Bublish was my neighbor this year at the Book Expo of America 2015 start-up challenge where we were both invited to attend. I’m learning there are a lot of different ways to promote your book and I liked their model. Check out the interview below with their CEO and founder Kathy Meis.
Jennifer Bowen: We met at the BEA 2015 start-up challenge. How was that experience for you?
Kathy Meis: The BEA 2015 Startup Challenge was exciting. The team at Bublish enjoyed interacting with so many authors and having to meet, in person, many of the authors on the Bublish platform. We also made some amazing new connections, which have resulted in some exciting new partnerships and opportunities for our company.
JB: Please explain your role at Bublish and how the company got started.
KM: I am the founder and CEO of Bublish. I’ve worked in media and publishing for more than 20 years, and have had the honor of launching new editorial brands for companies like Forbes. With the explosion of digital content and a book browsing and shopping experience that has moved online, I saw the need for innovative tools to help authors reach their readers and strengthen their author brand. The result of exploring these needs was Bublish.
JB: How can Bublish help authors?
KM: Bublish is the world’s first complete, cloud-based publishing platform with integrated metrics, brand-building and discoverability features. We empower “authorpreneurs” with the tools they need to write, promote, sell and track their work. We help help authors reach their target audience with “book bubbles”.
JB: Explain further the book bubbles which I see on Twitter a lot.
KM: A book bubble is like a directors’ cut for books. Not only do bubbles make it easy for authors to share excerpts from their work, but they allow them to use their “voice” to enrich the excerpts with the “stories behind their stories.” We call this part of the bubble the Author Insight. It’s a place where authors can share their inspirations, their struggles, their highs and their lows with readers. Storytelling is a powerful engagement tool used by the most powerful brands in the world to connect with their target audience.
The bubbles are designed to showcase the author’s work in a highly visual way, with an image of the author and the book’s cover. We add all the calls to action, so readers who encounter book bubbles on social media can enjoy a “micro-browsing” experience right in their social streams on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and then go directly to the book’s product page at any of the major online retailers to make a purchase. There are about 50,000 book bubble engagements each week and thousands of conversions.
Readers can share the bubbles they like with their followers or “follow” an author on Bublish and begin receiving new bubbles from that author in their inbox. We even have “rough cut” bubbles that can be shared right from an author’s manuscript, helping to generate buzz before a book is finished, and capture pre-orders for that book when an author is ready.
The other cool thing about book bubbles is that we can track engagement. Authors can view real-time metrics on their dashboard that show them when and where readers are engaging with their content and which retailer they’re going to after browsing a bubble. It’s a simple straightforward way for authors to see what a marketing funnel looks like without having to understand marketing at all. This is a book bubble from bestselling author Christine Nolfi on https://www.bublish.com/
To take a closer look: http://bit.ly/1Nl30SL
JB: What’s the price point for Bublish and how does it work nuts and bolts wise?
KM: Bublish is a subscription-based service. Authors can sign up for our “Authorpreneur Dashboard” for $9.99/month or $99/year. There’s a 30-day free trial with no credit card required. Authors create a social profile and either upload their books or sample versions of their books in the ePub format. (No one but the author has access to the entire book. Readers only see the bubbles the author creates and shares.) OR start writing their book on Bublish in our ePub Creator. They can change the layout of their eBook with a single click and export a book for digital distribution when they’re ready. Everything we do at Bublish is designed to give authors control while saving them time, money and headaches.
JB: At what stage would an author look to work with Bublish?
KM: We have tools for every stage of an author’s careers — first time authors can use our ePub Creator to generate a beautiful ePub with a single click, and use “rough cut” bubbles to grow an audience while they’re writing. We have many indie and traditionally published authors on the platform. Some are promoting their first book, while others are best-selling authors with many books. Bublish is designed to grow with an author, and allows them to manage everything from a single dashboard.
JB: Are you helpful for an author who is also being traditionally published?
KM: Yes, we work with many traditionally published authors. All authors have to work on building their audience these days. We also see a lot of our traditionally published authors buying back the rights to their back list and then relaunching them and finding new audiences for them through Bublish.
JB: What’s your advice to authors in how to best promote their work and differentiate themselves?
KM: I always say that the best promotion is a great book. Authors who take the time to learn about their audience and what they’re looking for in a reading experience have a distinct advantage in today’s crowded online book marketplace. If you know your readers and how to engage them, you can break through the noise…and there’s a lot of noise! It’s better to speak authentically to a small group of readers and get to know them, than to try to chat superficially with everyone on social media. Find your true audience and build a genuine fan base from there. As Seth Godin says, find your tribe and nurture them. Include them in your journey as a writer. It not only will ultimately make your more successful, but it will make the journeymuch more enjoyable.
BookHive Corp. offers beta reader editorial research for authors. Enjoy the coupon code BUZZ for $100 off! https://www.bookhivecorp.com
Jennifer Bowen, QueenBee/CEO, of BookHive Corp.