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$336 pledged of $50,000 goal
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About this project

The Nook App by Barnes and Noble opens epub files okay but not mobi files.

The Kindle App by Amazon opens mobi files okay but not epub files.

I believe both Amazon and Barnes and Noble intentionally make it difficult to use third-party ebooks because they want to make more money.

They want to corner the market and shut out the competition. The competition for Kindle and Nook isn't just each other. Plenty of books that cost money on Kindle or Nook are completely free elsewhere, like on Project Gutenberg. These are not illegal free downloads; they are just legit free ebooks. If anything, it's Nook and Kindle that are being shady by getting people to pay for public domain books that are readily available for free.

There are plenty of other legitimate and legal sources of free books. Most notably, OnlineBookClub.org (a completely free website with over 140,000 members) has helped book publishers and indie authors distribute tens of thousands of copies of their own respective ebooks to readers in exchange for an honest review, or just as a promotional method. Many times the author or publisher of a book series wants to make at least the first book completely free to hopefully hook readers on the rest of the series. There are many high-quality free books out there.

It might not be too hard for a tech-savvy user to figure out how to side-load an epub file or mobi file to the Nook or Kindle app. But every day I have to help several different new members at OnlineBookClub.org through the process. If these frustrated readers figure out how to do it with one file on one of the apps, then they are still in for a disappointment when they find the same process and same app will not work for a different file.

Even for the users who are tech-savvy, or just get used to the process, it's still a pain. They frequently have to (1) have multiple different apps for each different ebook file format, (2) move files around inconveniently using file mangers or by manually connecting their device to their computer by USB, (3) convert files themselves with programs like Calibre.

The functionality we are looking to create isn't groundbreaking in most senses. It would be easy for a company like Amazon to create it within their apps. But what value is there to Amazon to make it easier for folks to get a free copy of books from Project Gutenberg instead of paying to get it from Kindle?

Even for books that are not free, Amazon is usually keeping most--or sometimes ALL--of the purchase price for itself while most authors, who are the ones actually writing these books, do not even get paid a living wage. The clever but sad reality of Amazon's system is that readers spend more and authors make less.

There is a huge opportunity here to create an app that will make the lives of countless book lovers much easier and help them save money. It will be a huge benefit to authors and publishers as well, who are currently at the mercy of Amazon and to a lesser extent Barnes and Noble.

We can create a single free app that works with all major ebook formats, including both epub and mobi, and that works internationally.

We have a unique position to launch it effectively due to our sophisticated and developed community of readers, publishers, and authors who are already exchanging books by the tens of thousands even without this new awesome app. Due to our longstanding relationships with indie authors and publishers who are fed up with Amazon, we will uniquely have the ability to pre-fill the app with a collection of high-quality new free books.

We will make it much easier for readers to stop paying for books that are free. The ability to more easily get books without having to go to a single site like Amazon will also enable indie authors and publishers to sell their books at a discount price directly to consumers without having to give most of the sales to Amazon. For books that are not free, readers will be able to pay less and authors will make more.

It's a win-win for everyone, except Amazon.

And--don't get me wrong--I like Amazon. I'm a Prime member. But in this case Amazon can take the loss because their current system with Kindle books is unfair to readers and authors alike.

Risks and challenges

I made OnlineBookClub.org over 10 years ago. I made it before smartphones. I made it before Kindle existed. I made it before iPhone apps or the Google Play Store ever existed. Making smartphone and tablet apps is not my skill-set. This will be a new venture! I deeply believe it will be a great addition to the reading community and help countless people, readers, and authors alike.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Ebook copy of Justice: A Novella

    This product has a retail value of $2.99 but with the amazing functionally of this new app that you are helping create, the ebook can be delivered to you at no extra charge with only a $2 pledge to help us make this amazing app.

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    OnlineBookClub.org T-Shirt

    We will send you an awesome t-shirt!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Signed Premium Hardcover Book

    Signed premium hardcover copy of **Justice: A Novella** by Scott Hughes.

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Funding period

- (30 days)