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Greatest ebook idea of the year: LostBookSales.com
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  • November 16, 2010
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From the “why didn’t we all think of this before now” file comes a new site called LostBookSales.com.

I get comments on this blog every day from people who would love to jump on the ebook bandwagon and part with their hard-earned but have either given up or curtailed their spending because of nonsensically restrictive sales and or distribution practices.

My readers’ leading gripes:

1. High price of ebooks (esp. compared to other books)

2. Geo-restrictions on titles

3. DRM

4. Title not available in digital format(s).

The new site (thanks to Eric Goldman and Techdirt for the tip) is an attempt to show publishers the end result of their short-sighted restrictions and pricing. It’s a great idea because the only way consumers are ever going to move publishers and booksellers is by highlighting how they could be making more money.

According to the site, the idea came from by Suze in a comment over at Dear Author on the topic of geographical rights…

If I had the time and computer savvy, I’d set up a lostebooksale.com site where people could submit each book they didn’t buy, and why. After the first three or four hundred stories about “I didn’t buy Book X because it’s not available in my country, so I got a pirate copy”, maybe somebody in publisher with the drive, imagination, and ability could prod the industry into action.

Like all brilliant ideas, the simplicity of this one meant that it was guaranteed to see the light of day eventually. Apparently Jane of Dear Author soon bought the domain name and set to work. She’s obviously a Law and Order fan too, given the site’s subheading: “Every day an author and a publisher lose a sale. These are the stories why.”

The site has a minimalist design, in a grid layout- like a bunch of Post-its forming a scrolling wall of disappointment. Each is a missed opportunity for an ebook sale – but many suggest an alternative book that doesn’t suffer from the inflated price/DRM/availability problems.

There are already almost 800 lost sales listed.

So if you have a tale of woe over a fruitless search for ebook satisfaction – and I know that many of you have – head to LostBookSales.com and post your gripe. I’ll see you there!

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