Here’s the Situation
Libraries want indie authors’ self-published ebooks. Readers love them, and indie books have topped the New York Times digital bestsellers list time and time again.
These books are an important part of our literary culture. But so far, it’s been really hard for libraries to get indie authors' content. There are literally millions of self-published ebooks out there, and there is no easy way for libraries to sort through them and get the titles into their catalogues. It’s a time-intensive and complicated process that involves weeding through tons of ebook submissions. Not to mention most libraries don't have the infrastructure to store the ebooks.
Meanwhile, indie authors have found that local libraries are a great way to find new readers, compared to online bookstores. And for authors, new audiences are everything. Libraries are a great way to encourage readers to try works by unfamiliar writers.
However, libraries are closed-loop systems that are hard for indie authors to break into. Traditional publishers have a long, complex relationships with libraries, stretching way before ebooks. But with digital books, publishers generally charge libraries more than they charge consumers, while restricting the number of times that a title can be borrowed. This creates long waiting lists of readers.
There needs to be a way to lend ebooks in a more flexible way. A way that’s good for libraries, good for readers, and good for authors.
We’re computer engineers who love books and love libraries. We’ve built an award-winning beta version of our platform that solves these problems with California's Santa Clara County library system, which includes 8 branch libraries serving 2 million people. We were named the Urban Libraries Council’s Top 2014 Innovator for demonstrating that libraries can work with Silicon Valley startups. Unlike traditional ebook lending platforms, which are cumbersome and difficult for readers to use, our JukePop system is simple. In our pilot, we made over 1000 books available for curation by librarians and easily downloaded to any device, through a website that proved very popular.
If you love books and you love libraries, join us in upgrading your local library to support the discovery of indie authors. Our platform helps local librarians to find and source great indie ebooks. We also let readers download the ebook from library websites and add them onto their favorite reading devices. We need your pledge to make this free for community libraries across the country and who knows — maybe around the world! If we link up all the local libraries, we could create the world’s largest group of readers to discover new writers.
Our unique publishing platform, JukePop, solves many of these issues at once. Not only do we make it easy for libraries to implement — the ebooks are stored on our platform so just a few lines of code is needed to add to their website -- we’ve already automated and objectified the scouting process through reader votes, chapter-by-chapter publication, and our analytics tools. We ensure that the best titles are prominent and ready to be acquired by libraries. All we have to do is finish developing the software needed to get our authors’ titles into libraries’ catalogs. We plan to make integration of this technology free for libraries with your pledge.
Our award-winning beta version, while simple to use, still requires a fair amount of manual work for both libraries and JukePop. We want to automate as much as possible so we can make it even easier for librarians and JukePop to maintain.
With the help of JukePop, your libraries will have easy access to fresh talent, therein better meeting the needs of their community, and authors who use JukePop's platform will have a means of getting into libraries in an efficient way.
Our goal is to get 60 libraries across the country featuring self-publishing authors in their catalogs. We aim to raise $15,000.
$10,000 of the $15,000 will be used to finish the software platform so that we can roll it out to libraries efficiently. The platform will make it more user-friendly for librarians to initially set up our technology and pick which ebooks they want on their site. The finished software platform will also lower the cost for both JukePop and libraries to implement and maintain.
The remaining $5,000 will be used for JukePop to integrate this technology with 60 libraries. Once we’re done with the platform, it’ll only cost JukePop $75 per library, and only 1-2 hours of work per month for libraries to implement and maintain. This is only possible because our technology platform enables us to remove much of the middleman costs. We will not be passing our cost to libraries; that’s where your pledge comes in.
If you think we can do more, you're right. Scroll down for our Stretch Goals - even more ambitious!
The Basic Rewards
Pick Your Library - Any backers at $25 or greater can name a library of choice. We will prioritize your local community library for implementation. The more backers for a community library, the higher its priority for JukePop. So make sure you share this with your friends!
List Your eBook - We will include your ebook in our catalog for libraries to consider. ($50 or greater pledge level.)
