Online publishing platform The Pigeonhole is launching its first "disappearing book" with new Scandi crime thriller Victim Without a Face by Stefan Ahnhem (Head of Zeus).
Subscribers will be sent one "stave" every day starting from 18th April which will consist of a few chapters. Readers will then have just 24 hours to read each stave before it disappears. The Pigeonhole will be giving away the first 250 subscriptions for free.
The novel follows criminal investigator Fabian Risk who is asked to investigate the brutal murder of one of his former classmates. Soon the bodies of more classmates are found, and Risk finds himself in a race against time to find the murderer before the entire class is killed.
My only question about this promotion is whether my payment will return at the same rate that the ebook vanishes. I don't do ebook rentals, so if the plan involves me losing access then it should also involve a refund.
But gimmick aside, The Pigeonhole is perhaps the first example of a good use for intentionally serialized content. It's a book club platform (The Bookseller was wrong to call it an "online publishing platform") which delivers ebooks in small chunks. That is a good way to keep all of the members of a book club reading the same material so that they can discuss the book as they go along.
Assuming, that is, that all members have an iDevice. There's no way to read on the service's website, or on Android, and that limits The Pigeonhole's reach.
But does that really matter? I mean, when we already have Kindle/Goodreads, Facebook, BookLikes, and other social networks, is there really a need for a book club platform that dribbles out the content a couple chapters at a time?
image by infowidget