Libreture Will Host Your eBook Library Online for £3 per Month
eBook users have any number of options for keeping their libraries in the cloud, including Dropbox and other cloud storage services.
Niche cloud storage services are still relatively rare, however, but one did cross my desk this week.
Launched in April of this year, Libreture is the work of Kevin Beynon. Its website describes it as:
Specially designed to support DRM-free e-books, Libreture keeps your books safe, lets you organise them into reading lists, and download them directly to your reading device whenever you like.
You can keep track of where you bought each book, and share that information with others.
- Upload and automatically catalogue all your DRM-free e-books.
- Organise your library into handy reading lists.
- Share your reading lists to help others find DRM-free books.
- Explore other users' libraries to widen your horizons.
- Download your next To Be Read to any device.
Libreture costs £3 a month, making it a cheaper alternative to its larger and less focused competitors.
It looks like this could be a great option for those who want their ebook library in the cloud but lack the inclination or skill to DIY, but I don’t know that I can recommend it.
The thing about these niche online services – particularly ebook storage services – is that they tend not to last. I can think of at least 4 similar services that launched in the past five years, and I have written about two of them.
None of them are still in operation.
Clearly this is not a niche with a future.
Henry Wood July 13, 2017 um 1:40 am
I may give this one a go, at least for 6 months as it is advertising half price for signing up in the next two days. I very much want to catalogue my collection but it is so vast that I haven’t the willpower to start.
At the moment, all my books are just added to my Calibre library with copies of that backed up to a WD drive, a thumb drive and a cloud account.
Thanks for the heads up.
Michael July 13, 2017 um 11:34 am
Looks pretty nice, but I’d definitely like to see an option to sync with major cloud storage providers. That would mitigate one of my biggest concerns about the long-term prospects of these kinds of services. I would never put all my eggs in one basket, but some would, perhaps unaware of all the various stores and services that have gone belly up with very little warning and time to download one’s library.
I don’t see any information about metadata support apart from indicating where you bought a book. If they recognize Calibre’s OPF files and use those, that’d be a nice plus.
Nate Hoffelder July 13, 2017 um 12:34 pm
Now that you mention it, I’d pay $3 a month for the service that gave me a front end for my ebook library stored in Dropbox or another cloud service.
I have more cloud storage than i need, but I would still pay for really useful management software.
Kevin Beynon July 13, 2017 um 12:40 pm
Hang on! I’m just writing that down…
Mags July 13, 2017 um 12:04 pm
I’m using Libreture at the moment – just started my subscription last month. So far, so good. I have a personal hatred of Dropbox and Google Drive, and my Calibre library is toast from changing my computer 4 times in 4 years (books everywhere and never where I expect them to be!) so Libreture keeps my books in an easy to reach place without having to deal with those issues. One thing I really like: my books look smashing with all their covers (I only used to see them when I bought them) so finally e-books feel like real books again 🙂
Kevin Beynon July 13, 2017 um 12:11 pm
Thanks for the great article, Nate. Libreture has had some nice attention since Day Against DRM and this is the cherry on top.
You’re right to be concerned about long-term sustainability, in any product. It’s what made me build Libreture in the first place. I had a Shelfari account until Amazon bought it, then moved to Goodreads… and yeah. I’d watched others go under, as you’ve mentioned.
I financed the build from savings and it’s modelled to be self-sustaining. The subscription fee covers each user’s storage costs, as well as any heavy users, plus hosting and profit.
The Roadmap (https://www.libreture.com/page/roadmap/) shows what I’m working on. OPDS feed syncing is on there for FBreader users and other 3rd party apps.
And, for Michael, at the moment we record and display: title, author, cover image, and ISBN. But I’m working on an accurate breakdown of the 'contributor' and 'subject' properties as well as anything else users consider useful. If it’s in the e-book OPF, and it’s useful to a reasonable number of users, let’s extract and use it.
The goal is to be what would happen if Goodreads and Dropbox had a DRM-free baby.
If you do decide to try it out, feel free to get in touch and feed back ([email protected]).
Thanks again for taking a look at Libreture.
Michael July 13, 2017 um 1:23 pm
Sounds great, Kevin. The reason I specifically mentioned Calibre’s OPF file is that it’s separate from the e-books internal OPF and can contain metadata that goes beyond what’s found in the book itself. Since many people use Calibre for personal library management it can include a variety of things, with some of the more useful being tags and star ratings added by the user. I’d encourage you to look into it and see if any of the information present would be useful for a number of people. Just be certain only to read from the file not write to it. Also the use-case of Calibre users syncing their library to cloud storage is very common, so if you add some integration options to your service you can pull their whole library, including the extra metadata, with almost no effort on the part of the user. I’d personally love to have a great web front-end to my Calibre library and would happily pay a monthly subscription for that.
Glad to see you’ll be working on OPDS support! And I hope you’re able to find DRM-free retailers willing to provide an Add to Libreture button. Assuming I become a dedicated user, I’d particular love to see that option in Smashwords.
Kevin Beynon July 13, 2017 um 5:14 pm
Ah, thanks for clarifying the Calibre OPF use case for me Michael. I’ll need to look into it a bit more, but it makes sense and I’ve added a rough entry for it in the Roadmap. I couldn’t get with Calibre as a desktop application for managing my library, but use it a lot for conversion.
I’ve already discussed some items with Mark Coker of Smashwords and I’m afraid the 'Upload to Libreture' button is off the cards due to the fact that they are using the library (properly) to cross sell books. Taking users away from that wouldn’t fit their model. Which is definitely the right approach and I’m really glad they get the importance of using their library for that – it bodes well.
Next on my list to pester are Weightless books and DriveThru fiction. They already provide ways of transferring books to other locations/devices, and don’t cross-sell from their libraries.
I’m conscious that we’re using Nate’s comment feed for a discussion like this, so feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] or @libreture on Twitter. I’m more than happy to discuss further. But thanks very much for engaging and supporting with suggestions for what you’d like to see.
BookFusion Hosts Your eBook Library Online | The Digital Reader March 15, 2018 um 10:24 am
[…] Amazon, Google, and a couple other companies give you free online storage for your personal ebooks and let you read the ebooks in their apps/ereaders. (Another, Libreture, charges 3 pounds per month.) […]