One Click Publish - A platform for indie authors to easily create, format, and publish ebooks for their own use and to popular ebook retailers like Amazon and iBooks. We can only do this if you help us get to our stretch goal. If we do, we will make this free for 6 months for all authors! (Scroll down below to "Stretch Goals" for more details.)
eBooks of Choice - ebooks from some authors and publishers that believe in our mission. (Scroll down below to "The eBooks" for more details.)
A La Carte Rewards
Perfect for any aspiring author, or a gift to an author you know, from Cover Design to Developmental Editing. Our friends at Plympton have asked their friends who are fiction editors at Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Macmillan to help provide feedback to writers. All are current or former acquiring editors at Big 5 publishing houses.You will have a choice of editors based on availability and fit. Contact us to get a list of the editors.
Sample Edit - Got an idea for a book? At JukePop we know how important your opening chapters are. Get written feedback for 2000 words from acquiring editors.
Cover Design - Get your book cover designed by some of the brilliant artists behind the highly touted Recovering the Classics project. The artist will work with you to create three cover concepts presented, of which you get to choose one that the artist can develop. Contact us to get the list of contributing artists.
Editorial Consultation - Nothing beats feedback from a great editor and finding one is hard. You’ll get your manuscript reviewed and feedback given via a 30 minute phone call or a 2-3 page editorial memo.
Editorial Feedback - Ready for detailed feedback? Get your manuscript reviewed by current or former acquiring editors at Big 5 publishing houses and get a detailed 5-7 page editorial memo analyzing it.
Developmental Editing - There's a great story in every manuscript, but often it takes a great editor to help you shape it. Get a comprehensive line edit of your manuscript, direct feedback in a 7 page memo.
For all backers, we are giving away copies of novels from authors that support us, you can choose from 4 below depending on the reward level.
Our friends at Black Hill Press have donated their eBook Edition collections to our cause for the higher pledge levels.
We can more than triple the libraries serviced - extending the benefit to a total of 200 libraries!
We can serviced 500 libraries total - more than eight times our initial goal. Awesome!
One Click Publish - We will be able to develop a platform for authors to easily create, format, and publish ebooks for their own use and to popular ebook retailers like Amazon and iBooks. Using the platform will be free for 6 months for all authors!
Being able to create and share stories to a like minded community for feedback is great, but let’s face it - most people that read don’t give direct feedback. So JukePop has taken that onerous chore out of readers hands by simply letting readers read and giving authors insight into how their story is being read. What we have right now is already among the top features for authors on JukePop; but we’ll need to upgrade the authors analytic dashboard so it’s less chart and graphs and more actionable insights.
Authors have already used our innovative analytics platform to determine at which point readers are dropping off and using that to hone their story’s engagement and quality. We can provide this insight thanks to our +Vote feature, where readers vote on their favorite chapters. Our research shows that readers are more likely to talk about a book they have actually finished. So an engrossing story has a better chance at ebooks retailers, since word-of-mouth is the single most important factor in the sale of ebooks.
Authors can even understand how each chapter appeals to readers, this will help them understand why certain types of readers are not coming back, perhaps it’s because a favorite villain was killed off or the plot twist wasn’t believable.
Risks and challenges
We've already mapped out what we need to do to turn our beta implementation into a finished tool for libraries, the only potential risks are the time it'll take to work with libraries to fine tune the user experience. So the initial few libraries may take a bit longer to roll out, but once all the kinks are ironed out the rest of the implementation should be relatively smooth.
Pick Your Library - Working with libraries is all about timing, as most libraries work on a quarterly budgetary / project planning system. Even though we make the time for implementation and cost as low as possible it still requires libraries to prioritize that against other internal projects. Depending on when we approach your library, it can take the eBooks weeks to months before it's available to you in the library's website.
One Click Publish - We have all the major features mapped out, the only risks will be how long it'll take to implement a working version for backers to use. We will aim to release a working version as quickly as possible for backers to use and continue to refine it in parallel. We anticipate a working version can be ready as early as November.
The eBooks - All the eBooks have been produced, so we just need to get it to the backers as quickly as possible via email.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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