Sometimes you don’t see the gold beside you because you’re too busy searching for it elsewhere, assuming it will be hard to find. Such was the case when I opened my eyes to BookBuzzr recently–a service that had been mentioned on Twitter, but that I hadn’t explored. When I did take the time to explore it, I was blown away by what they offer authors.
Curious? I thought you might be, so BookBuzzr’s CEO, Vikram Narayan, and I have a Take Five for you today.
Q: For people who’ve never heard of BookBuzzr, can you explain what the service offers?
VN: BookBuzzr is a free, online book-marketing technology for authors. It consists of three components:
- A BookBuzzr widget of your book which can be shared on social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Orkut etc. This widget is also an excellent replacement for your book-cover image on your website or blog.
- An email signature that is created from your book and that can be used in your emails.
- A Twitter marketing feature set which allows authors to accumulate followers and automatically tweet about their books to their respective followers without making it too much like a sales pitch.
The author also gets a free listing on fReado.com - a sister site which hosts books in BookBuzzr format.
Here’s an example of a BookBuzzr book widget:
Q: Oh, that’s my favorite BookBuzzr widget. (Koff.) How did BookBuzzr come to be?
VN: My friend – Chetan Dhruve who is the author of the international sleeper-hit book – ‘Why Your Boss is Programmed to Be a Dictator’ was one day lamenting the fact that authors have a very challenging time marketing their books online. Authors need to create an online presence, show up on various social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and also allow their fans to share their books and recommend their books to their friends in a viral manner. Another pet-peeve that Chetan had was that his book-extract on the Internet never looked like a book. As an author he wanted his book-extract to look like a real book and have the pages turn like a real book. So I asked Chetan what his dream, online book-marketing tool would do. We then started sketching out a few screens and that became the core of our product. We found very quick adoption from the time of our launch a few months ago and the project has now taken on a life of it’s own. It’s mainly driven by our community of over 2,000 authors who suggest features. As I said before, BookBuzzr was developed by an author. Our goal is to continually upgrade BookBuzzr as improved technology avails itself, thereby offering the finest most effective online book-marketing technology possible.
Q: How can people get the most out of BookBuzzr?
VN: The process is very simple. If you’re an author, all you need to do is to go to BookBuzzr.com and upload your book (or sample book-pages) to the site. You then enter a few details about your book and yourself. In a little while, you will get a little BookBuzzr widget which you can put up on your website, blog, Facebook page etc. You can also set up BookBuzzr to automatically tweet about your book whenever readers open the book-extract (we call this feature “BookTweeter”)
Q: What are some of the more innovative ways you’ve seen people use BookBuzzr?
VN: Author Tony Eldridge (whose book has been picked up by a Hollywood studio) made his entire book available in serial form by putting up a new chapter periodically. Best selling Canadian author – Cheryl Kaye Tardif has put up all her three books on her blog in BookBuzzr format as a replacement for her book-cover image. We’ve also seen authors using some very enticing messages when they set up their automated tweets for twitter in BookBuzzr.
Q: What should people know about BookBuzzr’s sister site, fReado?
VN: fReado offers a free listing for authors and their books. Because the site is optimized for search engines, the chances of getting found via Google increase. Fans of the authors can also leave comments on the author’s profile or the book profiles. Such comments turn up in the Facebook accounts of the fan since we’ve integrated fReado with Facebook Connect.
Thanks so much, Vikram!
Readers, do check out BookBuzzr–use it now, or save the link for later. Write on, all!