"Pay As You Read eBooks" or "Subversive Chinese Communist Plot?"

I received an e-mail from a site called Bookmato.com, a platform for selling eBooks. It offers a pay-as-you-read model for eBooks. You can charge by the chapter.

It's an interesting concept, although I don't know if I trust the site. The About Us verbiage has the tone of a Chinese to English translation, a la cheap toaster instructions. So do the book descriptions. Odd.

Here's the e-mail I received that explains the website.


Bookmato is a new e-bookstore that hopes to include your work on our website.

Bookmato is a different e-bookstore that is targeting the young generation with a better online reading and purchasing system.

* A user-friendly, hassle-free platform to sell your books online. With our focus on convenience for both authors and readers, you’ll find that this is not just another eBookstore.

* Bookmato allows your readers to read a number (chosen by you) of free chapters at beginning online directly. And of course, you set your own price for the rest.

* Your readers can bookmark your book in case it is not finished, has a sequel or they didn't finish reading it. They can also vote, rate and discuss your book with other readers.

* Your readers can use our pay-as-you-read purchase system. The pay-as-you-read system allows readers to purchase your work on chapter basis. In this way, your book will obtain more purchases because some buyers that only want to read a few chapters will actually buy those few chapters.

* Your readers can read online and download html, epub, pdf, text and other formats that can cover most reading platforms.

* Your readers will have the best online reading experience. Our online reading system is an upgrade to the current page by page system. We offer your readers many shortcuts for convenient navigation including a Table of Contents that is linked to each chapter, and links at each chapter heading which track back to the Table of Contents. In addition to that, what your readers can view on one webpage is not limited by the artificial 'book page', which can hinder the online reading experience. In this way, your books will attract more readers from the younger generation who seek out conveniences like these and are most accustomed to the online purchase system.

* This is a bookstore that fits your needs. We offer you an easy, safe and fast way to upload and make changes. You can set prices for purchases or post your books free for others to read and give suggestions. If you have any suggestions, requirements, or recommendations, just tell us and we will make it happen.

We saw your works on Smashwords, and we are planning to negotiate with smashwords so that the books posted there can be sold on our website. However, we believe it is
better to talk to the authors first, so that you can save the percentage charged by smashwords.

In order to post your work, please register here at


Our pricing system contains basically 3 points:

1.      author posting/publishing cost no money

2.      reader purchase on chapter basis, you get 80%, we get 20%

3.      you can set the chapters to be free or non-free

So we hope you can put your work on Bookmato to allow more audience to read them. In addition, if you don't
have time to do the posting, just send us an e-mail about your situation so that we can help you post it.

To take a look around our website, please go to here


If you have any problem or question, please reply this e-mail.

Davis Chen


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I've heard of this sort of thing. It's apparently big in Asia, where people often read on their cell phones and similar devices. You would probably need to do some checking online to see if these are people you want to work with or if there are warnings up about them. If you can't find any information about them, they may be new, so you may want to wait a bit to see if other people report problems with them.
I haven't heard of the site but I have heard of this. A self-published author was talking about it about a month ago. He was gonna charge folks to read as they go. I doubt he'll have much success. LOL!

Best Wishes!

I tend to agree with the comment by Dan Coleman.You'd be better off consolidating on your own site. This year I'm experimenting with e-books as paid downloads  from my own site, but only earlier proven titles. Loved the term non-free in the blurb. I assume this means you pay.
I'm old-fashioned. I still think that you need a big mainstream publisher behind you to get your book prominently into bookshops, and to get the marketing and publicity spend you need. That may well change one of these days, but it hasn't done so yet ... and never trust a site that sounds like a Chinese toaster.


What's the advantage? I suppose if you start a crappy book you get off cheaper? I thought chapter samples did this already. Heck, the price of an ebook is already a race to the bottom on pricing to begin with. I think all the information I've seen says $3 is the sweet spot with $5 being the upper range for pricing on an ebook with substantial sales (+500 per month). I paid $5 for Larson's Dragon Tattoo for my Kindle. I think I paid more than $3 to get into the last freak show at the state fair knowing full well I was getting duped the whole time, and loving every minute of it.

The email says you can save the smashwords percentage charge (Authors and publishers earn 85% or more of the net proceeds from the sale of their works on smashwords) then he says authors get 80% and they get 20% at bookmato. It looks to me as if smashwords pays more. 

Smashwords is good.

A commercial publisher offers about 25% on ebooks - and that's typically with a proviso that either party can renegotiate in 2 years if the market has changed.


If a self-publishing type firm offers a vastly higher percentage, that might look like a better deal ... but only because the firm isn't investing its own resources into marketing and sales. Nearly all authors will be better off by seeking the strongest possible distribution, and by taking whatever percentage accompanies that. The thing is to grab an audience.

I totally agree, a commercial publisher is better, but I was commenting on the email claiming better percentages when in fact, they weren't :)


Smashwords has good distribution, it hits most of the main ebook sellers, but the way you are forced to format your MS is not good. 


really? only 25%


25 % is extremely low. Kindle pays 70 % and their promotion is probably a hell of lot better than that of the big publishers (at least for those authors who aren't bestsellers). My guess is (from what I've seen in what they've said) that any promotion is probably tied to the print version and that there is no separate promotion for the electronic book.  Certainly nothing that accounts for the difference in royalties.


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