Readers and artists will be able to get together by supporting the new method of publication at EMRE Publishing, LLC in San Diego. Raising funds for its first digital and print anthology, the supporters will be able to help the authors protect their intellectual property and create a new way of enjoying enhanced creative material.
The topic of the first anthology is war. The title of the anthology is WAR STORIES ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. The method of the artistry will be to create stories that have an element of speculation in each one. Therefore, they will categorized as fiction, although we will be soliciting stories by authors who have experienced war, whether while in the military or as a civilian living in a war-torn country. These stories can be in the genres of Science Fiction, Adventure, Mystery, Alternate History, and Fantasy.
Each anthology will be separately financed by raising funds at Indiegogo, so we hope you can join us in this bold new experiment in publishing.
I was interested in the new BookShot eBooks that popular novelist James Patterson was publishing. My Detective Pat O’Malley Series was also predicated on the fact that readers don’t have the time to read long books, so none of my titles runs much over 40,000 words. The American Library Association liked my idea so much they published all of my series titles as “highlighted” novels throughout the libraries of the United States. In most word-counting systems, a novel today comes in at a minimum of 40,000 words, so I wanted my books to be on the lighter side. Patterson is now coming out with an even shorter eBook, so I wanted to see what he had to offer.
When Abby Hoffman said, “Steal this book,” back in the 1970s, there were no eBooks. He meant that the reader should literally steal his paperback. Flash-forward to 2016, and readers can steal eBooks with no trouble as long as publishers allow the DRM of an Amazon or an iBooks. Anybody right now can do a search for “Cross Kill and torrents” and get a download of the complete BookShot. This is why publishers are losing three billion dollars per year (and climbing).
I developed my business because publishers and authors were getting ripped-off to the tune of three billion dollars per year with book piracy. My eReader has an excellent Digital Rights Management system. If publishers use my system, they can prevent eBook piracy. However, if the book is poorly written, I can’t help them. If one reads the negative comments on Amazon, one can see that the major disappointment of these readers is that fact that his BookShot title Cross Kill is not a complete story. In other words, in his eagerness to lead the reader into the next serial, Patterson forgot that when a reader plunks down money (forget the piracy for a moment), he or she wants a complete drama with no “cliff-hangers.”
I submit that unless and until publishers learn to create stories that can be total experiences for the reader, and still come in at less than 150 pages, they will not win at the BookShot game. Also, unless and until publishers learn that good DRM helps the publisher and the author make money, then we will eventually not have to worry about the sales of these books being poor because readers will be getting them for free.
Amazon recently unloaded a new version of their Kindle to the perhaps “less than eager” reading public. With publishers losing over 3 billion dollars a year to eBook piracy, mostly due to the insecure Digital Rights Management of Amazon’s and other eBook retailer’s platforms, it makes you wonder how long publishers will keep selling their digital and print books through the giant online retailers. But, most importantly, the reading public is changing their reading habits. Each day, more and more readers are using whichever mobile device they have with them, so it makes having “extra” devices like the Kindle superfluous.
We at EMRE Publishing, LLC, believe the next generation of publisher and reader will be using mobile platforms to both create and consume all kinds of new eBooks, including the ePub3 formatted multimedia types and soon, the Virtual Reality books and games that will be coming down the pipe. Why? Mostly because of money, of course. Publishers and consumers are getting tired of getting ripped-off while selling their eBooks and while reading their eBooks. Let me break it down for you, lest you be unaware of the revolution taking place technologically.
Publishers have to pay Amazon to distribute their titles, but piracy and the 30% (minimum) fee charged by Amazon keeps eating into the profits of these publishers.
Consumers have to pay Amazon for the “privilege” of getting premium services like an “all you can read buffet” and free home delivery.
The so-called “direct communications with readers” is becoming less than adequate because of the large numbers of authors and readers involved, and the insistence of Amazon to not allow eBook giveaways on their Goodreads.com website.
