Prolific bloggers turn into ebook authors with fairly often; it only makes sense that people writing lots of content on a regular basis would want to extend the life and revenue potential of said content, after all. That’s why ebook publishing startup Hyperink is introducing a new feature today to try to capitalize on the web’s best and brightest content generators, by providing an editor to help curate and organize a blogger’s existing content, and structure that content in a way that makes sense for a book-length work.
Once edited, the book is then published in PDF, epub and mobi formats, which makes it compatible with all current ereaders, including the iPad and Kindle Fire. Hyperink also distributes it via its own ebook marketplace, as well as the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo ebook stores. Hyperink also says that iBook store support is just around the corner, too.
Hyperink cofounder Kevin Gao told BetaKit in an interview that the process is designed to be as simple as possible for the bloggers it approaches. “We worked with a couple of bloggers to basically curate their top posts, and actually reworking it a bit to make it feel like a long-form book,” he said, talking about how Hyperink piloted the new service with VC investor Brad Feld and food and diet blogger Richard Nikoley.
“The whole process takes maybe three weeks,” Gao explained. “We assign a professional editor who does all the work, and the blogger can put in as much time as they want, but really as little as 3-5 hours to read it, approve it and write a launch post.” Hyperink’s editors are both in-house, and freelance, and Gao said they choose who to partner with each blogger depending on their expertise and background.
There are a lot of ebook publishing platforms out there, but Gao thinks Hyperink is offering something that differs considerably from what services like Inkling provide. A key difference is that while Inkling and Vook are self-publishing platforms, Gao notes that Hyperink specifically chooses bloggers to partner with based on who they think will represent a solid sales opportunity.
“Our focus is on identifying the book topics and titles that we think will sell well, and then actually going out there and helping these writers sell their books and make money off of them,” he said. “Our business model is that we only make money when the books sell […] so a lot of the technology we’ve built is around identifying what information people are searching for, what the books are that they’re buying, and what they’re talking about on social media. From all those data sources we get a sense of what kinds of books we can publish that will sell well.”
As for the revenue split, Gao said that typically, Hyperink offers a 50/50 split of revenue made from book sales on the ebooks it makes with blogger partners, but that split could go either up or down, depending on the person they’re working with. A bigger name could take a larger percentage, for instance, or a lesser known author might give up more of their share so that Hyperink can promote more heavily. Royalties from traditional publishing houses range from around 10 to 20 percent, and so Hyperink is definitely delivering a strong value proposition. Authors who publish through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program can enjoy either a 35 or a 70 percent royalty on sales, depending on which option they choose, but that doesn’t come with all the editing and marketing services Hyperink provides.
Hyperink’s move into scouting and working with established bloggers is a smart one; in many cases, the content they’ll be going after would be just sitting on a blog somewhere not making too much extra revenue for its creators anyway. By offering a way to leverage that content which otherwise has a short lifespan on the web, and doing so risk-free since there’s no upfront cost, the startup could become a next-generation O’Reilly and a targeted ebook marketplace portal that offers a more distilled selection than giants like Amazon.