soon to be offered magazines and newspapers, Shortcovers will start aggregating data to make customized recommendations and a forum for unpublished authors to submit chapters or whole manuscripts.
In an interesting twist that adds ever more weight to the Cory Doctorowism (wherein an author’s greatest peril comes not from piracy but from obscurity), the authors have to pay a nominal free to share their content. It’s just 99 cents—not so much to pay for a chance at your 5 minutes (or longer) of fame. The revenue split of any content bought is 70/30 author/Shortcovers so chances of earning out your investment are pretty good.
And in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the promo video (so urban—don’t country folk like iPhones?—and perhaps a wee bit social network name-droppy?):