By Rich Fahle, Founder, Astral Road Media | @richfahle
In this exclusive interview, Kristen McLean, founder and chief executive officer of Bookigee, discusses her attempts to write a book on book publishing, the future of the industry and her warning to authors. Bookigee is a Miami-based book-start-up that aims to provide a book-recommendation engine to consumers and data and insights to the book industry. The company’s first product, a do-it-yourself book-marketing app called WriterCube, is slated to launch in January 2012.
From the interview:
In 2008, I got a contract to write a book about the publishing industry – about the chain of decision-making in publishing. My sense at that time was that most people in the publishing chain, even people embedded in large publishers, do not understand the number of people whose decisions need to line up for a book to successfully get from an author’s desk to a consumer’s hands. There are many, many pieces. The passion for the book has to go down through so many layers….
…I took about six months and I did all of this really deep research – I took a book’s cover-cost apart and figured out where every penny of that goes across the whole chain. [I] interviewed a lot of authors and got to the point where I was going to start to write the book. I got three chapters in and I realized I didn’t think I could write the book….
…I really felt like our model was on the cusp of a huge change. What I really wanted to say to authors was, “run away, it’s gonna blow!” I just didn’t see how it was going to be sustainable with this profit model. That was a problem.
I missed my first deadline and I went back to the editor and said, “I want to change the thesis of this book. I want to write a bout the future of the model, paradigm shifts.”
And they said, “that’s great, but that’s not the book that we want.”
So, my very fantastic agent broke the contract and said, “just write the book that you want to write.”
A joint production of Digital Book World and Astral Road Media: http://www.astralroad.com/. Founded by Rich Fahle, Astral Road Media is a full-service digital media agency, providing content strategy, design, video production, and other creative forms of social outreach for authors and content creators of all types.