App of the Month: Tumblr

There are a lot of blogging platforms out there, and in many ways Tumblr isn’t much different. You’re able to post content to a unique web page, create tags to organize your posts, and even share photos. However where Tumblr excels is in the ability for users to share content they enjoy on their own pages.

Instead of copying and pasting content, or using a syndication tool, Tumblr allows users to “re-blog” content through a simple button-click. This re-blogged content is then posted directly to the user’s Tumblr page. And if the user has connected their Tumblr to Facebook and Twitter, notifications are automatically sent to both services and a link posted.

The marketing possibilities for the independent publisher are clear. So long as you craft content that’s useful and interesting to readers, you can have multiple re-blogs and postings to Twitter and Facebook without having to manage the social media streams yourself. Visit Tumblr online.


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Tech Desk

From the Tech Desk

BiblioCrunch makes eBooks easy for independent publishers

I recently became an independent publisher of Science Fiction, focusing mainly on Steampunk, and one of the first things I decided was to publish our releases in eBook form before moving into print-on-demand paperbacks. This meant my nascent company had a distinct problem: each of the four major eBook publishing platforms have different formatting rules.

The Amazon Kindle store has one set of guidelines, while Barnes & Noble’s PubIt has a different set; meanwhile Kobo and Smashwords (which posts to the Sony store) each have their distinct rules for the formatting of eBooks. This plethora of differences confronts every publisher who wades into the eBook space, and it’s so far been an unfortunate truth of publishing eBooks.

Former engineer Miral Sattar was amazed at the sheer number of steps involved in eBook conversion, when she turned the TIME travel guides into eBook one-offs. This experience at, and her master’s research into diversifying digital media revenue streams, lead Sattar to create a new tool to simplify eBook formatting — BiblioCrunch.

At first blush, one could easily pigeonhole BiblioCrunch as a cloud-based tool to simplify distribution of eBooks, and Sattar would make a good deal of money off that process alone. Sattar didn’t stop with a goal to make eBook distribution simple though. On BiblioCrunch, authors have the ability to write their book, find copy editors and cover designers, and then publish it directly to retailers and on the BiblioCrunch website.

Marketing is also made easier with a direct link to social media tools and the ability to create book clubs around any author. There are already more than 30 eBooks on the BiblioCrunch website available for sale, and Sattar has agreements with two publishers to feed their works through the website. As a publisher, perhaps the most interesting part of the BiblioCrunch product suite is the ability to download eBooks in each of the major formats for distribution.

Sattar hasn’t yet made it possible to push your eBook to all the major outlets with a button-click yet, but she assures me that capability is coming along very quickly. Regardless of this current lack in capability, BiblioCrunch still offers an intriguing premise of simplifying the currently laborious task of formatting and distributing eBooks so they can be read on any of the major e-reader platforms. I can definitely see this tool leveling the eBook playing field even more, and making it that much easier to publish eBooks.

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Matthew Delman has ten years of experience editing and writing for newspapers. He has penned articles on travel, business, education, and health, which have appeared in publications such as The Gloucester Daily Times (Gloucester, Mass.), The Salem News (Salem, Mass.), and websites owned by Hello Metro.

Matthew’s short fiction has been published in FISSURE Magazine (November 2010) and by Nevermet Press (April 2011).

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Previous From the Tech Desk articles:

Is Booktrack’s idea of putting soundtracks on novels a good one?

Is the Vook the future of reading?

The Worrisome Nature of Spam in the Kindle Store

Is Print-on-Demand really a game changer?

Has the eBook Agency Model Harmed Sales?