SelfMadeHero is set to become the first book publisher to sell an ebook through BitTorrent Bundle. Ricky Rouse Has A Gun, a graphic novel by Jörg Tittel and John Aggs, will be released through BitTorrent Bundle’s new Paygate Premium Content Bundle scheme, which was trialled last September with the release of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s new album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. Yorke’s Bundle has been downloaded 4.5M times.
This pioneering digital release follows the creation of a promotional Ricky Rouse Has A Gun BitTorrent Bundle in April 2014. The first BitTorrent Bundle to be created by a book publisher, it enabled readers to download the first 33 pages from the graphic novel in DRM-free format and also premiered a music video featuring an original track from UNKLE’s James Lavelle. To date, the Ricky Rouse Has A Gun (preview) BitTorrent Bundle has been downloaded over 245,000 times.
Ricky Rouse Has A Gun, which has been described by more than one reviewer as ‘Die Hard in Disneyland’, tells the story of a US army deserter who fights a group of neocon terrorists in a knock-off theme park near Shanghai. Author Jörg Tittel says of the book, “Ricky Rouse is a blatant ripoff of everything I loved about movies and comics growing up: an action-packed story full of feeling and even more laughs. I’m thrilled to be able to bring it to new audiences. Sure, at such a low price, now it’s me who’s getting ripped off, but I probably deserve it.”
SelfMadeHero’s Sam Humphrey says, “BitTorrent Bundle is offering a new and flexible way to offer digital graphic novels directly to our readers. The platform gives us control over the price and allows us to learn who our readers are and how to reach them. We can offer free content and digital giveaways and offer up digital books in an unrestricted format. It also allows us to avoid costly per-MB delivery charges – a big issue for graphic novel publishers today.”
BitTorrent’s Chief Content Officer Matt Mason, who appeared alongside Jörg Tittel in a panel at last year’s London Book Fair, says: “We are huge fans of Ricky Rouse and so were BitTorrent users – we’re thrilled the full book will be available for sale on the Bundle platform. Bundle was built for creative people who push boundaries, and there are no better examples than Jörg, John and the team at SelfMadeHero.”
In addition to the paperback edition, available from all leading retailers, an enhanced ebook edition of Ricky Rouse Has A Gun featuring additional artwork, sketches and audio commentary has also been made available through the SEQUENTIAL iPad app ($9.99).