Why the Revolution is Happening Now
In summary, here’s why publishers and their reading public are switching to using mobile devices to publish and read in the coming generation:
Keeping the reader in a single application allows the publisher to charge less for each title sold, and so nothing needs to be paid to a middleman distributor (like Amazon) if the publisher plays his cards right. Marketing money can be better spent on directly reaching potential and current readers on their mobile devices rather than through the unwieldy algorithms and proprietary software of the Amazon Kindle (or the Apple, or the Nook, etc.).
We’re gearing up for the Book Expo America, 2016 in May. That means we’ll be running some specials, and we’re also streamlining our unique platform for our new clientele. As a result, there will be three types of Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing Platform installations available to self-published authors, teachers, and large publishers/distributors of eBooks. Our clients will be able to download the complete installation and follow the directions included. They will also have the excellent technical assistance of our developer, Bas Van Stein, who will also be working with clients to “brand” the installation to the owner’s “look and feel.” Once licensed, the platform can be up and open for business in 24 hours. Here’s a brief description of the three installations that will be available for download:
One publisher and one administrator included. All others are designated as readers and cannot create or sell eBooks in the Studio/Store. Both conventional and multimedia (ePub3) books can be created, sold and downloaded. Perfect for the self-published author who wants to have a quick way to brand him/her self and have a way to publish and market directly to readers through a cross-platform mobile platform. This installs on the server of the client with assistance of our technologist.
One Administrator can oversee publishers and collect fees for use of platform. Each assigned Publisher/author can create ePub3 books, price them, and upload them into the store using Stripe payment system. This is for the self-published author or teacher who wants to team-up with authors or teachers of the same genre or subject area/discipline. The licensee can run this business and collect royalties or fees as the Administrator/Owner. This installs on the server of the client with assistance of our technologist.
Exclusive Turnkey Installation:
One Administrator can oversee publishers and collect fees for use of platform. Each assigned Publisher/author can create ePub3 books, price them, and upload them into the store using Stripe payment system. All publishers/authors/readers can upload private eBooks into the studio and eReader. This is for the self-published author or teacher with many books who wants to team-up with authors or teachers of the same genre or subject area/discipline. It is also for the large company or entrepreneur who wants to turn over marketing and eBook creation to his/her authors/publishers. The licensee can run this business and collect royalties or fees as the Administrator/Owner. This installs on the server of the client with assistance of our technologist.
The movement against what the Smashwords CEO called “a monopoly preventing free expression” has begun against Amazon. We believe our product will help publishers and enterprising authors to gain a foothold in this battle to take-back the author/reader relationship. Our platform is the only mobile platform that permits publishers to run a complete publishing business through their cell phone, iPad and tablet. No more middlemen to take 30% off the top. No more piling your books into “all you can devour” buffets like Kindle Unlimited. Our clients work hard to establish the best relationships they can with their readers and students. They expect to receive the majority of the profits as well.
If you’ll be in Chicago on May 11, 12, and 13, please stop by our booth: 872A. We’ll be wearing tee-shirts like these:
Our free trial will let you try a book promotion for one of your titles. If you can use Microsoft Word, then you can use the ePub Creator Studio. We like to use a “duck” analogy, as in “getting your ducks in a row.”
When I read the article in the Technology Review entitled “Why Publishers Don’t Like Apps,” it helped inspire me to start my business. Besides being a Caltech guy, I truly believed apps could answer all the problems raised in this article written by the editor of the MIT magazine. Like a lot of journalists, Mr. Pontin wasn’t really aware of the technology developed right under his proverbial “nose.”
That same year, 2012, the final 3.01 version of ePub3 was approved by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). One of the best creations to come out of that new standard was the open source Readium Chrome eReader. It was this invention that led to EMRE Publishing, LLC and our development of the Embellisher™ Mobile Creation, Publishing and Marketing System. We have answered all of the criticisms made in Pontin’s article, so please allow me to go over them, one-at-a-time:
1. Apple demanded a 30 percent cut on all single copies sold through iTunes.
Oh yes, my my, Apple. One of the wealthiest corporations in the world in 2015. They didn’t get there by coddling other companies and especially other publishers. With open source, we learned to work around the Apple gorillas in the room. With the Embellisher™ system, publishers can deliver their magazines in ePub3 format to the reader directly by instant messages, bypassing the hairy brutes like Apple and Amazon. Thus, no profit is lost on selling those single copies in iTunes, so lamented by Mr. Editor back in 2012.
