Here’s why Noida-based AllAuthor believes writers shouldn’t go by the book when it comes to branding and promotions
A book is a labour of love for every author. But helping the right set of readers to discover the book isn’t easy in these times when a new title is released almost every day. Noida-based startup AllAuthor aims to simplify authors’ lives by providing services for book promotion; these include personal branding, creation of engaging content, and automation of social media promotion.
Started by brothers Naveen and Madhuker Joshi in 2016, the online platform creates and provides marketing tools such as graphics, banners, and videos that the authors can share on their social media accounts to connect with readers. The ultimate goal is to let authors focus on what they do best: writing.
“The challenge that authors face today is the lack of time to promote their work. Our promotional tools help authors to promote their books with minimum efforts,” Naveen says.
Reading between the lines
In 2010, Naveen and Madhuker had started an edtech startup, M4maths, a mathematics learning website that helps prepare students for pre-placement tests at companies, college entrance exams, and government job exams. However, this free platform did not generate enough revenue to help the business thrive.
Around this time, Naveen, who used to work in the website and mobile development industry, started to get few projects for website development. Most of his clients were authors, and he ended up creating a website where authors could connect with other authors and get help with book promotions.
“This is when I realised that the requirement of almost all the authors were similar when it came to book listings, social medialinks etc. This led to an idea: why not build a platform where authors could have their own profiles and connect with readers?” Naveen says. And AllAuthor was born.
The startup has a total of 5,000 authors and around 60,000 readers on its platform as of now, with maximum authors from the US (78 percent), followed by the UK, Canada, Australia, and India.
Naveen says getting authors to sign up with them was a challenge initially, but they relied on word of mouth. The team got in touch with authors through social media channels and influenced them to come on to their platform. At present, AllAuthor claims to have 20 authors who are listed in the Amazon Top 100 ranking, including JS Scott, Carolyn Brown, and others.
The team has grown to seven members now, with Madhuker managing the ground work and team while Naveen manages the tech and marketing areas. Both brothers are clear that their focus is now AllAuthor, and M4maths is “currently on auto-pilot mode”.
How does AllAuthor work?
AllAuthor can be used by two sets of people: Authors and Readers. Memberships for readers are free while authors can choose between the free and paid memberships. Every author who signs up gets a dedicated page where s/he can include their bio, books (with buy links), and social media handles and website/blog.
The website offers a free sample - two chapters - of every book to readers; they are redirected to ecommerce websites if they wish to buy the book.It also has a section for readers where they can interact with authors, discuss books with other readers, and list their favourite quotes and books.
AllAuthor provides authors with three marketing tools on its platform. These include:
1. Author branding AllAuthor creates an author profile that is customisable with themes. Authors can include their social media handles, biographies, and information about their books here. The profile also offers a contact form so readers can connect with them.The authors and their books are also listed on the author and book directory on the website. The directory is divided into different categories, based on a reader’s preference such as genre, country, reviews etc.
2. Utility tools These help authors to create engaging graphics, banners, and videos that they can use while promoting their books. The easy-to-use platform lets them DIY book teasers, promotionalGIF banners, book promotional banners, and weekly mockup banners. “One unique feature we have is the review GIF maker. This means that when authors submit the reviews they get for the book, we create a GIF based on the text, which can be shared by the authors like an animation,” Naveen says.
3. Automation tools AllAuthor provides tools to schedule tweets, monitor piracy, and give the author control over promotional content
The AllAuthor platform offers two programmes: Pro and free. The Pro authors get top priority in the directory and can make use of all utility and marketing tools. They are also featured in an author interview on the website. The Free version limits the author; s/he can only use some of the tools and can to add up to four books to the website. Free users can only sample most of the tools above.
The Pro subscription model is priced at $99 per year. In addition to the featured listing option for one book provided for free under this membership, authors can also feature their books separately at the rate of $34 per book for six months without being a Pro member.
The future is bright
According to Nielsen, the book sales sector in India is estimated to be worth $6.76 billion now and is set to grow at an average compound annual growth rate of 19.3 percent until 2020. While there are similar startups like Delhi-based Vowelor and Chennai-based Notion Press that help authors, Naveen says the others focus only on branding and do not help with book promotions.
“We have looked into all the requirements of authors and provide it on a single platform - branding to utility tools to promotion,” Naveen says.
The founders of AllAuthor, which was bootstrapped with Rs 10 lakh as initial investment, say funding was a challenge initially. Today, AllAuthor generates its revenue from the Pro premium feature on its platform, through book listings, and referral commission from other ecommerce book platforms. It claims to have a current annual revenue of $90,000, and is looking to grow this in the near future.
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