Libboo Users Create Buzz Around eBooks, Aid DiscoverabilityBy Mercy Pilkington
One of the most difficult aspects of the recent boom in digital publishing–for both authors and the readers–is discoverability. With predictions such as those from Smashwords‘ CEO Mark Coker that portend that 2013 will see an even bigger glut of ebooks hitting the market, readers can struggle to find quality content for their devices while still seeking out new authors and new works.
GoodeReader spoke with Jason Freeman of the startup site Libboo, a platform that allows authors and publishers to submit their titles for discovery. Once a title is previewed and vetted, Libboo leaves it up to its ever-growing group of Book Buzzers to spread the word about great books via their own individual social media connections.
“What we’re doing is fairly innovative, we think. It’s important work,” said Freeman of the ability of individual readers to let their connections know about new books coming to market. “Some people will have a passion for buzzing a specific title or a specific genre. They want to share that with a community that they have influence with. Our hope at Libboo is that we come to you and we provide you with the specific tools you need to promote books.”
One of the incentives for readers who sign up to buzz different books is the ability to quite easily earn free content for their sharing. Those free ebooks are theirs to read and enjoy, or they are able to share those individual download codes with people on their networks who might wish to read the book. As of yesterday, Libboo has begun awarding the status of Mega Buzzer to those readers who share the most titles.
“Libboo’s creation was spurred by a real passion by our co-founder, Chris Howard. He has an understanding and a great drive to address what we call our timeless problem, which is getting lost in crowded spaces.” As a musician who saw firsthand the challenges for new artists to get discovered in the industry, he saw the need for authors and their books to be given the necessary exposure to reach an audience.
As part of the testament to how the digital publishing industry is changing the mindset about books, Libboo does not limit content to either traditionally published or self-published works, although all books must go through a rigorous process after submission to be included in the site. Authors can benefit from the potential for book exposure, while readers can benefit from discovering and interacting with other readers and the authors themselves through the reviews and comments. As a whole, the publishing industry stands to benefit from the creation of a company whose sole purpose is to tell the world about books.
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