Blloon’s eBook Service Lifts Off in the UK

H4wg3d7V1[1]Following two months of private beta testing, Blloon opened ebook subscription service to the UK public today.Launched in July by txtr founder Thomas Leliveld, Blloon aspires to offering a lower cost ebook service in a market already crowded by Scribd and Kindle Unlimited. Blloon's service is free to start, and every new reader starts with a credit for the equivalent of 3 books.

That credit is in the form of pages (1,000, to be exact), and additional pages can be earned by promoting Blloon, bought (similar to a pay-as-you-go phone), or readers can sign up for a monthly subscription: £3.99 for 500 pages.

That's enough to read around a book a month, which is rather a high price considering how little a reader gets in return. (In comparison, Kindle Unlimited costs £7.99 in the UK for unlimited reading.) Blloon justifies their prices by pointing out that they are targeting a specific reading demographic.

Leliveld said: "We aren't offering an expensive ‘unlimited’ service simply because that isn’t the demographic we are targeting. And people can only read so much. We’re welcoming young people, the majority of whom currently read up to 12 books a year. Providing a package that allows them to expand to two or three a month makes it an attractive and affordable offering - without any compromise on the quality of the titles. In time we hope it will encourage them to read even more."

I think that sounds like a load of hooey, but let's wait and see what the market decides.

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Blloon's service is available on iPad and iPhone, and there is an Android app in the works. They haven't disclosed how many titles they offer, but I do know that their catalog includes titles from HMH, Open Road Media, Allen & Unwin, Diversion Books, Lonely Planet, Profile, RosettaBooks, Faber Factory, Guardian Books, and Workman Publishing.

 

At launch Blloon will include titles from publishers including Allen & Unwin, Diversion Books, Faber Factory, Guardian Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lonely Planet, Open Road Media, Profile, RosettaBooks and Workman Publishing and publisher titles from Ingram Content Group's CoreSource Plus solution offered through Lightning Source Inc.. It is also working closely with Gardners to collect titles from a range of publishers.

 

About Nate Hoffelder (11591 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

2 Comments on Blloon’s eBook Service Lifts Off in the UK

  1. All competition is to be welcomed.

    It looks like Blloon have backtracked on their original plan in the light of KU , and with some clever targetted marketing and savvy content curation they may well find a niche.

    Initial reaction from young readers polled here is positive.

    Where there will be enough of them to make it viable remains to be seen.

  2. 500 “pages” being roughly one book is pretty vague of them considering ebooks have resizable text viewable on various screen sizes. I imagine it’d be determined independently from those factors, but as far as I can tell they never do define it in any meaningful way, even in the section of their terms devoted to Pages. Perhaps one is supposed to imagine a print book as a point of reference? But there are various sizes of those, too.

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