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Informed Publishing at Pubslush

Pubslush‘s Jesse Potash explains how the power of the community is key to creating a successful crowdfunding platform and bringing books to life.

Publishing may be the greatest guessing game of all time. Gut feeling, instinct, and faith are all words that come to mind when a manuscript is plucked from the masses for publication. And while there’s no denying the talent of a skilled acquisitions editor, the augmented use of data in the publishing process could not be timelier. With the sheer volume and overwhelming growth of content being “published” annually, surviving in the market is close to impossible. Seemingly, a more discerning publishing process is the only opportunity for success. Enter Pubslush, a publishing platform for authors, publishers, and agents to raise money and gauge market viability for new book ideas.

The platform introduces readers directly into the publishing equation at the beginning of the process, rather than the end. Pubslush’s contribution to the existing talent discovery process is characterized by two multifaceted cornerstones: fundraising and market analytics.

Fundraising on Pubslush can be used simply to mitigate financial risk and afford professional publishing services (marketing, editing, design, etc.) or to replace increasingly scarce advances. With the proliferation of low quality, self-published content, the need to produce a high quality product is pressing, and requires significant expenditure. Though perhaps most importantly, fundraising on Pubslush can be used to attach a financial value to market feedback. By using Pubslush to collect preorders, for instance, authors and their proxies can tangibly measure demand for their book, meaning that other demand measurement methods (ie. Facebook “likes” or email lists) that lack financial association are less valuable. Having 40,000 subscribers to a blog is fantastic, but what’s it actually worth? Pubslush provides the answer.

Market analytics are equally as important on Pubslush. The question, “who is your audience” is ubiquitous in publishing, and we aim to answer this in advance of publication. By using Pubslush before actually publishing a book, authors, agents, and publishers can produce books with built in demand and collect valuable information about the initial market that would otherwise be inaccessible. This includes information such as age, gender, referral traffic, click through rates, and geography, enabling a more targeted, advanced marketing campaign. Actionable insights about initial audience will undoubtedly help sell more books and decrease costs by eliminating futile marketing efforts. The platform also encourages readers to leave feedback for books and allows authors to survey their audience much like a focus group.

Since our launch we’ve seen several success stories on Pubslush with individual book campaigns raising upwards of $20,000. More than just a crowdfunding platform, Pubslush identifies as a community of book lovers and early-adopter readers using their voice to discover great writing talent. The platform provides resources and education to authors to guide them through the publishing process and will shortly launch a marketplace of freelance publishing professionals to match authors with their publishing dream team.

Pubslush was created with the idea that authors are a very unique subset of the (often visual) creative community, and would benefit from a proprietary platform just for books. It also operates an independent publishing imprint and has just acquired its debut title for publication in 2013. The book, a beautiful mess, was selected for publication after running a successful independent campaign. The platform continues to discover and develop promising writing talent for its imprint.

Simply, Pubslush is a risk-free platform that facilitates an informed publishing process. For authors, we’ve aggregated all of the essential components for successful publishing into a single venue. Whether they elect to publish on their own or pursue an agent or publisher, authors will be equipped with the financing, information, and resources to succeed. For publishers and agents, we’re confident that by combining information science and crowdsourcing with instinct and gut feeling, success is guaranteed. Nonetheless, the goal is the same: to bring books to life, and keep them alive.

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