Discovery Start-up Jellybooks Launches Widgets for Publishers, Authors

[Press Release]

Jellybooks launches discovery “Book Widgets” for authors, agents and publishers at Digital Publishing Xmas Fair

Book discovery start-up announces deals with Faber Factory & Unbound

Jellybooks is launching Book Widgets, a free tool to help authors, agents and publishers improve the online visibility of their books at the Digital Publishing Xmas Fair in Shoreditch Town Hall on 11 December.

Designed to provide authors and publishers with a solution to the ‘discovery problem’ that vexes the book publishing industry, Jellybooks’ Book Widgets improve product visibility by making it easy to download and share book samples across social media. They work like ‘tweet’ or ‘like’ buttons  and enable the reader to download the first 10% of the featured book, or share the DRM-free sample with friends via email, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

Jellybooks samples can be downloaded to any smartphone, tablet or ereader and using the integrated “Send to Kindle” feature can also be sent to a reader’s Kindle account for reading on Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle apps on tablets and smartphones. Readmill users can also make use of the “Send to Readmill” feature and add the sample to their Readmill library.

Jellybooks already hosts samples of over 30,000 titles from 150+ publishers, including major British independents such as Faber & Faber, Atlantic Books, Constable & Robinson, Mills & Boon and Profile Books.  This programme has in part been enabled by a partnership between Jellybooks and Faber Factory, the eBook distribution platform formed by Faber & Faber and Constellation.

Simon Blacklock, Director of Faber Factory said: “Jellybooks’ Book Widgets are an increasingly attractive proposition to publishers who are looking for a quick, easy and attractive way to encourage sampling and sharing of their content across online and social media. We’ve seen significant interest to date and anticipate that this can only grow as the possibilities offered by Book Widgets are opened up to more publishers.”

Among these new publishers entering into partnerships with Jellybooks is Unbound, which will work with the company on developing tools for the authors using its new crowd-funding platform.  The Jellybooks Book Widgets are the first feature in a set of ‘Tools for Authors’ that will be launched in January and will be available to all Unbound authors.

Access to the Jellybooks Book Widgets code is free, but limited to Jellybooks ‘PRO’ users. PRO membership in the scheme is available by invitation only. Publishers and authors interested in participating can apply directly to Jellybooks for memberships, or request an invitation from existing PRO users or participating publishers.

Andrew Rhomberg, founder of Jellybooks concluded: “Before publishers and authors can crack the industry’s ‘discovery’ problem, they first need to solve its visibility problem. Unlike music and video, book content has until now been remarkably difficult to sample and share online and across social media, because existing book samples have been crippled with digital rights management and locked into “silos”. Jellybooks’ Book Widgets addresses that problem with a simple cloud-based solution that leverages the platform and makes it possible for anyone who can put a ‘like’ or ‘tweet’ button on a web page to execute a sophisticated content sampling programme. Book Widgets are just the first step in a set of powerful Tools for Authors we’ll be launching next year that will put the power of social promotion firmly into the hands of authors, agents and publishers.

2 thoughts on “Discovery Start-up Jellybooks Launches Widgets for Publishers, Authors

  1. Michael W. Perry

    It’s a good enough idea, but it’s hindered by the mindset at Amazon and others that the only books that matter are novels and simple biographies. For those, it does make sense for samples to begin at the beginning and, if that 10% means breaking off at some crisis point, so much the better for sales.

    But there are books that benefit from wise sampling. For my guide to making a hospital stay better, Hospital Gowns and Other Embarrassments, I made sure the sample chapter selections I sent Apple for the iBookstore included Chapter 15, which is gives the key to getting hospital staff to treat you special. I wanted everyone to read that chapter, which honors a little boy I once cared for, whether or not they bought the book. With Amazon I couldn’t do that. That ticks me off.

    Jellybooks could deal with this issue by having publishers submit a sample that’d be 100% included. Authors and publishers could then provide a real sample rather than simply a mindlessly cut-down slice of the book. That’d also work much better for textbooks being marketed to teachers.

    –Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books

  2. Andrew Rhomberg


    Well there were a couple of reason for doing this.

    First of all, we wanted a reliable 10%, not just a handful of pages, and avoid an inconsistent user experience, so we take the full book, do a word count, determine 10% by word count and then cut back tot he last full paragraph before 10% is reached. The experience is indeed based on a cover to cover reading experience, which is – admittedly – how I personally read most books, even nonfiction books.

    Another reason is efficiency and scalability especially when it comes to a free service. Any customization, not matter how trivial tends to throw up unexpected issues that triggers support queries that need to be answered, creates bugs that have to be squashed, etc.

    The third reason is: why not pack the good stuff, the stuff that should capture a user’s attention in the beginning of a book or as the saying does “the beginning sells the book, the ending the next one”

    I do take your comments on board and may well add it to the feature set of what is supported in the premium version. It doesn’t mean any author or publisher has to pay extra for it, just that it is only a supported feature if an author or publishers has paid for something, and that could be anything.



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