Publishing start-up Tablo recently announced the launch of new social features for its cloud-based e-book publishing service, marking the biggest shift in the platform since its launch in 2013.
Off the back of a successful seed funding round that raised $400,000, the developments are part of a wider effort to transform the writer from a solitary character into a social one by encouraging collaboration amongst authors and likeminded bookworms within an online community.
How do Tablo’s new social features work?
The unique social network will enable authors to create their own individual profiles, which 21-year-old Tablo founder Ash Davies (pictured above) says are the core of the social experience, complete with a biography, photo and previous or upcoming works.
“Every author has a profile on Tablo where they can share their work, like filmmakers do on YouTube,” he explained to Anthill.
In turn, followers can browse the ‘Bookshelf’ of their favourite authors, receive updates on new chapters as they are written, and become part of the creative journey.
Tablo users can also create and run mini communities called ‘Groups’, where authors and readers with a shared interest can connect – from romantic fiction to books for ardent bikers, everyone’s taste is catered for.
Why has Tablo introduced these new social features?
“In the past, the first time an author connected with a reader was when their book was in stores and on bookshelves,” Davies remarked about the motivation behind this development, “All the power was in the hands of publishing companies.”
He highlighted that Tablo is determined to change this and pointed out that these new social features are vital in upending the traditional publishing model.
How? They will form the basis for a whole new discoverability model for books, where great emerging authors can be discovered and followed, and bestsellers can be recognised before they even publish their book.
“Publishing a book in 2014 should not be the same as it was in 1914,” Davies explained, “Yes, authors still put words onto a page (whether digital or paper), but an ambitious or talented writer shouldn’t need a huge publishing deal to ensure their words are read.”
“With our new social features, readers can discover and follow authors from day one. This will help authors secure and grow a loyal readership.”
Davies further pointed out that very often, the best writers are also the best readers, and technology today allows us to be both, anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
“The nature of the Tablo community means that the next bestseller might be written on a smartphone or discovered on an iPad, and be armed with a loyal fanbase before it’s even published,” he said.
This Australian self-publishing e-book start-up, where authors receive 100 per cent of royalties, currently hosts over 10,000 authors from 100 different countries.