Hello Vintage Novels readers! Today we have something a bit new--a sponsored post. If that sounds a bit grossly commercial, hang in there and I'll see if I can make it worth your while.
I'm actually quite intrigued by all the new ways that technology is changing the reading experience. I started out insisting I would never own an ereader, and now I've owned one for a year and would feel lost without it. We may not like the impersonal nature of technology, but it provides us with a world of opportunity that we simply couldn't access otherwise.
One of the more interesting opportunities I've seen lately is the new ebook rental platform, iFlipd, a reading app with some intriguing possibilities not just for reading more conveniently but also for sharing, trading, and discussing books.
So how does it work?
The basic set-up is pretty simple: you download the app to your device--currently iFlipd only supports Apple's iOS7, though they're planning to branch out as things get underway--and pay $2 to rent a book for a week. If you need more time to read you can just rent it another week, or as long
as you like. Once you’ve reached the full purchase price, you own the ebook.
Then things get more interesting. If you finish the book in under a week, you can "flip" the remaining rental time to a new reader who picks up your spare days for just $1. Meanwhile the days you save doing this go into your account to be put toward other rentals.
The social nature of the iFlipd rental model, as well
as the “flipping” payment model, holds a few fascinating possibilities--eg, for readers to have whole conversations in the margin of a book they're reading. I interviewed iFlipd's CEO Kati Radziwon for more details.
Interview with Kati Radziwon
Hello, Kati, and welcome to Vintage Novels. Your app sounds like a great way for readers to discover and read new books. Where did the idea for iFlipd come from?
The idea for iFlipd started over a simple coffee date with a girlfriend. She was looking for a parenting book and couldn’t find it for less than $20 and there was a 4 month waiting list at the library for it. She wasn’t even 100% sure she would like it and just wanted to test it out before buying. This started my wheels turning and I began to research ebook rentals. I quickly realized there was no good solution out there and decided to solve the problem!
What kind of reader do you think would benefit most from iFlipd?
iFlipd is really for any kind of reader, but we do believe that the model works extremely well for self-help, parenting, cookbooks, travel books, religious content, and several other genres. The best part about iFlipd is that even if you read a novel and keep it long enough, you eventually own it, so there is no loss. You just pay as you go!
I can imagine a service like iFlipd being great value for readers, but how’s it been getting publishers on board?
Publishers are excited about iFlipd and the idea of opening up an additional revenue stream. We have been careful to be very fair to publishers and make sure they are getting the compensation they deserve for their books. We are working to bring on many more publishers as we speak, so keep an eye out for some great new content soon.
There are a bunch of other ebook subscription services out there. What sets iFlipd apart?
iFlipd is not a subscription, so that is the biggest difference. We are a simple pay as you go rental platform that allows readers to only pay for what they are actually reading. No commitments and no hassle. If you don’t read one month, you don’t pay…it’s that simple. We have also integrated extensive social features and rewards into the app to enhance the experience and create a community of readers who get rewarded for participating.
The reading experience has been changing remarkably over the last few years. Do you have any thoughts on where the book industry might be headed next, and how iFlipd will be a part of that?
The publishing industry is changing rapidly and I think iFlipd is poised to be at the forefront of the change as you will begin to see. Consumers are hungry for new options and publishers are in need of additional revenue. Creating more flexible reading platforms that follow the music and movie industries is something I think you will begin to see shift over the next few years. I also think the reading experience will continue to get more social and engaging with authors and publishers coming up with new ways to communicate directly with their readers.
With the “flipping” feature in iFlipd, where you can share books with others, I’m guessing this app has the potential for more social interaction than most other ebook subscription services. Have you seen a lot of book-related interaction with the app?
Yes! The flipping aspect of the app allows readers to share a book they no longer need with the rest of the reading community and we reward this behavior. This perpetuates the social interaction of our community as people share time with a book, and encourage others to read. It will also be possible to have a conversation directly in the book (coming soon). This allows readers who have previously rented a title to share their notes and comments with others. All this behaviour is rewarded and we believe makes the community of iFlipd readers much stronger.
Lots of people who love books go on to write one. What kind of opportunities does iFlipd offer to authors?
iFlipd is a great platform for any type of author to test out their work and gain exposure. Because of our lower price point, readers who might otherwise be hesitant to try a book, might now go pick up a new authors work and give it a shot.
And finally, I’ve got to know. Do you have a favourite vintage novel?
I would say the Wizard of Oz, if that is considered vintage. My dad has the entire original collection of the Wizard of Oz and use to read them to us as bedtime stories. I have wonderful memories of falling asleep to stories of Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Scarecrow. I am also a big fan of Grimm’s Fairy tales which he collected as well.
Those are two excellent books to consider for reviews at Vintage Novels sometime! Thanks for talking to us, Kati!
Sadly, because I don't have a suitable device, I haven't had the opportunity to try out iFlipd for myself. However, I've been asked to let you all know that for a limited time iFlipd is giving everyone one free ebook rental to start with.
If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, you can read more at the iFlipd website and download the app from the Apple store.