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In the last ten years, we've seen incredible growth in digital book sales (ebook, print-on-demand, and streaming audio) throughout the developed English language markets of USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. But in the next 10 years, the huge growth markets will be those international markets that are just getting started.
As Jeff Bezos likes to say, it's still “Day 1” when it comes to the digital revolution – and indie authors can ride the wave with a focus on publishing to global, digital, and mobile-compatible platforms as I discuss today with Kinga Jentetics from PublishDrive. Exciting times indeed!
In the intro, I talk about KDP Print and Createspace merging – I moved my books over last month and it wasn't a big deal. Quite the relief to have one main service to use now, and I muse about how the mainstream use of Amazon ads for print books might claw a larger % of print sales for indie authors in the next year. Plus, the continued woes at Barnes and Noble [New Republic], and how to sell more books on Kobo Writing Life through access to the Kobo promotional tab, using pre-orders, global sales, NetGalley promotions, Overdrive, and Kobo Plus.
This podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors.
Kinga Jentetics is the CEO and co-founder of PublishDrive, which is an eBook publishing platform. She was named as one of the Forbes' Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 and one of the top 100 female founders. In 2017, Google invested in PublishDrive as part of its Launchpad Accelerator Program.
You can listen above, on iTunes, Stitcher or Android, or watch the video here. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.
- The impetus behind PublishDrive and the importance of thinking globally
- Transparency in reporting
- Tips for selling on Google Play. [Note from Joanna: My books are now available on Google Play for non-fiction as Joanna Penn and fiction as J.F.Penn.]
- Make sure your book metadata is set up before you begin advertising
- Upcoming: audiobooks for Google Play via PublishDrive
- On the potential for English books in China via Dangdang
- The future of AI as it relates to translating books to other languages
- Publishing elements that indie authors need to focus on
- What differentiates PublishDrive from other distributors
You can find Kinga Jentetics at PublishDrive.com and on Twitter @publishdrive or @KingaJentetics
Transcript of Interview with Kinga Jentetics
Joanna: Hi, everyone. I'm Joanna Penn from thecreativepenn.com. And today, I'm here with Kinga Jentetics. Hi, Kinga?
Kinga: Hi, Joanna. Hi, everyone. Thanks for inviting me.
Joanna: It's great to have you on the show. Just a little introduction:
Kinga is the CEO and co-founder of PublishDrive, which is an eBook publishing platform. She was named as one of the Forbes' Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 and one of the top 100 female founders. And in 2017, Google invested in PublishDrive as part of its Launchpad Accelerator Program.
Kinga is also from Budapest in Hungary. I think you're the first Hungarian on the show which my husband is very excited about because he's half Hungarian. So welcome, Hungary.
Kinga: Thanks. I'm happy to be the first Hungarian.
Joanna: Start by telling us a bit more about you and why you decided to get into eBook publishing.
Kinga: I found in working and in business as well. So I don't have a literature background, but I always had a love and passion for literature and music as well.
I was writing short stories, novels, poetries and I was playing the violin as well. And when I was a teenager, I realized that I wanted to be a musician. I felt that I could perform on stage, but I definitely saw the need that I wanted to work with creative people and I wanted to help them strive in their business as well later on.
I really enjoyed working with musicians later on because at the university I actually decided to take a job as a digital marketer in music.
You can imagine that they were getting up late at 3:00 p.m. But then they were lovely people as well and they are sometimes just crazy. And at the university actually, I was still in between music and literature.
I chose the topic for my master's thesis, which was about how music can influence an image of a country. And that was actually a turning point when I realized that, “Okay, literature is way much more interesting for me.”
Then I published my master's thesis in an eBook format. And that's how the whole PublishDrive idea came to my mind as well because as a non-technical person, I had no idea what I'm doing.
I really couldn't format an eBook at this point yet and it was quite a lot of pain for me to publish my book. And I just realized that it has to be simplified in a way and when I published my book finally, I just realized that people were buying it from the States, from Russia, from Mexico, from those kind of places, which I never knew that anyone could actually buy a book, especially my book, which wasn't a real book.
Obviously if I have to publish today, it would be totally different. It will be way much better, I hope so. And then I just saw that there is some need and there is an opportunity here to actually create a platform which simplifies the whole publishing process.
