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The advent of online global platforms

Tom Chalmers Tom Chalmers is Managing Director at IPR License.

Believe it or not it is 40 years, give or take a week, since the first mobile telephone call was made. Martin Cooper, a former Motorola employee, is said to have rang the boss of a rival manufacturer to inform him that he’d lost the race to develop the first portable, hand–held device. I imagine it was a short call. The weight of the phone used to make that call was about the same as a bag of sugar (2lb) and the brick–like battery required, which allowed a talk time of just 30 minutes, took 10 hours to charge.

And, here’s another good fact for you, more than 180 million iPhones have been sold to date and if you turn them sideways and line them up, they would measure more than 12,700 miles long. Which, I know you’re dying to find out, is long enough to build a bridge from Rio de Janeiro to Shanghai, go halfway around the world or circle Pluto almost three times.

So what? Well, this underlines how advances in technology have not only enabled us to communicate on the go but has also revolutionised how we do business. And when I say do business I don’t mean The Apprentice way of ‘doing business’ by backstabbing, conniving, shouting louder than everyone else, all coupled with some outstandingly cringe-worthy proclamations of greatness. And I say that as a fan of The Apprentice.

Anyway I digress. The reality is that the advent of online global platforms, right down to social media, the internet and email have made it easier than ever to engage with potential audiences, affiliate businesses and strategic partners all over the world. Not to mention securing publishing deals, marketing and showcasing authors’ work, as well as buying and selling books rights, licensing agreements and permissions.

Gone are the days when entering a new territory would mean setting up an office and staff there, and it’s true that world domination can now be sparked from a desktop. A few years ago when starting my first business Legend Press I managed to sell the rights to one of our novels into seven editions and four languages from my living room.

While this wasn’t yet world domination it does illustrate what could be done with a laptop and an internet connection. Even since then technology has evolved significantly to make it even faster and simpler to connect with the four corners of the globe. For instance, we haven’t even begun to discuss social media.

And when it comes to selling book rights on an international scale, it is those publishers and authors maximising technology, such as through the online IPR License platform, who are fast emerging from the pack. The internet has broken down many barriers for business and it’s now evident that it is now possible to go global from the comfort of your office chair.


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Laura Summers

Tom Chalmers

Co-founder of @bookmachine - the network for forward-thinking #publishing folks; and BookMachine Works - the fresh new creative agency for publishers

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