The first stage on the way to the online eBook rental and buying service covered the development of the PDF eBook reader app for the text content from a particular publisher. The major objective was to give users an opportunity to get the e-books from the library for their further reading. Lecturers could assign textual materials to their students through the admin panel, and the latter studied the texts using our app. It turned out that our contribution to the students’ studies marked the start of a far more extensive project related to managing PDF content. The overall idea of the eBook service SCAND put into practice was to unite:
- Students who are in constant need of textual materials for studying and taking exams.
- Publishers to provide PDF e-books for purchasing and renting.
- Teachers whose professional competencies allow not only advising right digital copies from the publishers’ collections, but also uploading their own content, e-books and textbooks.
- Printing companies to give students the chance to order paper copies, if needed.
Our customer set a task to save students’ money thanks to the multiple terms of content usage and let publishing agencies get profit from book sales and rentals.
Above all, our mobile development team put a lot of effort into creating a custom DRM system tailored to all client’s needs and considering multiple terms of purchasing or renting the digital content.
Our focus on the app’s UX resulted in utmost convenience at all stages — from selecting proper content (as the users could easily get acquainted with the info on the targeted books and make the right choice) to buying/renting digital copies, working with the text, and ordering paper books. As soon as publishers gave PDF content, we also created PDFly, a mobile e-library solution to render PDF files in terms of the service.
The algorithm of accurate service functioning comprises several compulsory steps:
- A student logs into the mobile app to get the access to the library.
To prevent representatives from other universities from joining the service, the registration procedure implies verifying students’ emails and phone numbers.
- After the registration, students go straight to the book selection.
To purchase or rent a book online, students should scan its QR code via our mobile app beforehand. As they can do it only in the library within the campus, QR code scanning turns out to be one more security check.
Getting the books in the online library related to the local university network is also available, but only for those students who have registered their devices beforehand.
- As soon as the digital book is added, its owner explores the content.
Having an opportunity to copy the paragraphs, share text snippets with other learners, or address the question with the text attached to teachers, a student will fail to upload the book acquired to any third party resources.
- Applying a complex DRM system and using data encryption technologies to prevent any content leakage.
- Publishers and teachers supply the eBook service with the digital content only for reading it via the mobile app.
- The service presupposes different purchase and renting conditions, namely, students can either buy a book ‘perpetuum’ or rent it for a week/month/year. One more feature available is ordering selected chapters from the book. Thus, students are free to create customized books for their theses or term papers.
- Provided the book doesn’t suit the student’s requirements, he/she can return it over a 10-day period and get the money back.
- Ordering paper books via the mobile app is available if students want a printed copy of the e-book.
- As for the content, the mobile app offers students the possibility of taking notes, free-hand drawing, or sharing the abstracts with their fellow students and teachers.
The eBook Reader mobile app lets students buy or rent books on different terms.
Choosing, getting, and exploring digital content with our eBook reader becomes convenient and pretty affordable for students. Meanwhile, publishers share their book collections with the eBook service, and all their digital content is effectively protected from illegal distribution.