Vook announces today it’s rebranding as an author-centric publishing platform called Pronoun.
As Pronoun, Vook aims to put those two properties to use alongside its own production and distribution system on behalf of authors who publish through the new platform, which will be free to use when it launches publicly.
Pronoun-published authors will keep 100% of the royalties from their work.
Speaking to Publishers Weekly, Pronoun CEO Josh Brody says the company will keep earning revenue from its existing publishing and data tracking businesses while developing Pronoun’s service and growing a user base, with additional support from its investors.
In a Medium post introducing itself to authors, Pronoun points fingers at traditional publishing and self-publishing services alike.
The former, it says, puts “a long chain of people and corporations, each with their own incentives, between you and your audience,” while the latter require authors “to choose between hundreds of costly services whose value is obscured by sales pitches.”
None of these complaints are new, of course, and so far there aren’t many details on how Pronoun’s publishing services represent what it calls “a new model for authors.”
Still, this charge will likely ring true for many authors struggling to earn a living from their writing in what remains a tough book market: “When the costs of production and distribution drop, or when profit margins increase, the author is always the last to benefit.”
Pronoun Announces Formation of Free Publishing Platform for Authors
Three leading digital book publishing companies combine to form Pronoun, a new platform that puts authors first
May 19, 2015 09:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Pronoun announces the formation of a new author-friendly platform for book publishing. Pronoun brings together Vook, the leading digital book creation and distribution platform; Booklr, the industry’s largest proprietary data and analytics engine; and Byliner, a digital-first imprint that publishes bestselling contemporary authors. With this combined technology and experience, Pronoun rethinks what publishing should offer authors. Pronoun empowers every author to create and distribute beautiful digital books, own and control their work and their rights, and receive 100% of their earnings – all for free.
“Pronoun is committed to changing the publishing model by making it open, and by making it free,” said Josh Brody, Chief Executive Officer, Pronoun. “The book publishing industry’s structure pre-dates electricity. Authors seek a viable alternative – both to legacy publishing, with its exclusivity and restrictions, and to self-publishing, with its complexity, limitations, and high costs. Pronoun starts with the author at its core, and builds from there.”
“Digital technologies have transformed every creative industry, from iTunes in music to YouTube in video. The same is now happening to the book industry, and publishers are unable or unwilling to keep pace with that change,” said Ben Zhuk, Pronoun’s Chief Product Officer. “Technology drastically changes the ways digital books can be produced, distributed, and marketed. The question is whether new technologies will be used to impoverish authors, or to empower them. Our mission at Pronoun is to put authors first – by building free digital tools that help them find and reach their audience for the lifetime of their books, not just at launch.”
Pronoun gives authors access to capabilities and information previously available only to large enterprises by bringing together the technology, data, and expertise developed by Vook, Booklr, and Byliner. Vook’s creation and distribution platform, which is used by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fast Company, and many other leading media companies, has achieved significant scale, publishing over 6,000 titles to Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, and Kobo. Booklr’s proprietary data and analytics engine, which tracks performance, customer behavior, and pricing statistics on over 5 million books each day, is trusted by the most prestigious book publishing companies in the world, including Penguin Random House. Byliner, a boutique literary brand, publishes original titles and backlist stories from bestselling authors like Jon Krakauer, Jodi Picoult, and Nick Hornby.
Pronoun is based in New York City. It is backed by several leading venture capital firms, including Floodgate, Tribeca Venture Partners, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Founder Collective, Felicis Ventures, Baseline Ventures, and SV Angel.
Pronoun is currently available by invitation only. If you’re interested in publishing on Pronoun, please visit: www.pronoun.com
Pronoun is a digital publishing platform that empowers every author to create and distribute beautiful digital books, own and control their work and their rights, and receive 100% of their earnings – all for free. Pronoun is based in New York City. It is backed by several leading venture capital firms, including Floodgate, Tribeca Venture Partners, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Founder Collective, Felicis Ventures, Baseline Ventures, and SV Angel. Learn more at: www.pronoun.com
Kate Gundry, 617-797-5174