2. It turned out that it wasn’t at all that simple to adapt print publications to apps.
Whoops, MIT, I see you got the entire thing backwards, as usual. Instead of rushing around trying to please everybody, why not do what CEO Jonny Kaldor talked about at the 2015 London Book Fair? Our publishers drive their content through our ePub3 Creator Studio and eReader, cross-channels, to all mobile devices at one time. Silly Mr. Pontin. The answer was again in front of your nose, but you got it reversed. Instead of creating all those versions of your publication for the different devices, all you needed to do was create one version that could adapt easily to all those devices. That’s what we did!
3. Software development of apps was much harder than publishers had anticipated.
Oh boy. Again, you were trying to please the “big apes,” rather than using the Occam’s razor model of logic that we use at Caltech. Bypass all that gnarly proprietary code by using open source code (i.e., the Readium eReader) as the backbone of your app (like we did at EMRE Publishing).
4. Readers felt they were “boxed-in” when using an app. There was no “linky-ness” because they couldn’t connect to the outside Internet.
Hey, it’s 2015, dummy! Our readers at EMRE can connect outside anytime they wish. Our authors and publishers use links in the best ways possible: to market, to create, and to connect intimately with their readers! In fact, the ads inside our ePub3 books can be constructed so they can be accessed by Google in many more ways, thus providing advertisers with a much better user experience when interacting with their ads.
5. Conde’ Nast saw its digital sales increase by 268 percent last year after Apple introduced an iPad app called “Newsstand.”
Oh, okay, so you let Apple come up with the app first. What kind of MIT profundity is that? At Caltech, we take the bull by the horns and create our own! My developers can match your problem with an immediate answer any day.
In summary, the real answer to this gripe session by the MIT editor is to put away conventional journalism and begin to think like a mobile developer! That’s what we did, and we think we’ve solved all those so-called “problems” in the best way possible. We not only by-pass the middlemen (those app-hating apes, Apple and Amazon), but we build brands for publishers from the ground up: with open source flexibility!
I’d just read a list of 10 stupid mistakes business people make written by coach Wendy Stevens, and then I was talking to my wife, Ellen, a fellow Boomer and person who is a normal consumer of digital information. I needed to explain to Ellen how my product is providing value to my customers. I needed to explain it in a way that would make Henry David Thoreau, the patron saint of Baby Boomers, proud. Thoreau told people that in order to appreciate Nature (meaning the totality of existence) they must learn to “simplify” that existence as much as humanly possible.
Okay, so Wendy called me on my stupidity (I was busy making a lot of the mistakes on her list), and my wife got me talking out loud about the true value I see in my product. The result is my own list of 10 Reasons Why the Embellisher™ Mobile Creation, Marketing and Distribution System is a Value to Publishers:
1. It’s portable. In other words, when you use other methods of creating eBooks, buying eBooks and selling eBooks, you have to hassle through a lot of “not-so-simple” logins, separate devices, and other confusing (to the non-nerd) steps in order to read an eBook. The Embellisher™ system is a mobile app that contains everything a publisher and his readership needs to enjoy both conventional and enhanced (embellished) eBooks.
2. The value of delivery to the end consumer: a reader of digital content. The reader gets to experience exactly what the author/publisher intends to deliver. Not only that but the eBook can be in conventional (ePub2 format, .mobi Kindle format, or .pdf Adobe Reader format) as well as the cutting-edge ePub3 format. And, if they wish, they can push a button to order the print-on-demand version of the book and have it shipped to them. There are no “middlemen” taking a slice out of that business experience, as in a gatekeeper’s fee or as in confusing extra logins and deliveries to different devices. The communication is between the publisher and the reader–scratch off those sneaky middlemen!
3. The value of the editing experience done right: a reader of digital content in the Embellisher™ system gets to view instant revisions made over a cross-platform mobile network. When the publisher changes something, the subscriber sees it–no lengthy waits for uploads, approvals, dis-approvals, and confusing downloads. The corrected version instantly appears in the reader’s library, ready to read the next installment or to read the notice of a new installment to enjoy. This saves both the creator Publisher and the reader consumers both time and money.
