You may have seen the recent email from eBook distributor Draft2Digital (D2D): “We’ve added bibliotheca PLUS a new way to earn from library distribution!”
D2D has been working with Overdrive since 2017, so working with libraries is not new for them. The addition of bibliotheca (yes, I think it should be capitalized, too) gives authors an even bigger opportunity to reach library patrons.
So what exactly is bibliotheca, you ask? I didn’t know, so I had to do some strenuous research to find out (I Googled it). Bibliotheca, according to their website, provides “library solutions that connect, engage and evolve.”
Bibliotheca has trademarked “cloudLibrary,” which is software that, in their words, provides “the best eBook and eAudio experience possible.” Why is this important to authors? Because when an organization works with bibliotheca, the organization is able to offer patrons a seamless eBook checkout experience, beginning with one-click checkouts. Patrons can download an app to use on Android, Windows, and Apple smartphones (Windows has a smartphone?) or to use with Windows and Apple Mac operating systems. If patrons don’t want to download an app, they can simply “discover and read content within a fully accessible website.”
Signing up is easy. The next time you visit D2D, you’ll be greeted with a screen giving you the option to opt all of your books in at once. If you’d prefer not to opt all books in at once, you can select and add books as you see fit from your My Books page.
As if that weren’t enough, D2D is also adding a new option called Cost Per Checkout (CPC). As they explain, “Most public libraries lend eBooks using a practice called One Copy, One User (OCOU).” In other words, libraries buy one copy of a book, and library patrons must wait until the previous borrower has returned the book before it can be loaned again.
CPC, on the other hand, “allows libraries to have the same title for more than one user. Instead of a fixed price, libraries gain access to your books and pay 1/10 of the book’s full purchase price each time it is loaned out.” This means patrons don’t have to wait for the book to be returned; multiple people can check it out at one time.
The bad news is, of course, that if only one patron checks out your book, instead of your usual royalty, you’ll only receive 1/10. The good news is, there’s always the chance that multiple people will check your book out, potentially giving you a much higher royalty than a one-time purchase. For example, if your typical royalty for a specific book from D2D is $2.75, a one-time borrow from one of their library partners will only get you $0.275. You’ll need ten borrowers to reach your typical payout.
But if more than ten people borrow it during that pay period, you’ll make more than your typical royalty. For example, if 15 people borrow it, you’ll make $4.125.
Feel free to check my math, folks. There’s a reason I’m a writer and not a mathematician.
D2D states that both CPC and OCOU are automatically enabled by default for their library partners, but you have the option of turning CPC off. You can do this by visiting Advanced User Options on your My Account page, or you can visit D2D’s new Library Pricing Page.
Whichever option you decide, it’s nice to know that Draft2Digital continues to work hard to offer new opportunities for writers.