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The Kickstarter of the publishing industry

Crowd-funding campaigns have traditionally focused on hardware, software, as well as other creative projects like music and film. A Singapore-based startup called Publishizer focuses on raising funds for book authors.

Publishizer image

Publishizer was founded in 2009 by Guy Vincent, who started to have an interest for producing e-books. Even after successfully publishing and selling an ebook called Waking Up Early through marketing via Google AdWords, it was not a good enough platform for distributing content. Vincent’s ebook effort paid off, but it could have performed better in the market with a more dedicated platform for sales and fund raising. It was during Vincent’s time with publishing house Tien Wah Press wherein he discovered the potential of crowd-funding. He then quit in favor of focusing on his new startup, Publishizer, full time.

While platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing already provide a path to market for authors and content developers, both for digital distribution and hard copies, the main concern would be finding out whether there is a market for one’s books in the first place. Not everyone can come up with a sleeper hit like JK Rowling’s first foray into a fantasy/magic series, after all. Not everyone can make it big in the publishing industry.

Through crowd-funding, an author can already gauge the interest in the book even before it is published and distributed. And once a campaign is successful, it’s somewhat similar to getting an advance from a publishing house. Now all you need to do is deliver.

Apart from providing a platform for funding and publishing books, authors can also leverage the success of crowd-funding campaigns in negotiating book deals with established publishing houses. After all, if you are able to build an audience by independently sourcing funds and pre-orders from the crowd, then a publishing firm’s marketing department might be able to do wonders with your book idea.

Publishizer enables authors to offer different rewards in their fund-raising campaigns, which can include copies of ebooks, hard bound books, paperbacks, as well as other rewards for individual backers. So far, the platform has sold 2,000 books and raised about $75,000 for its authors. Among notable authors include entrepreneurs Scott Bales, who pre-sold and distributed his book Mobile Ready through Publishizer, and Jon Yongfook, with his Growth Hacking Handbook. Bales also acts as an advisor to the startup’s team.

The Publishizer team is currently working on a platform for building book proposals, which will help aspiring authors to build a business case or business plan for their book ideas. The startup was recently considered as the most promising startup at e27’s Echelon 2014 Singapore Satellite, and will compete against 10 other startups at the main event in Singapore this June, pitching to a panel of judges composed of investors and seasoned entrepreneurs.

If you have a book idea and you think it will sell, try raising funds through Publishizer now.

J. Angelo Racoma
J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise applications and services. He is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team.

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