BookShout! Simplifies Direct Sales for Publishers and Authors Alike
In the midst of an industry exploring direct-to-consumer sales, stronger publisher brands, and deeper reader relationships, BookShout! is uniquely poised to assist publishers as they evolve into consumer-facing companies. The direct-to-consumer ebook platform helps over 2,000 publishers and authors sell their books direct across a variety of devices and channels and tracks valuable readership data after the sale. Following founder and CEO Jason Illian explains what makes BookShout! stand out in a market saturated with ecommerce solutions.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Simple -- to allow any website or e-retailer to sell ebooks while giving readers a fresh, enjoyable reading experience.
Founded four years ago and backed by Ingram Content Group, BookShout! offers partners a viable alternative to traditional retail programs. We make it easy for retailers, publishers, authors, and brands to not only sell ebooks but to also gather key data, build their audience, and increase revenue -- of which they have been unable to do to date. Our service and technology offers a myriad of options including gift cards, text-to-buy, and more.
Our technology works on all the latest devices including iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD/HD+ and the web. We report to the New York Times bestsellers list, and we've built state-of-the-art DRM (digital rights management) to protect our partners' content. Most importantly, we work hard to remove unnecessary and time consuming steps to allow readers to be inside the ebook with just a few simple steps, either from a computer or mobile device.
What was your inspiration?
I was visiting my folks in Wyoming and reading on the first generation e-reader. As I read, I couldn't help but think there had to be more to this -- more to what digital books could be. I believed -- and still believe -- that we are redefining what a "book" is and are learning how people want to engage with it. Unfortunately, we can't just ask people what they want because they don't know. Henry Ford, the inventor of the Model T car, said, "If I just asked people what they want, they would say a faster horse."
When we started, we had no idea where we were going or how this whole thing was going to work, but we knew we wanted to land in a place that would serve everyone equally well. We were searching for a better way to interact with digital content. Even though we have made great strides and have built a solid platform, we continue to refine, test, and optimize with our partners. We believe there is always room for improvement.
Who is your competition?
Some people have asked if we consider Amazon our competition. The answer: no. Nobody should ever try to out-Amazon Amazon, and that's never been our goal. They are good at what they do, and they have built a solid centralized store.
Our goal, on the other hand, is to de-centralize ebook buying and allow readers to buy books from websites, corporations, and e-retailers all over the world. With our innovative technology and thousands of publishing partners, we can provide one of the most comprehensive end-to-end solution available -- one that empowers content providers and authors to control their own future. And while there are existing businesses that offer components of our functionality, there's not one single organization that has put it all together in a user-friendly way with analytics and data provided to partner. We have carved out a unique, but large and growing, niche.
We plan to continue serving our partners, growing our platform, and innovating. In the upcoming months, you'll see a number of announcements on new ventures, partnerships, and opportunities.