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Pronoun "Launches" Its Book Publishing Platform

4286834503_a7bda91abc_bCan you call an event a launch if you’re not letting anyone in to use the platform?

If that is the case then Pronoun has launched its new ebook distribution platform today.

Announced in May 2015 as the new brand for the ebook distributor Vook, Pronoun is a new iteration in ebook distribution. It brings together the data and analytics platform, Booklr, with the short-form ebook publisher, Byliner, and the technology, data, and expertise developed by enhanced ebook distributor, Vook, to build a new platform which is free for authors.

Yes, Pronoun is in the process of launching a comprehensive book distribution platform that will offer features like author pages to analytics to ebook formatting to distribution, all at no cost to the author.

Even distribution will be free, with authors receiving 100% of the net revenue paid by the ebookstores.

I know that sounds to good to be true, but Pronoun says that they’re covering their costs in other ways.

"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."

The cost of developing the new platform will be born by new capital investment. In June 2015 Pronoun picked up $3.5 million in new funding from Avalon Ventures. At the same time as its funding announcement, Pronoun announced that Stefan Pepe, who formerly served as Director of Amazon’s North American books division, had joined its Board of Advisors.

The service is theoretically launching today, but I have yet to encounter an author who is using the platform. (I, for example, am on the waiting list.)

When it does launch Pronoun will enable authors to:

  • Create Beautiful Digital Books: Convert an edited manuscript to a professionally designed ebook that is compatible with every e-reader and mobile device.
  • Sell Everywhere: Instantly distribute to all major retail channels: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, and Kobo. Make unlimited, free updates to metadata.
  • Market With Analytics: Access the largest proprietary dataset on the digital book market and see relevant, real-time data on books, categories, and market trends.
  • Get Live Notifications: Opt in to get proactive alerts on daily sales, new book reviews, when books enter a bestseller list, or when an action can improve a book’s position on retailers’ sites.
  • Receive Consolidated Monthly Payments: Get convenient electronic payments for sales across all retailers in a single monthly deposit.
  • Free ISBN: Get a free ISBN for every book published on Pronoun.
  • Build a Publishing Team: Access Pronoun’s network of vetted professional service providers, including editors, cover designers, copy editors, and publicists.

That last feature is probably going to end up costing authors (you’re paying for someone’s time, after all).

image by Keith Williamson

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Ben Sobieck September 28, 2015 um 2:36 pm

I’m on the waiting list, too. Sounds too good to be true. Even if it is, I doubt that model would last long with investors to answer to. That’s money on the table.

Nate Hoffelder September 28, 2015 um 3:01 pm

Good point. Even if Pronoun doesn’t plan to charge for services, their investors might have a different idea.

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