It may be a very small start compared to Amazon, but it is a major one for the Philippines.
A couple of days ago, it was announced that a new online ebook seller has been launched, this time in the Philippines. Specifically it is Flipreads, a daughter company of Flipside Digital Content Inc, who have been around for about 12 years, servicing international publisher’s digital needs.
As Flipreads CEO Anthony de Luna explains it in a press release:
Filipinos have access to eBook selling sites such as Amazon, eBook prices there are usually hefty—$2 on top of the book price.
Selling of eBooks is also constrained by language limitations, since most sites are not designed or configured to allow for Filipino titles.
So, they decided to start up this new online ebook store, with ebooks that are aimed straight at Philippino readers, thus, ebooks by Philippinos, and in the various languages of the Philippines.
They are starting in a very modest fashion, with about 70 ebooks available which is rather less than the millions that Amazon and others offer. But, how many countries like the Philippines have any ebook stores catering for the local market? Do Sweden, Latvia, Saudi Arabia, to name but a few have such stores?
So, this is a brave start, which I hope will succeed.
Ereading and ereaders are not really established in the Philippines, it is almost impossible to find any shops selling ereaders, in spite of the fact that there is apparently a locally made ereader, I have never seen it in any electronics or book shops there, but initiatives such as this one should help a lot.
Interestingly enough, being the Philippines, they have come up with a number of ways in which people can pay for their ebooks, as Anthony de Luna explains it
In other countries, they make it very easy for people to purchase eBooks,
One of the things that sets Flipreads apart from the usual eBook selling platform is that it offers a cash option for buyers through CashSense. Paying for an eBook doesn’t require a credit card anymore—in fact, payments can be made through 7-Eleven branches, Cebuana Lhuillier and soon through Globe GCash and Smart Money.
Some Filipinos don’t have credit cards… or they’re hesitant to use credit cards for various reasons.
As anyone who knows the Philippines will know, this is a very Philippino solution to the problem of how to pay…….
So, what ebooks can you get from them?
Currently they have about 70 ebooks on offer, including Butch Dalisay’s “Man Overboard: Essays By, For and Of The Smart Filipino Male,” and Luis Katigbak’s “The King of Nothing to Do: Essays on Nothing and Everything.” Also on the website are Filipino graphic novels such as that of Manix Abrera’s.
Their ebooks are variously in ePub or PDF format, mostly DRM protected (using Adobe Digital Editions) and the prices of the ebooks seem to be in the region of 120 – 150 Pesos
Link to Flipreads: http://www.flipreads.com/
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