Sunday, 27 November 2011

How about solving a bigger problem

The Existing Great Pain

In China, writers can hardly survive. As one famous Chinese writer, Han Han wrote in his blog that: “Most writers in China can create one book in two-three years’ time. Normally, they can earn 10,000-20,000 Yuan(which is around 4,000-8,000 SGD) for each book. It’s like 800 Yuan/month(160 SGD/month) salary. They’ve got no social insurance and they have to pay taxes. Most Chinese writers have a very low income, except for some very popular ones. Many writers would have to write 10,000 words/ day on websites to make a living. They can earn 2 Fen(0.4 cents) for every 1,000 words downloaded. In Qidian.com alone, there was more than 150,000 writers writing online to make a living(Qidian, 2008).大部分作家两三年才写一本书一本书就赚一两万这些写作者们可能才年薪一万块啊朋友们月薪八百啊朋友没有社保啊朋友还得交税啊朋友比你更惨啊朋友除了几个顶级畅销书作家中国作家绝大部分都收入微薄很多网络作家更是一天要写一万字靠着千字两分钱的下载收入维生.Say a book cost 10 Yuan. A writer can get 1 yuan, publisher 1-2yuan, raw cost(paper, printing,etc) is 2-3 Yuan and the stores can earn 5 Yuan. 假设一本书卖10里面的构成是这样的作家赚1印刷成本2元多出版社赚1元多书店赚5.“ It’s really painful for Chinese writers to enjoy writing while their income is so low. The writers and publishing companies even have a much worse condition when big websites, like Baidu and Sina, provide a free platform for everyone to upload unauthorized copies to share. Han Han wrote his blog with great anger when his new book was despicably shared in Baidu. Those kind of websites who share books without writers’ permission exist wildly in China. That’s another reason why writers can hardly earn any income from ebooks.

It’s nice to know that the ebook market in China is getting better than several months’ ago. China mobile has opened a pretty successful ebook platform so that many publishers and ebook retailers can sell their books. However, since China mobile monopolizes the Chinese mobile ebook reading market, they are rising the percentage of shares with publishers. Initially, China mobile shares 30% of the profit, but later 50% or even more. The publishers and ebook retailers can hardly survive as they do not have the money and technical teams to develop their own platforms and sell their own books.

That’s why we come. We want to develop a ebook platform that helps publishers, writers and ebook retailers in China to live a better life. We also wish to encourage readers to be better aware of the importance of copy-right and originality.

Proposed Approach

We provide a platform for writers and publishers to publish and sell their ebooks. The ebook reader will be accessible from any device with HTML5 supported browsers. They can either choose to sell their ebooks or publish their articles in serials. We will prevent the ebooks from stealing.

Technicals to prevent ebooks from stealing
a. Encrypt the data before passing the book contents to the client.
b. If that's a paid book, readers cannot read the whole book unless they pay for it.
c. Books downloaded from app can only be read using our app(using HTML5 local storage)
d. Using CSS to prevent direct copying
e. Add more span tags to make it more difficult to copy the content.
f. Only the original creator(writer/publisher)can keep the formatted ebook copy after publishing their work(in epub or other format). Others can only share the content URL.etc.

We'll do the reverse process of our previous project, Yun Reading. That is to say: we allow the users to edit/paste their work on our platform(like a blogger). After they finished everything(add chapter name, upload cover,etc), the writers/publishers can choose to save it as an epub(txt,html,etc also can) for their own reference. We need some more pages, like editing page and redesign some pages like the book detail page, the store page and the library page.
The architecture and UI all need to be redesigned.

Competitors
Shengda, China mobile, baidu yuedu, which are all big players in China. Shengda has got a lot of Chinese reading sites, like Qidian.com and www.xxsy.net, etc. However, its business approach is not showing respects to writers. Shengda forces writers to publish the work only on its sites and use the book contents as its own properties by paying the writers 5 fen per 1000 words’ download. China mobile gives cheap ebook reading plans for readers who use their mobile services and it charges too much share from the ebook retailers. Baidu has got a bad reputation for free sharing without notifying the writers.

Commercialization


The business model will be similar to Google Music. We provide a free platform for readers and writers to publish their original work. They can set the price and sell the books. 100% of the profits will go to the writers/publishers. The contents will have to be original. There are several ways for us to verify. We will by default set their published book for free for 1 week(or longer). If no one reports and we also find out the writer is truly the original author, we'll set the books as verified and the writers/ publishers can then sell their books for money. Writers can choose to publish their work in serials, and they will be awarded by the ads venue they brought to the site and the popularity of their books.

We earn our money on the ads from public-licensed book and the ads in the priced books. The most venue will come from the new books that get just published but haven't been verified. These are where the ads venue mainly come from.

Users can send as a gift to others if they have finished the book and do not want to keep it.

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