Every now and again you come across someone with the entrepreneurial spirit and get-up-and-go to take their dreams and make them a business reality. Miral Sattar is one of those people.
I met Miral last July at the Yale University Book Publishing Course where she presented her start-up business BiblioCrunch. Since then Miral and BiblioCrunch have gone from strength to strength, including winning the Most Entrepreneural Publishing start-up showcase at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference.
Thanks to Social Media and email Miral and I have been in constant contact over the last year and I talk about her company when I get the chance with authors. I wanted to find out more about her just relaunched website, business direction and the benefits that are available.
Digireado: Miral, why did you start BiblioCrunch?
Miral Sattar: I used to work it the product division at Time Magazine and left my six figure salary job to launch a startup 🙂 A year ago I noticed that people were buying eBooks based on breaking news events and thought, “Who better to publish eBooks than a company with great archives like TIME?” So I created a prototype and in the process discovered that the tools for creating eBooks were cumbersome and time consuming. So I created a platform which let’s you create eBooks on the fly. During beta testing I realized that not everyone wants to write their eBooks in the clouds, but they all are at a different point in their book production process. That’s when I came up with the idea of the freelancer marketplace.
Digireado: What IS BiblioCrunch?
Miral: BiblioCrunch is a services platform for authors and publishers who want to seamlessly publish their stories in eBook format. The platform brokers the interaction between a community of rated and reviewed publishers, authors, designers, editors, proofreaders, conversion specialists, marketers and enhanced eBook experts to help create exceptional digital books.
Digireado: Who is BiblioCrunch aimed at? Writers? Publishers?
Miral: Anyone who wants to publish a book. Journalists, authors, bloggers, and publishers. YES, publishers. According to a study released a few months ago publishers have lean budgets and outsource a large chunk of their production process.
Digireado: How is BiblioCrunch different to other offerings in the market?
Miral: Not only do we provide you with tools, but we provide you access to quality professionals who can help you make your book great. It’s an invitation-only platform to improve the quality of professionals.
Digireado: Can you explain to me a bit more about the Ebook Marketplace?
Miral: We basically connect those who want to create great eBooks to the quality professionals who can make your eBooks great.
Digireado: What fees do you charge?
Miral: Creating a book is free. Selling a book will cost you 15% per book. Also, we take a transaction fee for each project paid (10% plus the paypal processing fee).
Digireado: What format are your ebooks created in?
Miral: You can create ebooks in .ePub, .mobi and PDF. You can hire folks on our platform who can help you create enhanced video, audio books and apps.
Digireado: Is your marketplace aimed at a US market or can authors or publishers use it from Australia or other countries?
Miral: Our platform is for English-speaking countries only right now.
Digireado: What about the issue of US English v’s British English spelling?
Miral: Our professionals actually specify their location and the types of work they edit in their profiles.
Digireado: Who are your retail partners? Are you intending to bring on more partners?
Miral: We will be making official announcements in the next couple of weeks! But currently we retail though Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble.
Miral Sattar is founder and CEO of BiblioCrunch. She has worked in the media industry for 11 years, most recently at TIME where she launched several digital initiatives including an iPad and mobile site, mobile apps, a video and podcast channel, blogs, and SEO. Her writing has been featured in TIME, CNN, NY Daily News, among other media publications. She has a MS in Publishing (Digital + Print Media) from NYU and a BS from Columbia University in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. You can follow Miral on Twitter @miralsattar.