Glose is a brand new take on ebook reading for phones and tablets. Yet, until today, one thing was crucially missing — Android support. Today, the company is launching its app on Android phones and tablets. It is also adding free book excerpts for its entire catalog.
“Things are going well,” co-founder and CEO Nicolas Princen told me. “We basically doubled our catalog, our user base is constantly growing. We started with four big publishers, and today we have around 600 publishers.”
As a reminder, reading a book on Glose is nothing like reading a book in the Kindle or Oyster apps. Glose is a collective experiment — you can discuss quotes with your friends and see your friend’s annotations as inline comments. In other words, you get an augmented edition of your books.
Non-fiction books can greatly benefit from these features, and a few university teachers are already trying the app with their students. Glose’s social angle is also the reason why the company had to be careful with free book excerpts. In the Kindle Store, excerpts are usually very short and are separate files. If you download an excerpt and annotate a few things, not only you will have to purchase and download the whole book, interrupting your reading session, but you will also lose your existing annotations.
“We are launching the biggest freemium offer on the book market,” co-founder and CEO Nicolas Princen told me. “We will let you read the first 10 percent of any book for free. We are different from Amazon as you only download a single file. You can download an excerpt and do everything you would do in Glose, and you will keep everything.”
With this new feature, the startup wants to boost usage numbers, book discovery and retention. Book lists are quite popular on Glose as well, and the free excerpts will help you get a sense of all the books in a list for free. You can find lists, such as “The Entrepreneur’s Toolkit”, “Books about the Future”, and reading lists from Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg’s book club.
There is still a long road ahead for the company as launching an ebook store is a very competitive endeavor. It’s hard to remain competitive with tech giants like Apple and Amazon when it comes to price and catalog. Glose is betting on its feature set and book extras. In the long run, the company wants you to buy books on Glose to get the commentary tracks. It’s an ambitious yet tempting bet.