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Frequently Asked Questions: Publishers

What exactly is Total Boox?

Total Boox is a unique ebook service that takes full advantage of the possibilities offered by digital books to consumers as well as libraries. It gives individual readers or library patrons (at a participating institution) instant access to thousands of ebooks in a wide range of fiction and nonfiction categories, which can be downloaded to Android devices, Kindle, and iPads—24x7.

Total Boox operates on a new model for digital reading in libraries (and beyond): no holds, no waiting lists, no expirations, and no limitations. Readers can download as many ebooks as they want from our catalog and keep them as long as they want. The "download" itself isn’t a sale. It simply "stages" an ebook to be read. Total Boox keeps track of all reading, charges readers (or institutions) only if and when pages from "downloaded" books are read, and shares all proceeds with publishers and authors quarterly.
For a visual introduction to Total Boox, watch our video on Youtube.

How does Total Boox work in libraries?

If Total Boox is accessed through a participating library, the library pays only for what patrons with a valid library card actually read. Checkouts and downloads are important only as means toward the ultimate goal: reading. There are no single-copy/single-user limitations, no waiting lines, and no time restrictions on reading. Patrons may read any of the titles in the Total Boox catalog at their own pace. The content read and paid for by the library remains on patrons’ devices for as long as they want to keep it.

How are pages priced?

Pages are priced in proportion to the retail price of the ebook. If a reader reads 10% of the ebook, he/she will pay 10% of the price. If a title has 300 pages, and the reader reads 30 pages, then he/she will pay only ten percent of the price of the ebook. If he/she adjusts the font size, our system will take that into account so that the reader still pays the same amount. We do not charge for portions of ebooks skipped over or flipped through quickly, so readers pay little or nothing when they just browse titles.

How does Total Boox charge individual readers?

It’s similar to the Skype model. A reader creates a balance, using a credit card or PayPal account. As he or she reads, we deduct the value of their reading from the balance. When their balance gets low, we ask them to top it up.

How does Total Boox charge libraries for patron reading?

Total Boox charges libraries for the pages that patrons read via several billing options. Libraries must sponsor each individual reading, as each patron reading must be accounted for, which means publishers will get paid each time a patron anywhere reads any part of any of its titles in our system. Pages are priced the same way for libraries as they are for individual readers. Publishers do not need to set a separate price for libraries. Pages are always priced in proportion to the retail price of the ebook.

How do library patrons access the Total Boox collection?

Patrons can get to our collection through our apps or through a web browser on a computer or a mobile device, such as an iPad. Our titles are often fully integrated into the library’s own catalog, or patrons may access our collection as a library patron via our own site using a valid card number and password.

Why does Total Boox benefit publishers?

Any time a page is read from any book, libraries (or individual readers) pay for it and all proceeds are shared with publishers and authors. Publishers set the price once for everybody and need not give discounts to libraries. Libraries give their patrons instant, simultaneous access to thousands of titles they wouldn’t otherwise purchase. This augments the library’s offerings significantly, allowing them to provide superior service while allowing publishers to monetize their backlists.

In addition, both librarians and publishers are provided invaluable insight into reading patterns via Total Boox’ sophisticated real-time Dashboards, helping them improve curation, recommendation, and discovery of content.

How is Total Boox different from other services available in libraries?

Other services on the market operate on a purchase-centric model; ours is a reading-centric model. Unlike subscription services relying on people not reading to generate revenue, we collect revenue only if and when people actually read. There are many advantages to our approach that are creating better conditions for all in the ebook chain. Please download our Publisher’s Guide in PDF and refer to the comparison chart that explains some key advantages of the Total Boox model.

How do publishers sign with Total Boox?

Publishers interested in making their titles available in our system may contact Mirela Roncevic, Director of Content, at mirela@totalboox.com. Independent, self-published authors interested in making their titles available on our platform may send an inquiry to authors@totalboox.com. Independent authors may refer to our Acquisitions’ page for information on our policies.

Who does Total Boox partner with?

We partner with a range of established publishers, including the entire Workman Publishing Group, New World Library, Sourcebooks, Berlitz and Insight Guides, Lonely Planet, De Gruyter, Other Press, Red Wheel/Weiser, O’Reilly Media, Berrett-Koehler, Gibbs Smith, Elsevier, F+W Media, Chicago Review Press, and many others. Visit Our Partners page for a complete listing of the publishers whose titles are available on our web site.

Where can I find libraries working with Total Boox?

Our service is available in a number of states across the United States, including libraries in New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado, and California. Please go to our Participating Libraries page for more information on specific libraries and library systems currently working with us.

What types of libraries is the Total Boox model designed for?

A wide range of libraries, big and small, can benefit from our innovative model. Small libraries on tight budgets unable to afford steep annual subscriptions to other ebook services can use Total Boox to bring ebooks to their patrons without over-extending their budgets. Larger libraries can use Total Boox as an affordable supplemental service to help them enhance their collections beyond popular fiction and bestselling nonfiction. Put simply, with Total Boox libraries never need to purchase anything in advance. Instead, they make our entire catalog instantly available to their readers and then pay for what they choose to read and only for the books (or parts of those books) that are actually read.

What can publishers expect from Total Boox when ebooks are transferred to the platform?

Adding your ebooks to our system is one of several steps we take together to ensure optimal conditions are created for your titles and authors to be discovered in libraries. We’ve developed a comprehensive marketing package to draw your attention to the tools we offer—at no cost to publishers—to help promote your titles in the communities we serve. Please download our Publisher’s Guide in PDF for detailed information on these tools, including, among others: newsletters, top banner placement on our site, integration of publisher materials into our site, social media advertising, posters, and our Reader’s Advisory service.

Can publishers choose to limit the availability of their ebooks to individual readers and not libraries and vice versa?

While this is an option, we strongly discourage it, as there are varied channels for publishers to generate revenue through Total Boox. Since each reading is always accounted for, publishers will always be compensated any time anyone reads their books, regardless of how they are accessed.

Which devices does Total Boox support?

We support iPads, iPad minis, Android tablets and phones, and Kindle Fires. Some older models may not be supported.

Can readers read offline?

Yes. Our ebooks are downloaded to the readers’ devices and so can be read offline. Readers need to be online only when they download ebooks.

What happens when a reader changes a device?

The reader can continue reading on the new device. The Total Boox app will automatically download the patron’s Total Boox titles onto the new device.

What are reading shelves and how are they used?

Reading shelves are collections of titles created by readers and librarians on topics of interest, e.g., cooking, starting a business, or travel. Readers can create their own shelves and share them or keep them private. Librarians create shelves to serve as Reader’s Advisory tools. Publishers, too, can create shelves to promote certain authors, books, or subjects.

When a shelf is created, who is able to see it?

A shelf remains private to its creator unless he or she chooses to "share" it. Once it has been shared, the shelf is publicly available and other readers can download it. The download itself isn’t a sale. We never charge individuals or libraires for downloading an individual title or an entire shelf. We only charge for the actual reading.

What type of content is Total Boox most interested in?

We partner with a wide range of publishers specializing in a spectrum of genres and topics, both mainstream and academic. Our collection includes ebooks in every category imaginable, including, to name just a few, popular fiction, romance, science fiction, history, arts and humanities, health and medicine, business, spirituality, travel, gardening, cooking, home improvement, technology, and comic books.

What is the Total Boox procedure for uploading ebook files?

Once a publisher signs an agreement with Total Boox, it may upload its titles into our system by following instructions in our Publisher’s Technical Guide. Our IT Department remains at your disposal to assist publishers with all their technical needs.