BookBaby Expands Focus to Publishers, Offering D2C Tools
And we will probably modify this as we go along. We're the type of company that wants to try a minimal, viable product and we listen, we research, we tinker, we show it to a few people, and then we are ready to announce to the world. We decided that BEA is the perfect stage to let everyone in on this at the same time.
Why ramp up your services to publishers now?
I think a lot of publishers have recognized in the last couple of years that they need to have a direct link to customers. They need to go beyond just talking to bookstores and distributors. A lot of our business is acting as a distributor to get them into Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but we also launched BookShop three months ago. This gives authors their own, gated page on our site to sell their books, and we have seen some success stories already.
I think this reflects what publishers are thinking. They've long ignored their end user and BookBaby is one of many solutions out there that can help them have that direct contact with users. They could go direct themselves, but it is difficult to set up those types of databases and get that reach that they need. The alternative is to use services like BookBaby, which really gives the authors the tools they need to promote their works.
How else can publishers benefit using BookBaby?
There is one theme that we are also going to talk about at BEA. There is a feeling out there that Amazon is the end all and be all of book sales. I did a presentation a couple weeks ago and asked, "What percentage of our sales do you think are from Amazon? 80%? 90%?" It's actually 60%. The other bookstores-iBookStore, Barnes & Noble-make up 30% and are growing.