Starting May 1, 2013, The Bookseller reports, readers can download ebooks for free on Obooko.com. Copy on the site explains: “While many established authors create free ebooks to complement their print sales, more new writers are distributing their work free of charge on ebook download sites like obooko as a first step towards traditional publishing.” The site also gives writers a list of reasons why they should be interested in submitting their work for free download, one of them being, they don’t have to pay any self-publishing costs.
I’m skeptical of the benefit. At present, writers can already make their works available for free digital download; why do it through Obooko? Perhaps the main benefit is the site will likely be working to establish a community on their own and driving clicks to the site through advertising and publicity efforts. If that’s the only plus, writers are better off going through tested sites like Wattpad which spawned the career — and Random House book deal — of teen author Beth Reeks.