Today at ARR, Ron Z., the publisher of RomanceBookCloud shares the story behind his new cloud-based reading service.
My niece Samantha is getting married next month. She is 27 years old. Twenty-five years ago, her parents, my brother and sister in law, discovered that she was allergic to nuts. Being a dutiful and concerned uncle, I went to go buy her a book about nut allergies. But none existed. So I wrote and published it myself.
No Nuts for Me became the seminal picture book about nut allergies and the first of many cause related books I went on to publish. In time my company, Tumbleweed Press, started animating books and soon we created TumbleBookLibrary, the first online collection of animated, talking picture books in the world. It has grown to be not only the first but now the biggest- with 25,000 school and library subscribers in 100 countries around the world.
Now what does this have to do with romance books?
A librarian customer asked if we had any plans to publish romance ebooks. I said I had never thought of it. What made her ask? She said that she couldn’t keep the books on the shelf. That romance readers were by far her biggest readers and they would benefit from our “all you can read” model instead of being restricted to X number of books per month or having to ‘check out’ a down loadable ebook. She then sent me a couple of articles about the popularity of romance books.
I was reminded of the classic line from Godfather 3- “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
Two months later, I had a website, www.RomanceBookCloud.com, and had licensed thousands of titles from amazing romance book publishers like Tule Group, Bold Stroke Books, and Wild Rose Press.
All these publishers produced ebooks in the epub format so I had my tech team to build me a proprietary online epub player just for the project- RomanceReader.
Many librarians from our subscribers are romance book fans and some of them guided us with our book selection and approach. We also spoke to romance experts such as All About Romance and were buoyed to learn than a solid collection of romance books, with new titles each month, at a reasonable price, would be enthusiastically received by the romance book community.