Booklaunch: Solving Book Marketing One Website at a Time
Booklaunch wants to streamline the online book marketing process. "We see a future where you can enter your ISBN and click one button and you'll have a beautiful website, an automated social campaign, press releases sent, ad campaigns enabled, drip email being sent, and a massive network to tap in to," says CJ Alvarado, co-founder of Booklaunch. While the startup isn't there yet, it has created a number of tools for authors and publishers to quickly create book websites that increase book visibility, capture leads, integrate with social, and play well with mobile devices. The goal is to allow publishers to be more nimble in their marketing efforts and create a central online hub for all of their titles. Here Alvarado shares how Booklaunch is boosting book discoverability and his plans for future expansion.
What problem are you solving?
We're on a mission to make book marketing effortless. Step one in our mission is to help publishers and authors create that central online presence through a dedicated website, giving readers a single place to go to find their book. We've partnered with marketers, developers, designers and authors to create a powerful tool for our customers.
The fact is that readers discover books through many different channels and there are a few really important things publishers and authors need to consider when creating a website:
- Is your site optimized for mobile and fully responsive to any size screen?
- Is your site focused on your book and your book alone? (Don't clutter things up with a lot of content and distraction)
- Is your site helping move readers from "browse" to "purchase" mode. (Not everyone wants to be taken to Amazon to purchase immediately. Does your site provide a compelling story to get people ready and wanting to purchase?)
- Is your site's metadata set correctly, optimized for Twitter Cards and Facebook Open Graph, and properly set to be scraped for SEO?
- Is your site maximized for social engagement and sharing?
- Are you capturing all your leads and building your email list?
There are a million things that go in to a website, and most authors and publishers don't know where to begin, let alone how to optimize or maximize. That's where we come in.
How did you come up with this idea?
We've been working with authors and publishers for a few years and saw that every time a new book was getting ready for a big launch they scrambled, pulled their hair out, over paid, and overall spent way to much time and energy building a website for the book. We saw a trend moving away from big multi-page sites that needed to have lots of functionality to simple, single-page sites that brought focus, simplicity, and mobile optimization.
What are the most important trends in publishing?
The big trends we're focused on are discovery and automation.
Discovery: It's incredibly difficult to get a new book in front of the right audience. We want to help try and bring more qualified readers to each of our customers.
Automation: When you launch a book there is a long checklist of to-dos that you have to go through to ensure a successful launch. With technology we know these things can be streamlined and automated. We see a future where you can enter your ISBN and click one button and you'll have a beautiful website, an automated social campaign, press releases sent, ad campaigns enabled, drip email being sent, and a massive network to tap in to.
Who is your competition?
We compete with a number of other web tools and services ranging from landing page tools like Unbounce and Leadpages, to website builders like Squarespace and Weebly, to platforms like WordPress or Blogger, all the way down to local web development companies.
We're really focused on three things in the short to mid term:
- Continue to improve and expand our core product, creating the easiest way to build a single-page website for your book. We'll be adding new sections for pages, improving options and customization, and adding more integrations.
- Helping to drive traffic to your Booklaunch site. We're currently beta testing Search, Profiles, Discovery, and Recommendations. These are four huge features that will bring new visitors to your books website.
- Exploring others areas in book marketing. We want to continue to create new features and products so that we can solve the many pain points associated with book marketing.