The publishing startup Hyperink has just launched a new service which is designed to help bloggers monetize their content. It doesn't offer the same rewards as doing it yourself but it does promise expert assistance and the potential of a broader market.
This 9-month-old company had previously offered a service which paired subject matter experts with pro journalists who helped cowrite short works on any number of topic. This functioned much like traditional publishing with the Hyperink covering the cost of preparing the manuscript, publishing the books and ebooks, and then taking a share of the earnings.
The new service, which Hyperink is calling BlogtoBook, pairs each blogger with an editor who will curate posts from the blog and then organize them into a coherent whole. The editor uses Hyperink’s software to identify the most popular content based on comments, linkbacks, page views, and the like, and gathers the material into works of about 10,000 to 20,000 words. The bill is footed by Hyperink, including layout and cover design. Hyperink then formats the book in PDF, Epub, and Kindle formats and then distributes it the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo ebookstores (iBooks coming soon) as well as Hyperink’s marketplace.
As nice as this looks for the blogger, it's not completely work free. In fact, it looks like bloggers have to fill at least some of the roles of the traditionally published author, including assisting in the final editing process. They also have to work at marketing the resulting ebook, and that's why Hyperink has developed marketing tools for the blogger (a widget for the blog, for example).
There are already a number of titles available in Hyperink’s marketplace, and all are highly targeted books such as A New Owner’s Guide to Siberian Huskies, Marketing Your Android App, and unofficial guides to TV shows or even other books. Most are rather short, between 20 and 100 pages. I would say that they are closer in concept to a Kindle Single than a regular book, which might 300 pages.
It's an interesting concept, isn't it? I can see the potential here. While a lot of bloggers are capable of writing a short work, they might lack the expertise to publish it or the time to learn the ins and outs of a different publishing technique. Of course, the ones who don't need Hyperink are likely already working with one of its competitors like Blurb, Lulu, FastPencil, or even going it alone via the Kindle Singles.
In any case, this service looks to open a publishing niche to a whole new group of authors. I'm looking forward to the disruption it causes.