Bublish Makes Online Marketing a Natural Part of Publishers’ Workflow
Book marketing is perhaps one of the most upended areas of the publishing industry, thanks to the rise of the internet and digital content. As physical bookstores have shuttered, removing much of the marketing space books once occupied, publishers and authors have had to fight for reader attention online. And that fight for attention is complex, involving new skillsets around search ranking and social media management as well as swaths and swaths of data. Bublish aims to simplify the online marketing process by making it a more natural part of book production, says founder and CEO Kathy Meis. “Our mission at Bublish is to more fully integrate marketing and brand building into publishing workflows, and automate some of the more complex processes around discoverability,” explains Meis. The startup helps clients by providing sharable “book bubbles,” real-time engagement metrics, and automated newsletters. In the following interview Meis describes how the marketing platform was founded and its plans for future expansion.
What problem are you solving?
In today’s disrupted book marketplace, publishers face more competition, new marketing challenges, and tighter profit margins. They need innovative, cost-effective technologies to streamline their workflows, help them understand and maximize their outcomes, and empower their authors. That’s the type of technology we build at Bublish.
Publishers that partner with their authors on marketing and brand building will have a decisive advantage in today’s increasingly B2C marketplace. With Bublish, publishers can empower their authors with technologies that allow them to engage fans in an efficient, effective, and scalable fashion while gathering crucial market data. Our award-winning “book bubble” accomplishes all of these goals. The book bubble shares an excerpt from the book and offers the authors’ insight on writing the book. The reader can share the bubble on social media and purchase the book on the same screen. Here’s a bubble from New York Times bestselling author and co-publisher at Belle Books in Memphis, Tennessee.
The book bubble is just one tool that authors and publishers will find on Bublish. Our rich feature set offers solutions from pre-launch through long tail.
How did you come up with this idea?
I have been in the media and publishing world for more than 25 years. I’ve built editorial brands for traditional media companies such as Forbes. I’ve watched these iconic editorial brands struggle to transition their marketing and branding messages to today’s online, digital, social, and mobile marketplace. The opportunities are enormous, but require publishers to use a new toolkit, experiment with new technologies, and develop a new mindset. Helping authors and publishers navigate this disruption is where my journey began as an entrepreneur. It was the inspiration for Bublish, and it shapes everything we do.
What are some of the most important trends in publishing today?
What I think many publishers miss (amid the chaos of digital disruption) is the transformation of marketing itself, something that impacts every industry. Marketing technology -- characterized by integration, automation, and data capture -- is evolving as a must have for all growth-oriented companies and industries. At Bublish, we’re focused on creating marketing technology specifically for the publishing industry.
Who is your competition?
There are many companies that specialize in pieces of what we have automated and integrated into the Bublish platform -- book designers, formatters, distributors, retailers, social networks, marketing platforms, tracking tools, marketing services, etc. In that sense, we have many competitors. However, there are very few companies that have incorporated all these solutions into one end-to-end workflow. Feature by feature, Bublish is evolving into a one-stop shop for authors and publishers who want to run a more efficient, effective publishing operation.
With an eye on our mission to integrate, automate, and inform, we continue to expand our features and services around marketing, branding, and discoverability. For example, our “follow” feature connects readers with specific authors they like, and sends them author-branded emails whenever that author or publisher creates new content on Bublish. The next phase of that feature will be a one-click newsletter that will allow authors to concentrate on the content while Bublish handles the design and dissemination of those newsletters. We will also continue building APIs with a variety of social networks and channels, expanding into targeted markets through partnerships and the creation of Bublish’s own mobile book browsing app.
Also, as we partner with more publishers, we are working to address their specific needs with new features and tools. We welcome conversations with publishers to help us craft the best tools and services, so please feel free to contact us with your ideas.
As the CEO of a startup in this space, I’m excited about the future of publishing, and about building an innovative platform to increase publishers’ reach, efficiencies and profitability.
Kathy Meis is the founder and CEO of Bublish. With more than 25 years of experience in the media and publishing industries, she has served in a wide variety of editorial and management positions at some of the industry’s leading media companies, including CBS and Forbes, Inc. She is a founding partner of PubSmart, a publishing conference in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as a professional writer, editor, and ghostwriter. Kathy speaks and blogs regularly on the subject of book promotion, author branding, social marketing, and discoverability. She has appeared at many conferences, including Book Expo America, Women in Media, GrubSteet, PubSmart, and IndieRecon.