[bksvol-discuss] Re: To Strip Or Not To Strip

  • From: Mike Pietruk <pietruk@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2005 18:29:49 -0400 (EDT)


Read BookShare's business plan as published in 2003.  Do a Google search 
and you'll find it.

BookShare, while it is under the auspices of Benetech, is a business.  As 
a business, it seeks customers and hopefully will get them to renew year 
after year.
That's how, in part, it hopefully hits its membership targets and, in the 
raises cash to pay its bills, hire staff, grow, improve its software, and 
all the rest.
To gain and keep those customers, it has to provide services people will 
pay for; and to get people to pay for them, 
those services it has to be in the forms folks want them.
And the more those services meet expectations, not only do you gain 
additional paying customers, you might be able to raise rates to boot.

My point is this:  Benetech and BookShare has a vested interest, and far 
great bargaining and lobbying potential, to convince a vendor to provide 
added support for their products.
Moreover, they have to provide whatever source code, linkings, and 
whatever technically is required so that these 3rd parties can get their 
software to properly handshake.

Sure, I can drop a note to Kurzweil, Freedom Scientific, et al; but the 
companies working together have a far greater chance of putting something 
together, including marketing agreements, 
that ultimately can lead to something.

And making suggestions, Gerald, isn't complaining.  It's thinking about 
what one uses and trying to figure out how to possibly improve it.

And as a Bookshare customer, the more valuable the end product, the more 
willing I am to pay higher prices which potentially adds to the Bookshare 
income stream.

Incidentally, one of the interesting nuggets gleamed from this business 
plan is a hope of eventually being able to partner with publishers and 
sell etexts to customers via the web.
This, if it can be brought about, has great benefits for customers as they 
would have publisher quality books for the download and provide BookShare 
a new income stream as they'd pocket a portion of the sales price as 

I didn't realize this when writing earlier today; but Jim Fruchterman and 
I see much the same possibility at some distant point down the road.

As an end user, it matters little to me if the book sharing, borrowing, 
purchasing and the like comes from Bookshare or someone else.  What 
matters, as a customer, is that it exists; and if it is available from 
multiple sources, all the better.

Incidentally, in its business plan which in part is targeted at potential 
donors, it is argued that there are major barriers to entry by 
Not truly understanding the costs of establishing and operating a file 
sharing system, and that is what BookShare in essence currently resembles,
I have no idea if this blowing smoke or reality.
What I do know is that if BookShare was able to support a budget 
equivalent to RFB&D, 
the end results would far outstrip RFB&D's book production and 

Getting back to the original point of Bookshare working with 3rd vendors 
such as Kurzweil or Freedom Scientific, one of the possibilities would be 
having books distributed in .kes or .ark as part of the daisy bundle.
So what would that mean to either Freedom Scientific or Kurzweil, as an 
example, it would give them a new marketing tool for which Bookshare would 
receive in return some sort of financial benefit.
I cannot arrange that kind of thing; the companies working together can 
and, who knows, maybe they have tried and will try again.

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