And then with our co-founders, we started to work on the idea of PublishDrive. They are actually technical people so that was a really great mix that we actually could find each other and we just got friends as well obviously during the road.
We launched PublishDrive three years ago publicly and that was quite a big milestone for us. And yeah, look at that. Now we actually have an American company. Most of our users are coming from the States as well. And we are really happy that we actually can continue developing on the platform and providing more features for our authors.
Joanna: Wow, that's amazing. I'm so interested then because you did this only a few years ago, and when actually the eBook publishing market was quite developed actually, like Smashwords is over 10 years old, Draft2Digital. Obviously, Kobo, Amazon KDP has been around a long time.
But you and your team, being from Hungary in Europe, what did you see that you thought you could add differently in an international market? There were all these U.S. and one Canadian company.
What do you think you guys brought that was different?
Kinga: Especially that we started from Hungary, we had a different mindset. Hungary has like 10 million people who live here and a few million outside of Hungary and more are actually moving outside of Hungary. That's another story. But we definitely could see that this is a small market.
If you want to do something, whatever it is, we have to think globally. And that's how we started to build PublishDrive as well. This global thinking is in our DNA.
So that's why we actually got into partnership with different stores in different markets, like in Romania as well or obviously in China or in those kind of markets, which were not tapped by other distributors like Smashwords, or Draft2Digital as well.
We could see that there was not a real good solution for artists out there, which really provide the transparency of what we wanted to build. If you look at the platform, we show you what kind of royalties you can get at the different stores.
We actually have quite a big number of stores where we included in other markets as well than the big five or six platforms. And then we built analytics as well, which is quite cool based on our client base. They say that it's really useful for them to see the collected data about their sales.
So basically, it's a book report but more advanced because you can see, “Oh, look, this store is what you already have in published right switched on as well.” And basically, that was what we actually wanted to change to bring the global perspective into the whole publishing scene and to bring more transparency as well because that is what is still missing on the market I think in many, many cases.
Joanna: When I met you at London Book Fair like a year and a half ago now, it wasn't this year, it was last year, wasn't it?
First of all, I'm always impressed by the global first perspective.
Publishing is often filled with a lot of older people doing all the things and I was like, “Wow, you're a millennial getting into publishing, which just seems kind of odd.”
Why are you so excited and so positive about the future of digital specifically that you are in this as an entrepreneur?
Kinga: I always like odd and weird things, so maybe someday what I am attracted to, but in overall, first of all, I was passionate about publishing.
I always, always loved writing, editing as well. And I love the people who are too. I'm not afraid of any kind of changes or if there is any kind of challenges what we have to face with and, to be honest, I really like problems and I like to solve them.
And I think that is the whole idea and the whole attitude of the team as well that we like problems. So when something is going wrong, and yeah, you can imagine that there are a lot of things which go wrong or which we have to fix. But then we enjoy the roles and we really like to actually see the changes what we could actually achieve with some of the developments of what we did.
And the best things are when there are some authors who are writing to our support team for instance, and they say that how much they love the platform and how much they like us as well. And we actually collect those small quotes and we are actually talking about these quotes and we are trying to cheer up each other.
In the future, we want to put those quotes on the wall as well in the office to make sure that we remember that that's why we are doing this to make changes and to help the authors.
And even though when we started, there were other distributors on the market. It sounds something with not that usual that there is a millennial who joins the publishing world.
But, you know, it's more like self-publishing as well what we do and I think that self-publishing has to shake up the whole industry and it's still doing it as far as I can see. And I really hope that it will even better in the future in terms of changing the traditional industry standards which truly had to be shaken up a bit.
Joanna: We're going to come back to the shakeup.
I want to focus first on some of the partnerships you have. So, first of all, PublishDrive has Google investment.
Are you in America right now or are you in Hungary?
Kinga: I'm in Hungary but in in two weeks actually I will be New York.
Joanna: You're back in America.
Kinga: Yes. I'm traveling quite a lot so you never know where you are catching me.
Joanna: You go back and forth to America and of course the Google investment is really interesting and I was attracted to Google Play and in fact I am primarily and I'm still putting all my books off on PublishDrive to get onto the Google Play platform.
Now many authors want to get involved with Google Play. We've all been so frustrated with it because like six, seven years ago you could get on direct. They've opening up again now, but they could have done an Amazon. They could have taken this huge chunk of the market.
