Business as Unusual
Technological disruption in the publishing industry has opened up the doors to innovation. Here, four paradigm-busting startups share their insight on reinventing book publishing and finding new opportunities.
Evan Ratliff Co-Founder, Atavist
Atavist is a long-form digital publishing and publishing software company.
We try to be everywhere. We created our software to allow us and our clients to produce books that would appear everywhere. We want to be in the Kindle Singles store, the Nook Apps store, all the retailers. We do audio books, and we also do multimedia. We're really trying to say, "Wherever the reader and however the reader wants to consume this particular story, we want to be there to give them an opportunity to do that." And I think the same is true on the software side.
Nic Esposito Founder, The Head & the Hand Press
The Head & the Hand Press is a community-based book publishing company and coworking space serving Philadelphia writers.
We modeled our program after community-supported agriculture because I have a farming background. So we created a thing called community-supported publishing. It's a way for people to pay $50 at the beginning of the year, and they get boxes of books in October and April. We're trying to create a system where people have a little more investment in it.
Caleb Mason Founder & Publisher, Publerati
Publerati is an ebook publishing start-up exclusively focused on literary fiction and which employs a socially-responsible business model, donating a portion of all sales to the Worldreader Organization.
A Brand & A Cause
The books are all done in a brand like New Directions used to do it years ago, like Penguin still does, so they can be recognized. If people are going to buy these books in part because they know they're doing good and the donation model is going to help spread literacy, they need to be able to recognize the whole collection and not just the individual author's brand.
Ashleigh Gardner Head of Content, Wattpad
Wattpad is a social platform for authors and readers to connect and share stories.
Love Your Superfans
Something that surprises me is not seeing more publishers embracing their super fans. Especially when it comes to fan fiction, we find that most publishers are tolerating it, they know not to squash it, but they should do something innovative and really reward those people that are a street team for publishers. Every story that they’re writing is marketing and building on the brand of that story.
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.