Founded in 2011 by Jill and Ron Tomich, Denver-based Slicebooks is a digital publishing platform that gives publishers the ability to “slice” their titles into smaller chunks and sell them by chapter, or “remix” them and sell them as part of anthologies or digital course packs via www.slicebooks.com. To make it easier for publishers to sell directly to consumers, Slicebooks has recently shifted its focus away from selling titles on its site to developing a retailing app that publishers can customize and embed in their own sites.
The company debuted the new storefront app technology at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. The app gives publishers a number of ways to reach new customers; for example, a publisher can create an affiliate network by partnering with various websites, or it can allow its authors to embed the storefront in their own sites. Publishers can also use the app to sell directly to consumers (including via mobile devices) or offer content from other publishers. Ron Tomich said publishers can easily create their own storefront apps using the Slicebooks site, and the company provides publishers with data about customers who purchase their books using the app. “The app give publishers full control,” Tomich said.
Slicebooks is working with Rowman & Littlefield to create an R&L-branded storefront that will sell content from the publisher’s journals. Jill Tomich said that university presses are using Slicebooks technology to sell direct to consumers, and the company is also working with a number of Asian publishers, including a Chinese company that plans to offer anthologies of digital comics. Overall, Slicebooks sells content from more than 300 publishers through its online store.
Slicebooks prices its services using a subscription plan, with different tiers based on the level of service and the digital tools each publisher requires. The basic (or “independent”) level costs $9 per month and includes one app (with 500 MB of storage), while the “enterprise” level costs $1,000 per month and includes 10 apps (with one terabyte of storage). Publishers pay $20 per month per additional app under both plans. Slicebooks allows publishers to try the platform for free for 14 days.
“We shifted our focus to creating tools that help publishers sell their remixed content,” Jill Tomich said. “This is our new focus and our business is growing.”