They don't seem to care that much but their investment in you guys and the fact that you're focusing on them, the Android platform being so huge, Google Home, their investment in audio books, it seems like Google Play is going to maybe have a resurgence.
What are your thoughts on Google Play and also any tips for selling more books on Google Play?
Kinga: I definitely can see that the future of Google Play Books contains a lot of potential and I definitely can see that they are not exploiting all of them yet.
But as far as I can see, they are trying to make small steps towards easing up this whole publishing journey on Google Play Books as well. Though they are working a bit differently than the other platforms.
Usually other platforms are working in agency model. They are working in wholesale. Then they actually support other kind of formatting and those kind of stuff. But what we can see that, especially when it's about emerging markets like India, for instance, Google Play is very strong in emerging markets.
I think that is one of the things authors should know about, that if you want to go and tap into those markets, kind of tried by Amazon that much yet, then Google Play is one of the best places to start with.
And if you want to actually sell more on Google Play Books, you have to discover what kind of opportunities that are out for merchandising, for instance, or having more attention by Google Play.
We actually had the option to provide Google author pages for some of our PublishDrive authors. It was beautiful because obviously if you have a separate author page with Google, everyone knows that it's biggest search engine.
So you will actually be on the top of the searches when someone is looking after you and then they will be directed to your Google Play Books page, which is a very good thing. It's basically a free SEO, search engine optimization, for you.
And obviously, you have to have your bio there, you have to have a nice picture, but it's really helpful for the artists to market themselves as well.
Another thing what I think most of these authors, they haven't exploited yet, Google Play Books works very well with Google AdWords because they are tied up and Google is actually screening the book so that's why they have it in that context as well that they can improve their other services based on screening the book itself.
It really helps, especially if you are selling or writing a nonfiction book, then Google AdWords is really helpful for you and it really works beautifully with Google Play Books as well. So it means that you have to set your right keywords or AdWords. But Keyword Planner, for instance, it helps you really easily set up those.
We had some small experiments as well with some of the best of what we had to market them on Google AdWords and how people are reacting and how we should do that. And we had some good results.
We are looking forward to having more authors included in those experiments because that is something that we definitely have to do. But we always take care of that, that the method is in the right shape before we put any marketing on the books, because that is the biggest pitfall.
What is it the authors can do? They are spending a lot of money on advertisement before they are actually shaping up their metadata. So that is one thing what we do before we actually try any kind of experiment in the marketing advertising part.
Joanna: Fantastic. And on that, the emerging markets is really interesting because you have pricing in a lot of different currencies. The three main ones, U.S. Dollar, GDP Euro, but then you have a lot more, maybe 25 more currencies.
Joanna: Probably if authors want to sell more in the emerging markets, they do have to adjust base prices down in the lower-priced markets like India. Would that be right?
Kinga: Yes, it can actually work. So we could see that some authors, they were pricing their books down, as you mentioned, and it was working well for them.
Obviously, it depends on the book as well because in some of the markets like, for instance in China, books are selling in different genres as well and when it's about the different source as well, different kind of genres are selling well too.
So that's why it's really important to see whether it is the right fit for your book to be priced down because in some cases it might work, but in some cases you just lose some money and it doesn't have any kind of result in the end of the day.
But we are happy to advise some of our authors as well. If you are writing our support email as well, we are happy to advise you whether it's the best way to do your marketing for the different markets.
Joanna: And then what about audiobooks for Google Play? Because they've introduced that this year and PublishDrive just does eBooks at the moment.
What are your thoughts on audiobooks? Is that something you guys might get into?
Kinga: We are definitely interested in audiobooks. We already had a chat with Google as well about how we can sell audiobooks there. We actually have some audiobooks already sold on OverDrive, but it's not public yet.
So it's definitely just what we are testing out to see how it works because the whole audiobook market was priced differently than the eBooks so far because they have vendors or in some cases they don't have that much vendors yet. That's why we want to make sure that the quality assurance process, what we have in place for eBooks is the same quality what we actually will have for the audiobooks as well.
But we are working on that to make sure that we actually can have our authors to sell audiobooks as well, especially on Google Play or in other markets. Because there are already some other source as well, not just Audible which is obviously the biggest one when it's about audiobooks, but it's already quite fragmented when it's about selling audiobooks.
