Pentian CEO: ‘Publishing with a Purpose Is a Privilege’

PentianIn the latest entry in Digital Book World’s series Interviews in Innovation, we sat down with Enrique Parrilla, founder and CEO of the Spanish crowdfunding publisher Pentian.

One trouble people find with crowdfunding projects is that once the donation is met, there is little incentive for backers to continue offering support. Pentian, however, has found that by offering backers a financial return on their investment, they are more likely to get support throughout the project, particularly upon a book’s release.

Having brought their services over to the US a little over a year ago, Pentian has gone through some changes and has several more on the horizon. To get the latest from the publisher, we spoke with Parrilla to discuss the company’s reception in America, what the process of using the service is like, and what’s in store for the future.

Much more.

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SpotlightDBW Free Spotlight Webinar on Publishing Processes
Automation in the Publishing Process: From Prepress to Digital Distribution

Digital Book World’s Spotlight topic for November has been publishing processes, and on Tuesday, November 17th, at 1pm EST, we’re hosting our next webinar on the subject. Featured on the webinar will be Larry Bennett, Executive Director at Nord Compo, who will discuss template-driven workflows in the prepress process, and Carmen Lamb, Sales Representative, Digital Publishing Services, at LibreDigital, who will discuss the role of automation in digital channel management, with a particular emphasis on customizing metadata for different accounts.
Click here to register.

An Author’s Guide to Holiday Book Marketing (Written Word Media)
We, as marketers, love the holidays because people are in buying moods. Authors can take advantage of the mass shopping mentality to acquire new readers, maximize revenue and sell more books. The downside of holiday marketing? Everybody’s doing it. Ads are more expensive and your readers’ inboxes are jammed with sale announcements. The downside sounds pretty daunting, but trust us: holiday marketing is still worth it. The marketing chatter from Thanksgiving to Christmas just requires strategic thinking to stand out and get noticed by readers. Dates matter when it comes to holiday marketing. So we put together a holiday cheat sheet to help you plan the cadence of your advertising, no matter the tactics you choose.

5 Ideas for Promoting Your Ebook Price Promo on Social Media (BookBub)
Running a price promotion for your book—temporarily dropping the price and promoting the discount via a service like BookBub—is a great way to drive a large volume of downloads or sales. And the more momentum you get from your campaign, the higher you’ll drive your book up retailers’ top lists and even the bestseller lists. So how can you promote your book on social media while it’s discounted without being spammy? Here are a few creative ideas that both indie authors and traditionally published authors can use to amplify their price promotions and BookBub campaigns using social media.

The Dark Matter of the Publishing Industry (TechCrunch)
Recently there were a pair of revealing eruptions in the world of ebooks and the volatile book publishing industry more generally. The first was the announced demise of Oyster, an ebook subscription startup based in New York and backed by $17 million in VC funding. While the announcement of Oyster’s shutdown is remarkable for its lack of transparency, apparently after its sun sets, Oyster’s excellent ebook reader expertise will be transferred to Google in the form of its founders and probably some of its tech or even the entire company, but perhaps not its pricey ebook contracts with publishers.

Google Brings Mobile Comics to Google Play Store (Re/code)
Google, a company obsessed with organizing information and bent of late on building a comprehensive media offering through its app store, would like die-hard comic book fans to spend their time with Google. So the company launched new part of Google Play Books tailored for comics, with scrolling features and new ways to browse through the visual-heavy publications on mobile devices.

BookTech Awards Showcase: ooovre (Futurebook)
Local bookselling site ooovre aims to tip the balance in favor of the little guys by providing a platform that makes it effortless for customers to click and collect from a range of bookstores in their local area. Unfortunately, similar sites such as Hive, which launched in 2011 with 350 independent bookstores on board, have failed to stem the tide of closures in recent years. So why does John Bennett, ooovre’s founder, think that ooovre has what it takes to save the day?

Taking Books from Podcast to Print (Futurebook)
Why would anyone launch a magazine in the year 2015? It’s a question we at Little Atoms asked ourselves more than once over the past few months as we put together our first print edition. The real theme of Little Atoms is reading: we like to read books, we like to talk to authors about their books, and authors like to talk to us. Our listeners, too, are readers. Since relaunching our website in January with written features, we’ve seen a steady increase in traffic, encouragingly so for longer, thoughtful pieces. So the next logical step is to bring out a print edition.

When Is a Bookstore Not a Bookstore? (American Libraries)
Regarding Amazon’s new physical bookstore, the question, of course, is why? We all know that Amazon was, and is, only incidentally a bookstore. Its major competition is Walmart, not Barnes & Noble. Building a physical store is rife with irony and open to all sorts of cheap shots, but living in its shadow means we know they should never be taken lightly. Toe in the water? Whose water? Whatever this thing is, it certainly bears watching.

One Size Does Not Fit All for Ebook Subscriptions (Pub Perspectives)
Global brands may appear to dominate ebook subscriptions, but the truth is that nimble, local publishing startups across Europe are winning authors’ hearts and minds.

TensorFlow and Monetizing Intellectual Property (Stratechery)
The fundamental nature of the Internet makes monetizing infinitely reproducible intellectual property akin to selling ice to an Eskimo: it can be done, but it better be some really darn incredible ice, and even then the market is limited. A far more attainable and sustainable strategy is to instead focus on monetizing complements to said intellectual property, resulting in an outcome where everyone wins: intellectual property consumers, intellectual property copiers, and above all intellectual property creators.

Falling Down the Quality Abyss (Seth Godin)
Attention stops being paid, compromises are made, quality goes down. Expectations aren’t met. Expectations are lowered. Customers drift away. Budgets are cut, because there are fewer customers. Quality erodes even more, because there’s less to spend, and employees care less. Repeat. The alternative is the quality ratchet: Over-focus on quality. Expectations go up. Sales rise as a result of word of mouth and customer satisfaction. More money is spent on quality. Repeat. Often, organizations don’t realize that they’re falling down the abyss until extraordinary efforts are required to make a difference. But it’s always easier to fix it today than it will be tomorrow.

Interactive Storytelling Phone Debuts (PW)
Looking at the Call Me Ishmael phone, which features a rotary dial, you might assume it belongs in your grandmother’s house. Despite its old-timey appearance, the device is very much of the 21st century. And the inventors of the phone, which contains a web app that allows users to dial a number and hear stories about a specific book, are hoping it becomes a fixture in bookstores and libraries.

Bertelsmann Earnings Gain in Third Quarter (Pub Lunch)
In a brief third quarter trading update, Bertelsmann said they had “stronger growth in revenues and profits” over the past three months “than during the first half of the present fiscal year”—when sales had grown modestly, though due to currency exchange and acquisitions, sliding on an organic basis. Sales were up €141 million in the third quarter (or 3.5 percent), to €4.112 billion, as “operating EBITDA improved markedly.” For the first 9 months, Bertelsmann has earned €573 million in operating profit, a record for this point in the fiscal year and equal to what they earned all of last year.


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