Originally announced in May 2015, Pronoun is a book publishing and distribution platform. It was built as a pivot from Vook, an ebook production and distribution company which launched in 2009.
It's been in beta since September 2015, and in that time more than 8,000 authors have signed up for early access, and used the platform to produce over 1,000 books.
Pronoun is completely free for authors to use, and provides them with both the tools and connections to experts who can provide the necessary services. (They'll even throw in an ISBN.)
I know that sounds too good to be true, so I followed up and was told that there's no catch: "In addition to offering free services to thousands of authors, Pronoun also powers the publishing programs of large media companies like The New York Times, Forbes, and Fast Company, who are paying partners," a spokesperson told me by email. "Down the line we may offer optional paid services or tools as well, but the focus right now is on making the core publishing services the best they can be, and those will always remain free."
Pronoun's publicly stated ToS agree with the details mentioned above.
Pronoun today announced that its digital book publishing platform is now open to every author. In the 100 days since Pronoun opened its waitlist, 8,000 authors signed up for early access, creating more than a thousand books on the platform. In December 2015 alone, Pronoun authors published 140 books across all major digital retailers, including Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble, making their work available to hundreds of millions of readers worldwide.
The response from our earliest adopters has been overwhelmingly encouraging. We believe our early success reflects the publishing market’s need for a smarter and more efficient model that puts authors first. As we kept our early growth manageable with a waitlist, we were able to learn from authors and improve the platform,” said Josh Brody, Chief Executive Officer, Pronoun. “While our platform is still in its early stages, we’re seeing so much demand that we’ve decided to give every author access to Pronoun’s ebook creation, distribution, analytics, and marketing tools.”
“I’ve published three books with a traditional publisher before going independent,” said Cherry Menlove, author of The Little Book of Peace. “Pronoun’s existence has changed everything. Publishing is never easy, but Pronoun’s taken all the complexity and made it clear and manageable. Every author needs to have tools like these."
“We talk to our early access authors every day. They're vocal about what they want and where the current publishing industry fails to support them,” said Ben Zhuk, Chief Product Officer, Pronoun. “To serve the thousands of authors joining every month, we're focused on listening to their feedback and building a publishing experience unlike anything in the industry.”
Pronoun is using its technology, as well as data and analytics from the platform’s book sales and the market at large, to power its partnerships and imprints. These include The New York Times and Pronoun’s flagship imprint—Byliner, which publishes longform journalism by award-winning writers. To date, Pronoun has published over 10,000 titles and paid authors several million dollars in earnings.
Furthering its commitment to put authors first, Pronoun’s Pledge to Publish in 2016 campaign will see the company donate $1 to NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program for everyone who signs up for the pledge in January.
S.M. McEachern, bestselling independent author of the Sunset Rising trilogy, said: “Before I moved my books to Pronoun, my sales were steady – but I needed something that would take them to the next level. When I started publishing on Pronoun, I saw my daily sales increase across my whole series. I just published my fourth book on Pronoun, and I’m never looking back.”
image by Keith Williamson