German e-Book Site BookRix Heads to the U.S.By Mercy Pilkington
By many accounts, Germany may very well be the next big landscape in digital publishing. With the recent launch of Amazon.de’s Kindle store and Kobo’s expansion into foreign markets —as well as the introduction of their new e-ink touch reader that is the first multilingual e-reader on the market— Germany has become an important venue for e-books. So it should be no surprise that as digital publishing makes headway in Europe, sites are in development for e-book authoring, publishing, and retailing.
BookRix, a German based social media outlet for writers, seeks to do for authoring what sites like MySpace did to help musicians establish a fan base and reach out to a potential audience. Despite its launch only three years ago, the site has over 170,000 registered English-speaking users, which is actually impressive when taking into consideration that registration isn’t required to be able to read works, only to submit them to the website. This translates into over 20 million page views per month.
Andreas Hinterplattner, social media manager of BookRix US, is most impressed with the fact that it is not only unpublished or self-published authors who are coming to the site to market themselves to their fans. Published authors, such as Eye of the Whale creator Douglas Carlton Abrams, upload their content for their fans to enjoy, sometimes a chapter at a time or even entire full-length manuscripts.
The essential tool for uploading author-written content with security is ViewRix, which enables authors to embed their sample chapters without cutting-and-pasting. Authors can offer up teaser samples of their work without worrying that their content will be let loose on the Internet.
BookRix is in the early days of its expansion into the U.S. and most of North America and is steadily increasing its numbers of English-speaking users. The personalization features of the site, where registered users can design their own profile pages and display their projects for other viewers, have made it a popular platform for seasoned and new others alike.
After creating a name for itself as a social networking tool for authors and publishers, BookRix has broadened its scope into worldwide distribution of digital media, publishing e-books to al major online retailers and over 25,000 other book sellers. BookRix boasts over 15 million individual page views per month, retains a user membership of over 250,000 worldwide, and has over 60,000 published books in its catalog. All of those numbers combine to make BookRix a site for indie authors to watch as its expansion heads this way.
Mercy Pilkington is a young-adult author and a teacher in a correctional facility. She does not have a single textbook in her classroom. With the top-of-the-line technology at her disposal and the low reading ability of many of her students, there’s no need for standard paper texts. Instead she relies on e-readers, iPads, desktop PCs, Polycom video conferencing equipment for virtual field trips, live streaming for science demonstrations, and text-to-speech read-aloud software to teach English and science. Within the next ten years, public school classrooms across the country are going to look a lot more like Mercy’s classroom because the educational possibilities with these kinds of technologies are limitless. Have a question? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org