Joanna: I agree. And I also, as you say, I think ahead and I'm thinking to these emerging markets, which are going to be huge digitally in the next 5 to 10 years as the internet continues. I think we're going to see an Android as such a big platform in many of those countries. I'm very keen to get into that in the future. Very exciting.
Let's talk about Dangdang, which PublishDrive have recently announced a partnership. You mentioned that it's often called the Chinese Amazon. So everyone is like, “Oh, yeah, I'd love to get into China.”
But of course, what does that mean? What does the Chinese eBook market look like? And most authors listening will be writing in English.
What is the potential for English books in China?
Kinga: First of all, we already had one Chinese partner before, but they were selling only to digital libraries. So it's a different kind of business model. But we're ready to sell books there too.
We could see that digital libraries in China, they were buying English language books. So that was already something what we could test out whether it's a good market for us to tap into with results.
That's why we wanted to close the deal with Dangdang, and we are really happy that finally we could do that. The Chinese book market is especially different than the other Western book market because it's governed by the government and they're the censorship as well.
That's why it's a bit slower to publish in China because there is a censorship process. They are screening all the content. And the tricky part is that they didn't share what kind of guidance we have to follow.
So we don't exactly know what they say and not looking for or what they are to think. But obviously we see whether there is a book rejected or not. So we are building up our own processes for that as well. And so far, we had quite good results.
They were not really books which were rejected by them. But this is something what authors should know that it is a slower process to get your books into the Chinese stores. On the other hand, when it's about China versus an emerging market it means that there are other players there than Amazon, which is vetting as well for the artist who want to go wide and who wanna be more independent because Amazon is a wonderful partner to work with and obviously it's very important to have a good partnership with Amazon.
But there is a world outside there as well. And for us it's really good to actually have more options for selling books.
The other thing is that in China, different genres are selling well. So as it is an emerging market, especially nonfiction type of books, science, social sciences, or STM, or self-help books they are selling quite well.
Even in our database we could see that English language learning type of books were actually selling quite good. If you are writing any kind of English language learning books, then this is one of the best markets to tap into at this point.
And when it's about the Chinese market, they are like 1.4 billion people there. Amazingly huge. The statistics actually show that 800 million of them are reading which is 800 million. That's amazing. Very, very huge.
And about 400 million who actually are learning English too. So it's a bigger market than the U.S itself, imagine. So obviously, English language books should have been sold there as well.
We could see on our own database that we've already sold many books there too in English and I think that is a very good sign for artists who are writing in English to sell in other markets as well and English language market because China is open for Western titles.
If you look at the top bestselling titles as well in China, most of them are actually translated from U.S or from Japanese titles. So it already shows that they are hungry for a Western culture type of content.
I think if there is an author who has an ambition to sell their rights later on to China, then this is one of the best ways they can do it if they are already starting to sell their English language book in China and they might get the attention of other publishers in China.
Publishing in China, especially from a publisher's process, it's a bit different as well because they are like 580 publishing companies who were owned by the government before. So this is a bit different. Like it is not that liberated that other market but still they are publishing tremendous amounts of books. Because of this, they have a lot of people who they can help you.
Joanna: Wow. People often think, “Oh, yeah, the Chinese market is so big,” but then they think, “Oh, no one speaks English.” But even if it's a tiny percentage of that 1.4 billion or whatever, it's actually a lot of people speaking English.
And I'm saying it's about India as well and Nigeria, these huge countries with growing economies where a lot of people want to read more English books, especially self-help as you say so that's very exciting.
This year at London Book Fair, China literature were there who are obviously I think they're owned by 10Cent, again, one of the big, yeah, like the Chinese Google or whatever. I know you're fascinated with AI tools as well.
Now my thought is China literature coming to the English market, they're starting to translate, but I really think that we're not even going to need the translation with the future of AI translation. Now obviously you speak multiple languages and you're involved with Google who do a lot of AI.
What do you think about the future for AI in terms of translation or in terms of AI around publishing and discovery?
Kinga: AI is already in the publishing industry. So that's very interesting to see how people and companies are trying to utilize the power of AI in the industry.
I'm sure that you have heard that there are some AI algorithms which are trying to write books. This is something which is insane. Imagine that there shouldn't be any writers anymore but this is not the case I think.
