Our friends over at JukePop have been rocking the world of serial writers and readers and now they are poised to leverage this success and help libraries get the work of indie authors into the hands of readers. We support their efforts and are happy to take this opportunity to spread the word. They have a new project on Kickstarter. You can click through directly to the project or check out some of the overview information below.
Why can’t we download ebooks from library websites to Kindles? Libraries don’t have the infrastructure. We’re here to help – for free.
Here’s the Situation
Libraries want indie authors’ self-published ebooks. Readers love them, and indie books have topped the New York Times digital bestsellers list time and time again.
These books are an important part of our literary culture. But so far, it’s been really hard for libraries to get indie authors’ content. There are literally millions of self-published ebooks out there, and there is no easy way for libraries to sort through them and get the titles into their catalogues. It’s a time-intensive and complicated process that involves weeding through tons of ebook submissions. Not to mention most libraries don’t have the infrastructure to store the ebooks.
Meanwhile, indie authors have found that local libraries are a great way to find new readers, compared to online bookstores. And for authors, new audiences are everything. Libraries are a great way to encourage readers to try works by unfamiliar writers.
However, libraries are closed-loop systems that are hard for indie authors to break into. Traditional publishers have a long, complex relationships with libraries, stretching way before ebooks. But with digital books, publishers generally charge libraries more than they charge consumers, while restricting the number of times that a title can be borrowed. This creates long waiting lists of readers.
There needs to be a way to lend ebooks in a more flexible way. A way that’s good for libraries, good for readers, and good for authors.
(Seen on Publishers Weekly, Fast Company, and Library Journal.)
We’re computer engineers who love books and love libraries. We’ve built an award-winning beta version of our platform that solves these problems with California’s Santa Clara County library system, which includes 8 branch libraries serving 2 million people. We were named the Urban Libraries Council’s Top 2014 Innovator for demonstrating that libraries can work with Silicon Valley startups. Unlike traditional ebook lending platforms, which are cumbersome and difficult for readers to use, our JukePop system is simple. In our pilot, we made over 1000 books available for curation by librarians and easily downloaded to any device, through a website that proved very popular.
If you love books and you love libraries, join us in upgrading your local library to support the discovery of indie authors. Our platform helps local librarians to find and source great indie ebooks. We also let readers download the ebook from library websites and add them onto their favorite reading devices. We need your pledge to make this free for community libraries across the country and who knows — maybe around the world! If we link up all the local libraries, we could create the world’s largest group of readers to discover new writers.
Our unique publishing platform, JukePop, solves many of these issues at once. Not only do we make it easy for libraries to implement — the ebooks are stored on our platform so just a few lines of code is needed to add to their website — we’ve already automated and objectified the scouting process through reader votes, chapter-by-chapter publication, and our analytics tools. We ensure that the best titles are prominent and ready to be acquired by libraries. All we have to do is finish developing the software needed to get our authors’ titles into libraries’ catalogs. We plan to make integration of this technology free for libraries with your pledge.
Our award-winning beta version, while simple to use, still requires a fair amount of manual work for both libraries and JukePop. We want to automate as much as possible so we can make it even easier for librarians and JukePop to maintain.
With the help of JukePop, your libraries will have easy access to fresh talent, therein better meeting the needs of their community, and authors who use JukePop’s platform will have a means of getting into libraries in an efficient way.
Our goal is to get 60 libraries across the country featuring self-publishing authors in their catalogs. We aim to raise $15,000.
$10,000 of the $15,000 will be used to finish the software platform so that we can roll it out to libraries efficiently. The platform will make it more user-friendly for librarians to initially set up our technology and pick which ebooks they want on their site. The finished software platform will also lower the cost for both JukePop and libraries to implement and maintain.
The remaining $5,000 will be used for JukePop to integrate this technology with 60 libraries. Once we’re done with the platform, it’ll only cost JukePop $75 per library, and only 1-2 hours of work per month for libraries to implement and maintain. This is only possible because our technology platform enables us to remove much of the middleman costs. We will not be passing our cost to libraries; that’s where your pledge comes in.
If you think we can do more, you’re right. Click through to the Kickstarter Project and scroll down for our Stretch Goals – even more ambitious! Information about rewards for various levels of support and further information can be found on the Kickstarter Page. Join us in supporting this terrific project.