5 Questions for Miral Sattar from Bibliocrunch [INTERVIEW]
Grab your tickets for BookMachine NYC here.
1. What’s your background and how did you get involved in the publishing industry?
I’m an engineer by background, love to write and publish, and also love help other people publish. So, obviously, a natural fit for me would be to combine all three into my own company.
2. What initially sparked the idea for BiblioCrunch?
I used to work it the product division at Time Magazine and left my six figure salary job to launch a startup. In 2011 I noticed that people were buying eBooks based on breaking news events and thought, “Who better to publish eBooks than a company with great archives like TIME?” So I created a prototype and in the process discovered that the tools for creating eBooks were cumbersome and time consuming. I then built a platform which let’s you create eBooks on the fly. During beta testing I realized that not everyone wants to write their eBooks in the clouds, but they all are at a different point in their book production process. That’s when we came up with the idea of a curated publishing marketplace. Bibliocrunch gives authors and publishers a trusted place to work with the freelancers they need to help them publish.
3. BiblioCrunch seems to cater especially to the emerging gap between traditional publishers and do-it-all authors – why is this?
This is where we found the greatest need is. Traditional publishers are slowly downsizing and diy authors can’t do it all. They often use word of mouth to find vetted professionals they can trust. We take those offline interactions and put them all in one place. It’s easy to post a project and get proposals.
4. Why did you decide to pivot your business model from tools to include marketplace services?
We realized that not everyone wants to create or write their books in the cloud. Everyone is usually at a different point in their book production process. That’s when we came up with the idea of the curated publishing marketplace which has grown tremendously since we started. We added a VIP Service which guides authors through the process that is also included in our paid plans.
The biggest question we get from authors once they’ve completed their book is ‘how do I market my book?’ We are rolling out our new marketing tools for authors to help them create buzz and awareness about their books.
5. Can you give us a sneak peek of what we can expect at BookMachine on November 6?
Do’s and don’ts of an entrepreneur, pitching to publishing companies, lessons learned. I had two babies at the time, I gave birth to my daughter while things were taking off so had to learn to create balance. It was insane but it was an incredible time.