Bitingduck Press Kicks off WebBytez e-Book Sales in Mill Valley

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Independent publisher Bitingduck Press has developed a technology for selling e-books through any retailer, with no up-front fees and no inventory. Their first brick and mortar partners are a yoga studio and cosmetics store in Mill Valley, who offer The Yoga Facelift as an e-book along with yoga classes and exercise demonstrations by the author.


Bitingduck Press

WebBytez helps everyone: authors gain visibility, and merchants get sales

Readers love e-books, independent authors love e-books, and many types of books work better electronically than in print: those with many tables or illustrations, instructional manuals containing hyperlinks, and time-sensitive books for immediate release. At the same time, authors find it hard to get their work seen, and more and more independent bookstores are going out of business. Bitingduck Press, which acquired e-book pioneer Boson Books in 2012, has introduced a technology called WebBytez that is designed to help author visibility and to support local merchants, both bookstores and other stores.

WebBytez is an affiliate program where participating merchants receive postcards for each Bitingduck/Boson title they wish to sell. The postcards are free of charge and there is no inventory. The cards are printed with a custom QR code, so when the code is scanned and a customer buys a book, the merchant receives a fraction of the sale, comparable to that received with a print book. The customer can be anywhere when the sale is made. Because the cards are small and take up little space, and require no check-out, WebBytez can be used by any merchant anywhere, without need for a cash register. This teleread interview with the inventor gives all the details.

The two first affiliate in the program is Marie-Veronique Organics of Mill Valley. The store carries the electronic version of The Yoga Facelift, a new release of a 2004 Amazon skin-care bestseller. The cards are displayed at all times, and handed out during facial yoga classes given by the author. "It's been great for us," says Marie of Marie-Veronique. "We're a skin-care company and ordinarily wouldn't consider carrying books. This way, people ask how they can get The Yoga Facelift, and we can offer it to them without having to stock or carry bulky items. When the cards run out, we just ask for more."

Bitingduck Press authors can also approach local merchants to partner for their specific titles. Later this year, the press hopes to open the program to all independent authors. Authors will be able to sign up to use the Bitingduck Press webstore, saving them the effort of creating a webstore of their own. Details of the program will be released at the LA Times Festival of Books in April 2013.

Founded by a group of practicing scientists, Bitingduck Press aims to serve authors, small businesses, and the environment with electronic and print books. The press is currently open to submissions in all genres, particularly fiction about science, narrative nonfiction, and young adult. Submissions guidelines can be found on the press's website.

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Jay Nadeau
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