The first and most important thing you need to know about Anthony De Luna is that he’s not here to destroy your books. On the contrary, he loves old-fashioned ink-and-paper books.
Though he admits Filipinos are very much attached to their old-fashioned ink-and-paper books, De Luna is also trying to convince local publishers that the digital revolution is coming, whether they like it or not. “So when we talk to major publishers here we just talk about preparing for it. We don’t ask them to convert now or distribute now. It’s more of our evangelism at this point. That’s why we publish our own (books). If only the publishers do it on their own, we don’t have to publish. But because there is a barrier there, we felt that we had to get it started for the Philippines.”
In November 2011, De Luna launched Flipreads.com, which served as a retailing outlet for their Filipino content. Flipside has now published over 130 local titles, most of them in 2012 alone. Aside from their titles being made available online, the local publishers also get a larger cut of the book’s cover price, getting 70 percent through Flipreads instead of the 35 percent they would get through other outlets.
To get content, Flipside co-published e-books together with local companies, beginning with the University of the Philippines Press. Today, Flipside co-publishes selected e-books from the UP Press, Ateneo de Manila University Press, De La Salle University and the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.