A press release came across my desk this morning, and while I hesitate to promote one before there's real public feedback, this new service could be interesting.
There's a company called reKiosk, and they're launching a digital storefront service next month. According to the press release the service is in private beta today, and it is scheduled to open to the public in mid August.
reKiosk isn't quite offering any of the services I'm used to, so a little background may be in order. When it comes to selling ebooks I'm sure you know that there are a range of options for authors to choose from, with some offering more services (and charging more money) all the way down the line to no-frill ebook distributors (who pay a larger share).
If you look at it as a spectrum, at one end would be Bookbaby and Smashwords (they take a slightly larger share and distribute widely), with Pubit and KDP coming close afterward, and way down at the other end of the spectrum are sites like Gumroad, who do little more than process the payment and dispense the file (and pay a higher rate).
I'm pointing out the spectrum of sales options because I needed to describe it to myself in order to understand where reKiosk fits on it. They don't, but that's only because they offer several different services.
If you sell your own content, reKiosk will build you a digital storefront for you to run and they will pay you 95% of sales. But if you just want to sell content, you can also stock your digital storefront with (legal) music and ebooks from reKiosk's partners. You as the seller will earn 25%, the partner will get 70%, and reKiosk will keep 5% of the sale price. You can also sign up to have your stuff sold and you'll get 70%.
According to the press release, reKiosk already has a number of partners lined up, including Grove Atlantic, O/R Books, and Pledge Music. The service that reKiosk is pitching isn't just for ebooks; it looks to be open to selling any type of digital content, though the press release focuses on just music and ebooks.
There are also some sellers already signed up, andposted a screenshot of their storefront:
The background isn't easy to see, but I think the design is both simple and pleasant. And that is a lot of the reason why reKiosk has my attention. They're offering authors a tasteful place to sell ebooks and get the vast majority of the money, and the combination should be quite attractive.
But I'm still waiting to see how well it actually works out. I don't know yet if all the bugs are worked out of the process, so I'm not sure I want to encourage anyone to jump in with both feet. And there are also a number of unanswered questions, including the ebook formats sold, DRM, and other technical details.
Still, it is worth a look.