There was one use case where there was an AI which tried to continue the “Game of Thrones.” I'm not sure whether you have heard about that. They actually were very good at mimicking the style of Martin. But obviously they couldn't actually get all the tricks and all the plays that he had in his mind.
But it was quite good in terms of inventing and showing that the AI is actually able to invent some small jokes or some small rhymes as well. So this is already getting there to actually support authors in their creative writing processes.
I see that kind of AI more like as a support for the authors, not like replacing the authors themselves in the creative writing process. And I think that's the future of AI when it's about how to write books.
On the other hand, when it's about translation, I think it's a very big and tricky part of the whole industry because AI is still infantized and obviously when it's about translation, and it's even in an earlier stage, because you can see that how Google Translate works, for instance. You can see it's not the best tool in many cases.
But the funny thing is that we had some authors who were trying to sell their books with AI translated methods. Obviously they failed on our book review process, thank God, but this actually shows that there is a need for that for the authors.
I really hope that we actually can move into the direction where there will be some tools which support the authors and the translators as well in their work processes when it's about or writing books as well.
And when it's about the discovery part, AI is really helpful. We actually already use AI for content review and for improving the metadata as well because that is something that really needs to be done as well for many books. Because if you don't categorize your book in the right place, for instance, then you might get not the best results what you are hoping for.
And for the content review, we flag most of the content which might contain inappropriate content, for instance. And for the metadata improvement we have only in-house tools and hopefully we will release some news in the next couple of weeks where authors can use some of the AI supported metadata improvement tools as well.
But obviously this is something that everyone tries to do on the retailer side as well. So when it's about Google, for instance, they are screening the book. They are using their algorithm to make sure that they can provide the best content for the readers which are similar books in their understanding and they can suggest and recommend those titles too.
Amazon does the same and they are even trying to help how to price your books in some cases as well. So I'm sure that this is what most powerful part of AI have to support the metadata and how to improve that to make sure that the recommendation engines are actually working in the fullest of the retailers.
Joanna: I always think that we're in such a beginning level with this discoverability stuff. The fact that we still have to type in keywords and pick keywords when, to me, the book itself is metadata.
As soon as we get natural language processing, which I know Google is working on, Amazon is working on, the AI should be able to read the book and know the tone and pick the keywords. I shouldn't have to.
I just see such a blunt instrument; picking seven words and all seven keyword phrases that somehow encapsulate your book.
Kinga: Actually, for many, retailers, they don't need the keyword for instance because they say, “Well, we have actually AI so we are already using that to make sure that we have the right keywords.”
As we can see, for instance, with Amazon, they are using the keywords and it's the author's interests to put all the keywords there, especially if they're targeting a specific category, for instance.
Joanna: You've talked about this review process that you have and as I've been publishing I know that your team check them and everything and I'm like, “Yeah, it's gone through and that's really good.”
But I'm wondering because you guys see so many books, what are the top things that you see the authors are getting wrong? Or the things that make you go, “Oh, that book is not going to sell.”
What are the issues that authors are still missing out?
Kinga: If they don't have a compelling cover, so that is something what we always see that, “Okay, this has to be somehow improved,” or they just simply use 3D covers, for instance, when we say, “Okay, please don't do that. It's an eBook.”
It would be very misleading for the end users to have a 3D cover which shows like it's a print book. So that is something what we always try to advise not to do.
And the other thing is in the metadata, especially if they are putting everything in the title. Many authors, they believe that all the engines, the search engines will find their books much easier and much better if they put everything in the title, not in the subtitle parts or in other parts of the metadata.
This was something we had to explain every time to the authors that, “Please, don't do that. Don't put the subtitle in the title itself.” Because it can be misleading for the readers because they don't really understand, okay, what's going on and it's not the best interest in the authors either.
And the third part, which is the biggest mistake they can make as well, is if they don't put enough effort into their description and if they are missing out putting their best reviews, for instance, in the description.
We can see that just by updating your description every few months with the best reviews you got, that can actually really help to increase your sales as well because especially if you put in the first two rows what actually shows in all of the retail stores as well because it is something fresh for the readers to see.
It actually provides feedback about your book as well if you put your most recent review there. And I think this is something every author should do to update their description bi-monthly or monthly as they can feel with some recent reviews or with some good content what they feel they would actually help them to sell more.
