Launched in 2017, Libreture is an alternative e-book storage service for readers who want the benefits of an online platform, without the dodgy practices of the large retailers.
Owned and run by Kevin Beynon, its goal is to balance the monopolistic platforms of Amazon, Google, and Apple, with a service that is designed NOT to be tied to its own bookshop or e-reader (not vertically-integrated). In effect, supporting independent bookshops, publishers, and self-publishing authors, by providing readers with the same book management tools they would normally only get from big companies.
E-book storage for hardcore readers
Upload your e-books, organise them into reading lists, and discover great new titles with Libreture.
Upload, Organise, Discover
Specially designed for DRM-free e-books, Libreture keeps your books safe, helps you organise them into reading lists, keep track of where you bought them, and download your books to any device whenever you like.
Easy, Convenient, No Fuss
Upload and automatically catalogue all your DRM-free ePub, Mobi and PRC books.
Organise your library into handy reading lists that help you manage your collection.
Share your reading lists to help everyone find great DRM-free bookshops.
Explore other users' libraries to widen your horizons and discover your next favourite book.
Download your next To Be Read to any device, any time.
Private by default, public by choice. Keep your reading activity hidden, or publicly display some or all.
With Libreture, you can store all your DRM-free e-books and download them to any e-reader whenever you want - no more cables!
Libreture is a direct response to the dodgy, monopolistic practices of the large e-book retailers, publishers and distributors.
Why I built Libreture
I'm an avid e-book reader and was once a Kindle-owner. After news of Amazon's UK tax-avoidance broke I decided to boycott them and look for alternative e-bookshops.
Concentrating on bookshops that sold DRM-free e-books, to ensure I could read them on any device, I also wanted to support small and independent publishers and bookshops. With this in mind, I compiled a list of DRM-free bookshops. The list is still growing and is now a key component of Libreture - members record where they bought their DRM-free books, helping others discover new bookshops.
A big part of using Amazon is its book management tools. To avoid these, I began using Shelfari, a library management website. Shelfari was a great tool, but in 2008, the owners sold Shelfari to Amazon. So I moved to Goodreads.
When the owners of Goodreads also sold their business to Amazon in 2013, I had finally had enough. Many others felt the same way.
"What terrible news. Loss of an independent reader community, now another channel for the faceless machine to leech reader data to withhold from suffering publishers & booksellers. If through this account Amazon has a record of my reading habits I will be deleting the account. Very sad."
Laura - 28/03/2013
At that point I began building a stable platform to store my e-books, record my reading activity, and promote DRM-free bookshops and publishers.
I built the first version myself, and for myself. It soon became clear that others may find it useful too. Working with an external development company, we re-built Libreture from scratch.
So far, readers are storing 3,602 e-books with Libreture.
Libreture's monthly fee ensures that keeping your books safe is my top priority.
Libreture doesn't offer a discounted annual rate that only saves money for those that can afford to pay up front. The fee is fixed for everyone and covers the cost of development, infrastructure, unlimited storage for your books, as well as a small profit margin. I believe it's as low as I can go while keeping Libreture sustainable (which means keeping me in tea and biscuits).
A monthly subscription ensures that costs are covered as soon as they happen, such as when a member uploads their book collection. It also gives members the flexibility to cancel whenever you want and only pay for the remainder of the month.
The fee also exists to ensure that you, the customer, are always the most important part of Libreture. No advertising, no selling data, and no sellouts. It's just you, Libreture, and loads and loads of great books.
I believe that tax is the price we pay for a civilised society.
Since I am a sole-trader and Libreture is not a limited company, I cannot become Fair Tax Mark accredited. But I have pledged to follow the guidelines laid down in the Fair Tax Pledge. While not legally binding in any way, I think it's a good indicator of the individual's commitment to comply with the spirit as well as the law when it comes to paying taxes.
More information about the Fair Tax Pledge:
Its aim is to help those people who believe in a fair society and playing by the rules to say so publicly; and in the process, to send a powerful message to those who cheat the system.
It is designed for use by individual citizens and sole traders and produced by the Fair Tax Mark, the organisation behind the label for good taxpaying companies, but is an entirely distinct and separate project.
Data privacy is extremely important to me.
What you read says a lot about you. That's why Libreture user's book collections, or libraries, are private by default. Members must actively choose make their library public before anyone else can see them.
Even if they make their entire library public, members can still lock individual books so they never appear publicly, regardless of their library-wide setting.
Members don't even need to provide their real name when joining Libreture. An avatar is optional and is stored on Libreture. Details are stored in the UK.