TED offers iOS customers 15 titles for $1 each

If you’re looking for some light, but still thoughtful, nonfiction to read, TED is temporarily offering its back-catalog — 15 short ebooks — for a flat $15 through its newly launched iOS store (link opens iTunes).

TED is a technology/entertainment/design conference behemoth that over the past two decades has become sort of the Comic-Con of brainy technology types (although one of my favorite TED Talks is actually about puppets). It’s been publishing ebooks for a year and a half now through existing ebook retailers, but the new iOS app, based on the Atavist platform, is its first solo TED-branded ebookstore.

As we’ve come to expect in the ebook marketplace, pricing for TED ebooks is consistent no matter where you shop. Each title in the TED app costs $2.99, the same as the Kindle Single version and the Nook and iBooks versions.

The app brings one big pricing difference, however, via a new exclusive subscription offer. If you agree to a recurring $14.99 fee every three months*, you get access to six new titles spread out over the duration of the subscription period. The model is designed to help fund a more aggressive publishing schedule; although currently there are only 15 TED ebooks, a rep told PaidContent that moving forward, the organization plans on publishing a new title every two weeks.

Anyway, back to my headline. Anyone who subscribes during the next 90 days will gain access to all 15 current titles in TED’s catalog. It would cost $45 to buy them individually,so it’s really a great deal if the material interests you.

A word of warning, though, to those who usually strip the DRM from their ebook purchases in order to maintain a private library: so far as I can tell the titles will be stuck in the TED app, so this may not work for your needs. Also, a fair number of customers are complaining on the App Store that the latest version is behaving erratically, which may have to do with the wave of attention the app got yesterday when every ebook blog in the universe posted about it. (Not me! Delayed response FTW!) If you run into problems with it, you may want to wait a day or two and try again.

* You can cancel app subscriptions through your iTunes account page.

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