Are you an indie author struggling to raise your book’s visibility? Bublish provides an avenue I highly recommend. The program is incredibly affordable, easy to use, and targets readers effectively across publishing platforms.
Two years ago, I had the luck of meeting fellow Charlestonian and Bublish founder and CEO Kathy Meis at PubSmart, which was recently renamed PubSense Summit. Since then, we’ve developed a lovely friendship that involves lively lunch dates and too many martinis. More importantly (to you at least) is the book discoverability platform Kathy has developed. Here in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, Bublish is now one of the most successful tech start-ups in the last decade, and a consistent award-winner for the platform’s streamlined technique of connecting authors to readers.
I’ll let Kathy take it from here.
Kathy, please give us an overview of the Bublish platform.
Kathy: Of course! Bublish is the world’s first complete publishing platform with integrated branding and discoverability features. Authors can use Bublish to write, promote, sell and track their work. Our mission is to help authors reach their target readers, engage them and convert them to lifelong fans. Ultimately, we help authors build a dynamic brand that drives more book sales. Every feature we build at Bublish, even our writing and eBook creation tools, focuses on enhancing discoverability and building the author’s brand.
Why is this a priority at Bublish?
Kathy: Because in today’s crowded book marketplace, we know discoverability is a writer’s biggest pain point, especially if they are a first-time or emerging author. Additionally, research shows that readers are 15 times more likely to seek out and purchase a book from an author with a recognizable brand. Authors who successfully build recognizable brands can also charge more for their books. If a writer is trying to build a career as an author, this becomes crucial to success.
What are some of the unique features authors can expect to find on Bublish?
Kathy: Our most popular feature is the Book Bubble – our award-winning book sampling tool that combines crucial brand elements with calls to action. Book Bubbles take only minutes to create, and allow authors to:
• Brand themselves along with their books with every book sample they share
• Enrich their book excerpt with “the story behind their story” in the Bubble’s. Sharing inspirations, struggles, and your “why” draws readers into their creative journey. Authors get to build a community around their work, rather than feel like salespeople.
• Efficiently create, share and track social engagement with multiple Book Bubbles from multiple books all from one dashboard. And because Book Bubbles are “evergreen” content, they can be shared over and over across multiple social platforms. Your dashboard grows into a library of branded digital assets that you can weave into your content marketing calendar.
• Track conversions to the book’s product page at the major online retailers. We work with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo.
• Optimize discoverability in two ways:
1. by connecting the dots for readers. With one click readers can go from sampling the author’s book in the Bubble to buying that book at their favorite online retailer. If they’re not ready to buy, they can visit the author’s website, view their profile on Bublish or follow them to receive email updates from the author.
2. through automated the SEO (search engine optimization). When an author sets up their profile and their books profile, all the metadata associated with the book (title, subtitle, author’s name, ISBN, cover image, keywords, etc.) all “travel” with the Bubble, so that more readers can find your books through online searches.
• Draw interested readers from a social engagement with your Book Bubbles into permission-based email marketing through our “follow” feature.
Here’s a sample of one of Christine’s book bubbles.
If authors choose to write their books on Bublish with our eBook Creator, there’s also a “rough cut” Book Bubble that allows authors to create Bubbles right from their manuscript. This helps build pre-launch buzz, request reviews, and capture pre-orders. When the author is finished writing the book, they can select a book template with a single click and generate a beautiful ePub for distribution. There’s no other writing tool like it in the world!
I can’t resist asking. Why did you create Bublish?
Kathy: I’ve been a writer and editor my entire professional life. I’ve helped to create and build editorial brands from scratch in the magazine industry, so I understand the importance of brand building. I’ve watched the content industry change dramatically in the last 25 years. The rise of mobile devices, digital formats and online shopping has changed everything. You can write the best book in the world, but if no one can find it, it will be lost among the millions of books available at the touch of a button. Authors need new tools to reach and engage their readers, and build a dynamic author brand to drive more book sales. Bublish was created to help authors be successful in this transformed book marketplace.
I also wanted to make it easier for authors to share their work without feeling like salespeople. The Book Bubble was designed to take care of the marketing, branding and discoverability elements, and let the author focus on storytelling – both through their book excerpt and the Bubble’s Author Insight. Some of the most powerful brands in the world use storytelling to break through the noise. I wanted authors to have that power, too. I know what it takes to create great content for readers, and I believe every writer deserves a chance to have their books seen by readers. That’s my mission. It’s why I created Bublish.
Kathy Meis is the founder of Bublish, a comprehensive marketing solution that helps authors build their brand, reach their readers and track audience engagement. She is a professional writer, editor, ghostwriter and editorial manager with more than twenty years of experience in the media and publishing industries. Kathy is a founding editor of Forbes MediaCritic and a founding partner of PubSmart, a new author-centric publishing conference held in Charleston, South Carolina.
She is a frequent blogger and speaker on the subject of book promotion, author branding, social media and discoverability. She has been invited to speak a numerous conferences, including The Muse and The Marketplace, Book Expo America and PubSmart among others. In 2012, Kathy won the People’s Choice Award at the Startup Showcase at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change Publishing Conference. On Twitter: @katmeis