What’s the dream of every English major? To write out their thoughts and opinions—preferably in book form—and get paid for it. Well gird your loins, fellow English majors, for we are now one step closer to that dream!
Y Combinator graduate Hyperink—the eBook publisher that’s bringing the longtail to the publishing industry—announced Wednesday that it is launching a new service that will allow bloggers to turn their blogs into eBooks. The books are then published to Hyperink’s marketplace, Kindle, Nook, and Kobo—with iBooks coming soon as well.
CEO Kevin Gao tells me that the new service has already produced eBooks from the blogs of two popular bloggers—Richard Nikoley of Free the Animal and Brad Feld (managing director of the Foundry Group) of Feld Thoughts. How does it work? Hyperink assigns an editor to curate the blog posts, structure them into a traditional narrative format, and then publish them in PDF, epub, and Mobi formats.
The process takes about three to four weeks and the blogger need only do a close read of the finished product, announce the book launch on their blog, and offer some marketing support.
But looking at some of my favorite mom blogs, many of them eschew the traditional format for something more alternative—such as something more conversational. For example, one of my favorite bloggers merely presents a topic, posts her thoughts (however brief) on it, and then turns it over to her readers, who then collectively analyze the crap out of it. It doesn’t seem like that kind of format would bode well with Hyperink’s new service, but Kevin Gao assures me that it can.
“The reality is that bloggers (and their readers) create all sorts of valuable content which may not fit into the traditional post format (for example, many bloggers are very active on Twitter), and we'd like our blog-to-books to include any info which is relevant and insightful,” he said.
Launched back in October, Hyperink is tackling an ambitious challenge: to deliver an alternative to traditional book publishing. It’s not self-publishing, but it’s not super-exclusive publishing from the Big Six publishers either. It’s something in-between, allowing anyone with a marketable idea to write a book (or get a ghost writer through Hyperink), target a specific audience, and enjoy a passive income stream. Hyperink profits by taking a commission.
Since launch, Gao tells me that the company is growing at a rate of 30% a month and currently has 10 full-time employees. Several other high profile bloggers have also signed on to have their content turned into eBooks, but Gao wouldn’t name any names.
Hyperink has raised $1.2 million in October from Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, SVAngel, Lerer Ventures, Launch Capital, Cyriac Roeding, and Milo founder Jack Abraham, among others.
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