How to sign an ebook part 5: MyWrite & BookieJar for indies on iPad

More new ebook signing technologies that are primarily directed at independent or self-published writers: MyWrite and BookieJar.

MyWrite is available as a free app on iTunes for use with an iPad or iPhone.  The author enters the customer’s name and email address and then with a stylus, the author signs a blank page (you get to choose the ink color, but that’s the only customization of the page).  The result is a page exactly like a real page signed in real ink.  With a single click, the personalized page is incorporated into the book and the book is sent to the reader.  Slick!

The fine print: Author must have their ebook loaded at MyWrite’s site.  There is an annual fee for this service.  MyWrite “ships” the signed books, but it does not sell the books.  It is the authors’ responsibility to collect payment for any ebooks they sign and request to be sent.

Depending on what the annual service fee is (and I don’t know the answer, the website doesn’t tell), this is probably the ideal ebook signing service for indie authors who have self-published their work.

MyWrite advantages:

  • Author can do signings in person or remotely, creating a signed page using a stylus and an iPad exactly as if signing a real book with a pen
  • Customer gets fully personalized page in author’s own handwriting
  • App automatically incorporates the signed page into the ebook AND automatically puts a link to the signed page in the table of contents
  • Works with both epub and mobi (Kindle non-DRM) ebook formats
  • Customer gets the personalized ebook immediately sent to their email address

MyWrite limitations:

  • MyWrite charges the author an annual fee for this service. The fee is based on per title listed, not per download.  I can’t tell you how much money is involved because you have to contact the company directly for that information.
  • You have to collect the money for the book sale yourself.  With your permission, MyWrite sends the ebook to the email address you enter.  They do not handle any kind of payments.  {For indie authors who have full control of their digital rights and sales, this may be an advantage, not a limitation.}
  • Service is of no use if the reader already owns the book and wants a pre-existing copy signed
  • Traditionally published authors who sold their ebook rights to a publisher will have to persuade their publisher to pay the annual fee and sell through MyWrite.  Don’t know how many will go for this.
  • Author must own an iPad or iPhone

BookieJar is another variation on this theme.  BookieJar is not just a signing service; it’s an ebook publisher that caters to indies.  Authors submit their manuscripts to BookieJar, which can convert doc files to either epub or mobi (the two main ebook formats).  Readers then can buy the books from BookieJar in their preferred format, and download the books to their device (unlike buying from amazon for your Kindle, this is not an automatic thing, you have to transfer to desktop and then connect to Kindle or other device).

Consistent with current industry standards, BookieJar takes a 30% cut of royalties (30/70 split with author).  Note that this is not specifically an ebook signing fee: BookieJar is both publisher and retail distributor of the author’s book.

BookieJar advantages:

  • Signing is done with a stylus or fingertip on a variety of devices, not just an iPad
  • Signature appears in author’s own handwriting
  • Authors can accept signature requests through BookieJar, or they can send a signed book to a friend
  • At a live book event, authors can directly sign their book on the reader’s device (anything with a touch screen)

BookieJar limitations:

  • Readers/customers must have a BookieJar account
  • To pay for a BookieJar book, customer must deposit a minimum of $5 into a BookieJar account, and book price is deducted from that.  So if you want to buy a 99 cent ebook, you are stuck leaving another $4 in your account until you find something else to buy.

Ebook signing technology series:
Part 1: KindlegraphPart 2: AutographyPart 3: iDolVine; Part 4: Nook Color; Part 5: MyWrite

How will I sign my ebook PETROPLAGUE, a science thriller in which oil-eating bacteria turn all the gas in L.A. into vinegar?
Kindlegraph & Autography.  See trailer at right.

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