Joanna: Wow, I haven't heard that before. Mainly, I think because Amazon says you can't put reviews in the description. You have to put it in your editorial section, which is below the description.
Do you mean that for all the other retailers, not Amazon?
Joanna: Interesting. See, I think this is the mindset I think so important.
Most people design their whole publishing experience around what Amazon wants and it's so interesting to start thinking outside that.
I do want to come back on the covers because this is an issue I've had for a long time with the publishing systems and yours is the same in that you publish it once and it goes to all countries. But what we've seen is there are very different cover design ideas of a cover that is attractive to an English person can be very different to a cover design that works in the Philippines or Asia.
Asia has some quite different looking covers. American covers, again, quite different. And in China, for example, around any kind of romance, I imagine that's difficult.
What are your thoughts on global covers? How do we design for a global market?
Kinga: That's actually a very good point to adjust your content for the local market need. Not just with pricing, for instance, but with the content itself.
I think you can actually do that in PublishDrive as well by uploading a new version of your book. But it's something authors said, if they actually have a new cover then it's a new type of book already and I definitely can address to all the authors to try to address their books for the different markets if they have the resources to do that because this is something which might help to sell even more in the different markets.
But in some cases, it might be an overload based on how much work you have to actually put into that and based on how much return you might get. So you really have to see which content you are putting in this effort.
You actually can make some small experiments and see what's working on the different markets and what's not and then to build this knowledge into your next book. I think especially when you think about the whole lifetime of a book, when you really have a new look, it's actually getting more attention obviously and that's the part when you can see whether that knowledge, what you actually got before from your experiment, is actually working or not.
Joanna: I agree that doing different covers per market is a lot of work. Again, thinking forwards into a time where we actually have much more developed markets, I can see that you might not want to do one for everywhere but certainly sub-Saharan Africa is quite a different market to, say, Eastern Europe.
You might really have different covers. So that to me that was, again, a five, 10-year thing. I know you and I like to think ahead.
Kinga: I was already thinking with that as well to make special cases by country. That can be very good actually and quite easy to scale as well because we know that in different countries, the colors are working in different way as well.
For instance, in France, the masculine type of colors are red and black. Meanwhile, for instance, in Hungary, red is more like a feminine type of color.
If you know these differences with filters, it can be changed quite easily. Well, that's a very good idea. We might start to work on that.
Joanna: You and I both travel a lot and I see it very much with English. English covers are often very muted. Everything is dialed down.
Whereas colors in Asia, like you look at a book cover in India or anywhere in Asia, it's much, much brighter, much bolder.
Kinga: That's true.
Joanna: I'm glad you're interested in that.
Just before we go, because we're almost out of time, if people are now interested in PublishDrive, they're thinking, “Oh, but, you know, well, what's the real difference?”
Can you just maybe give people an idea of PublishDrive and what sets it apart or what is different to the other distributors out there?
Kinga: We have five main differentiators from the other service providers.
We have the most stores with the best royalties. So you can look at our page where we list all the stores, where we go and all the royalties, what you can get, everything is transparent there. You can look at, for instance, that the Google Play royalties as well, what you can get I think it's the best on the market right now.
And we have an earn as you sell model, which means that we will actually pay you out anyhow, whether we receive the money from the retailers or not. So this is where the others actually are not taking in many cases. And we believe that this is the way how business should be done in our case at least.
Then, as I mentioned before, we have this high-quality book review process. What is really important for us, we actually had many authors, which Intel platform from other service providers and we actively helped them to improve the formatting or the metadata.
We believe that this has to be done in order to make sure that they can be published in the best way to the different stores. And they were really happy about that because authors they want to improve themselves and they want to learn.
And obviously we field a lot of automated processes in the book review process as well. But in the end of the day, there is a human eye which looks at a book as well just to make sure that we can put some extra knowledge, an extra AI there, human intelligence there.
And then what we got as a feedback from our office that they really like the cutting edge and analytics dashboard that we have about the sales data.
Basically, in few dashboards, you can see all of your sales from the different countries, from the different stores as well in a country native way as well, but you can filter based on everything you want to see.
Whether you want to filter on a country or in the store, you can do that quite easily. And we even provide that for many stores in a real time way as well. So in a few days delay, you might able to see all the sales what you actually got from the different stores, which really helps you to react much faster on your marketing efforts, for instance.