4. The value of intimacy. All other publishing systems require the author and his reader to be located inside separate spaces in the digital universe. We have solved this problem of lack of intimacy and privacy by including an Author and Reader Forum right inside the same mobile application. The forum has all the features of a Goodreads, but the reader and author are not relegated to a separate group within a much larger playing field of authors and readers. The communication is between one author and his subscribed readers–not between thousands of “Goodreads Authors” and the distracted readers who subscribe to Goodreads.com. Again, this saves the publisher and reader a lot of communication headaches as well as making the sending and receiving of digital content a private and meaningfully simple affair. Thoreau would be proud!
5. The value of keeping authors and readers happy. The main problem of reading digital content, as we see at EMRE, is the fact that all those proprietors of information want you to be locked-in to their hardware, their software and their mobile systems in order to make the biggest profit. What has resulted is more confusion and less happiness. Not only have authors become less happy with the Amazon way of delivering their “babies,” their creative eBooks, the publishers who represent them have begun to sell directly to those same eReaders–bypassing the Amazonian experience completely. We, too, are members of this rebellion. We want to also make the creating and reading experience even simpler by keeping it inside one app and delivering all the content (even print) to keep the reader happy.
6. The value of promotion. I wrote a separate Slideshare about the way our Embellisher™ is a simple and effective way to market eBooks. In fact, this value is so important that I’m holding frequent webinars and teaching online courses about it. Once again, the value is in the fact that since we’re a mobile app, the author can take it with him/her to work on the run, so to speak. The total privacy is the factor that our competition does not have, and it makes our system more valuable to the publisher.
7. The value of marketing the final products: the eBooks. Once again, I found this value so important that I wrote a separate Slideshare on the topic. The “big 5” makes this aspect of the business the cornerstone of their enterprise, and yet they are not spending the money to innovate digitally the way we have at EMRE Publishing. They simply give the author a website and a book page and tell them, “Go ahead, make your own promotions.” Little time, money or educational effort is spent to train their authors on how to use the digital marketing tools properly. We do this, and it does pay off in more sales, more intimacy between the author and reader, and a happier reader experience.
8. The value of being on the cutting edge of new technology. You guessed it? Yep, I wrote a blog about this one valuable feature of our product: ePub3 technology. This is important to the publisher because once your authors are trained properly about how to create ePub3 “calling cards,” they will also learn to tailor their messages to fit their genre or “brand.” Big 5 publishers often forget that each author should be given the respect of being a brand unto him or her self. In fact, this was one of the main reasons I switched from publishing through traditional publishers to building a platform to publish independently–with the most value in mind. Therefore, all authors in our system are trained to understand they are promoting their creative work and their overall brand (their uniqueness). They are not, in effect, corporate clones. They are creative artists.
9. The value of growing the publisher’s brand. When a publisher purchases a tailored installation of our system, he or she receives much more than a piece of cold software. No, we provide the human training and the motivation to realize the importance of giving independent authors the respect they deserve. We want our publishers to send their authors to school before installing our system. That’s why we created the online courses, online tutorials, and online webinars. I learned when I taught through the Caltech Industrial Relations Center that the successful companies relied on training to make their teams successful. We don’t sell our products to publishers unless they completely understand the importance of training to their publishing business.
10. The value of saving money. I left this one for last because it’s usually the value that publishers look for first when they are deciding upon a new technology that changes things the way ours does. Remember the value of planning and preparation? It began back in the days of Quality Circles Management, and ended with the death of the professor I got to know personally, Peter F. Drucker, and his “knowledge workers.” Sure, you have to spend some money up-front to train your authors to use the promotional tools and to create using our ePub3 Creator Studio. But once the assembly line is in place, the products you will be creating will have a much more streamlined, efficient and cost-saving value to the eReader and to the author. Sadly, the “big 5” have given that effectiveness to a limited stable of “star authors,” but we aim to change that in a hurry. Are you with us?