One of the big advantages that Amazon has over other ebook stores is the simple purchase process. When you buy a book, it is automatically sent to your Kindle account, and is available on every device where you have a Kindle app. If you are online the book will even synchronize to the last-read position when you switch between devices. It is all very convenient.
Of course Amazon has put a lot of money into providing a good shopping experience. There’s no way I can replicate that with my own store. But other people are trying to help small business like me compete. Enter Readmill. It is a German company, and their product is a cloud-based reading system that is trying to do for epub what Kindle does for its proprietary format. Currently their reader is only available for iOS devices (iPad and iPhone), but according to this report they are working on an Android app as well. Crucially they have a simple system for sending books direct to your library when you buy them. I have added it to my store.
The Readmill reader for the iPad is really nice. Someone has put a lot of effort into making sure that the books it renders look great. Personally I can’t wait for an Android app because I own a Mark I iPad which is rather too heavy for carrying around everywhere. I do most of my reading on my Google Nexus, and I prefer to use the Kindle app to read on that because the Android reading apps are so bad. Hopefully Readmill will come through with an Android app soon.
There are things that Readmill can’t do. In particular it can’t read books that are locked to a specific reading platform with DRM. But all of the books I sell are DRM-free so you won’t have that problem. As of now I haven’t found a way to download a book from the Readmill library. Of course if you buy a book from me you’ll be able to download a copy when you buy it, as well as sending a copy to Readmill, but an option to back up your Readmill library to local storage would be a good thing to have.
Has anyone out there got any experience of using Readmill? I have had a quick look around the Internet, but any bad things people are saying about Readmill are being drowned out by bad things people are saying about treadmills. Any feedback would be gratefully received.