Nicolas Gremion

Q&A Over the Merger of Digital Publishing & Social Media

Paradise Publishers, the creator of Free-eBooks.net, is launching Foboko.com, a free, revolutionary digital publishing platform that offers the first social writing experience, on August 2nd. Foboko will merge social media and digital publishing to fulfill the popular desire people have to share their message by creating the first-ever “Social Publishing Wizard.”

I had the pleasure of sitting down with the founder and CEO of Paradise Publishers, Nicolas Gremion, to learn more about Foboko:

John: In a nutshell, what is Foboko?

Nicolas: Foboko is a social community with a built-in “Social Publishing Wizard.” It breaks down the eBook writing and publishing process into baby steps, which any would-be authors can open to the community for instant help at any time. The created eBooks are shared with a large audience of avid readers giving them instant exposure. And it’s all free.

John: Explain the process an author goes through when publishing a book on Foboko.

Nicolas: Our aim is to assist and lead authors through the entire process, from beginning to end, by breaking it down into 6 main sections, each having their own sub-steps:

  1. Book Basics: Important and crucial information is requested, such as the title, description, and even the author’s writing goals (ex: word count per day). You can also invite up to 4 additional co-authors to join you, giving them complete control over the book.
  2. Brainstorming: This is the meat, and it’s what I see as the most helpful feature. While optional, the brainstorming section is a very powerful and comprehensive questionnaire, which allows you to plot your book. It’s especially beneficial for new authors, as it will formulate the entire layout, structure, and storyline for them.
  3. Cover & Images: This section allows authors to upload images. As with every other step, authors can ask the community for feedback or for their designs. Workdesk: This is where authors will spend a great deal of their time. The workdesk is where the writing takes place. The layout of the workdesk is determined automatically by the answers given in the brainstorming section.
  4. Review & Publish: Another important advantage of Foboko is the automatic conversion of your book into the 5 most popular eBook formats: HTML, TXT, PDF, ePUB and MOBIPOCKET (PRC). Your eBook will be usable on any eReader, smartphone, tablet, or computer right away. If you ever make changes, the system will update all the formats automatically.
  5. Earn Money: We give our authors ownership of the advertising spaces surrounding their eBooks’ listings. Authors gain exposure and fans by offering free downloads of their eBooks, yet they are still able to profit from it through our ad-sharing program.

John: What problem is Foboko solving?

Nicolas: To be bold, Foboko is solving the publishing problem. The publishing industry is shifting and, while many models exist, each has major drawbacks. Let’s compare the 3 most popular models.

  1. Traditional publishing: It’s a tough nut to crack from an author’s perspective, and businesswise, it’s a declining model due to inventory, costs of marketing, and so on.
  2. Online distributors (example: Amazon, iBooks): Foboko aims to own the space before these entities by helping people actually create eBooks. The desire to be published is one of the most prevalent today; it’s right up there with weight loss and financial gains. However, most people do not act on this desire because they believe creating a book is too difficult or too expensive, or it won’t be read in the end. Foboko breaks down these obstacles by making it easy, free, and fun.
  3. Print-on-demand publishing (example: lulu.com): Not only does Foboko help you create your eBook, it provides you with a reader base. The unfortunate reality of trying to sell your eBook on print-on-demand sites, or via online distributors, is that consumers are cautious about spending money on indie authors. Again, some authors can succeed this way, but in general, it’s difficult to sell many books through these sites. For the majority of authors, getting read is the main goal, which our free-download model provides in abundance. Our revenue-sharing program is the icing on the cake, allowing them to see financial gains as well.

John: What systems have you set up in Foboko to help it grow?

Nicolas: The very nature of Foboko encourages its members to spread the word. We educate authors that creating and posting their book is not the finish line. While we actively market Foboko, authors are also given the tools to promote their books through outside mediums.

Since we believe our members are best suited to help spread the word, we have a rewards program in place that gives them extra benefits for simply helping us share the joy of writing and reading.

John:  As an entrepreneur, how do you build a customer base of authors?

Nicolas: We attract authors by providing them the tools for success:

  • A large reader base (that’s what writing is all about),
  • A wizard that allows for easy eBook creations,
  • A social publishing community that allows authors to perfect their manuscripts,
  • A system that allows them to publish in 5 formats and update these eBooks on the fly,
  • A unique system allowing them to earn money, while still getting tons of exposure,
  • An analytics system that allows them to track their success, and
  • A social network that allows them to connect in real time with fans.

By combining a unique service that offers so many distinct advantages over the competition with traditional, and some not-so-traditional, marketing efforts, I believe we’ll be able to attract and grow our author base.

John: How do you build a base of readers? What is the best way to get a new online book in front of readers, in your opinion?

Nicolas: The easy answer is by providing FREE eBooks. The word “free” attracts the masses, and it also allows new authors the chance to be read. It’s rare that readers pay to read a book from relatively lesser-known authors. Providing eBooks for free, even while some authors may not love the idea originally, is really a win-win. Not only does it give readers the opportunity to discover new books they otherwise probably would not buy, it gives authors the chance to make a name for themselves.

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