If you have a campaign which is active, then you can see whether it's working or not. And you can iterate on that which is, I think, really important for the authors.
What we call it is basically a book report in an advanced way really because it shows you everything.
Then what we could see that our authors really like is how we interact with them through our support team. They really like that we are approachable and we really help to solve their problems as well. As I mentioned before, our team is full of problem solvers. So we really like to help the authors, not just to answer something that, “Okay, yes, we are working on it, let's see,” but to actually solve the problem.
And I think based on the quote, what we had so far, it's working quite well and I really hope that there will be more and more authors who can actually get the help of our support team too.
And the fifth and the last biggest differentiator is that we actually work very hard to provide extra merchandising and marketing opportunities for the retail stores. So now we have this opportunity for Amazon, for Apple, for Scribd, for OverDrive, or Kobo.
For many stores, we want to make sure that the artists can utilize all the tools, what the store can actually can provide, and to make sure that the content can be featured in their marketing calendar or in the front page of the stores as well.
A few weeks ago, we had one book featured on the iBooks, the U.S. store in the romance section. So obviously, it's quite a site to get in especially during summer time. But then the author, she actually could get five times more sales in the end of the day during this period where she was selling and she was actually featured on the front page in this section.
It works a lot if you can utilize and you can use this kind of advanced marketing features, that we provide with PublishDrive.
Joanna: Fantastic. And as I said up front, I'm using PublishDrive now and really I'm very positive about the future because you and I connected and I think we're excited about many of the same things.
And sometimes some of the distributors can be quite faceless and it can be hard to connect. So I'm very excited about what your team are doing and the global first perspective is awesome.
So just give people the website where they can go and check it out.
Kinga: It's publishdrive.com. You can find it quite easily. We have a very active blog there. If you are looking for some tips or for some content about publishing, then you might find a lot of interesting articles there.
We have a Facebook page, a Twitter page, and an Instagram page as well. But besides that, we started to build our author group on Facebook. It's an author community.
It's called Your Self-Publishing Story and it's growing quite well. It's where we can see that they're engaging within each other and they are helping each other and I love to see how committed they are to the books of the others as well.
Joanna: Fantastic. Well, thanks so much for your time, Kinga. That was great.
Kinga: Thanks a lot. And thanks for inviting me again to the show.
I just listened to this episode. Thanks Joanna for bringing on Kinga from Publish Drive. I have both my Kammbia fantasy novels (as well as my upcoming third one) on Publish Drive. Thank you Joanna for showing us the way how indies should publish widely and globally. It has broaden my outlook and markets outside of U.S. and U.K. will play a bigger role in an indie author’s character. I would like to get some tips on how to sell in France and Germany. My novels has references to both of those countries.
Joanna Penn says
Glad you found it useful 🙂 It is exciting to think how the next 10 years will change things in terms of international sales – it’s only day 1!
Martha Knox says
I watched an author video for two mystery books. I’m an avid reader. I love Australian mysteries, likewise French and German as well as my favorite English mystery writers. So many wonderful writers. There are two books that stand out one is the Morgue Drawer series from Germany and the other book is the Queen of the Trailer Park mysteries from France. Three authors did a funny video on Amazon. I’ve read all the books in the series and they might be good for you to research not copy.
Pete Blyth says
I had issues with the audio on this one, sounded very crunchy, but I read the transcript instead. I’ll definitely be setting up a publish drive account and putting all my books out there soon. Looking at their list of distributors I see that there are a few who don’t deal with adult content so I’ll have to plan accordingly as some of my books are very steamy. Double trouble is edging into erotica territory, and most of the rest have at least one sex scene
I’ve read previous article where you say you use Amazon and Ingram. But notice in this article you mention you use Publish Drive. I just wondered what you use them for in particular? Also is it wise, and do you see any benefit in using several aggregators together for different markets. I’m a new author so trying to learn as much as I can. Thanks.
Joanna Penn says
I use Amazon KDP, Kobo Writing Life – and Draft2Digital and PublishDrive for ebook publishing.
I use IngramSpark and KDP Print for print books.
I use ACX and Findaway Voices and Authors Republic for audio.
Plus, I sell direct 🙂
You don’t need to use all of these – but over the years, I have added more in as they all offer different distribution options.