A new publishing platform designed to help authors and publishers distribute and market their books across multiple platforms has been generating buzz in US comic book circles since its launch in February this year, and it’s not just because of the nature of the service. The creators of the technology said they believe their customers’ books “should be available in every marketplace imaginable,” with support to properly market and promote them, and they’re working to achieve just that.
Graphicly, as it’s called, is an entertainment and digital content publishing platform that allows publishers and self published authors to upload, convert, publish, sell and promote content of all types across a variety of digital channels, including ebook stores like Amazon Kindle, Kobo and Apple iBooks (as ebooks and enhanced ebooks); the Apple iPhone, iPad and iOS Newsstand; Android devices, including the Barnes & Noble NOOK tablet and NOOK Color, and the Amazon Kindle Fire. An embeddable widget (HTML5 web app) also allows you to publish your content to any website or blog as well as Facebook. Graphicly says it’s the only distribution service offering books on Facebook, with more than 90% of its publishers using this channel.
‘Upload once, distribute anywhere’ is its motto, the idea being that it saves you from having to re-format and re-upload your book each time you use a different platform or ebookstore. Using Graphicly you can publish to one or several platforms and sell your work through whichever of the available channels you choose, via a customizable and embeddable reader or app, thus allowing readers to purchase the content through multiple devices from almost anywhere. Essentially, image-based content such as graphic novels will be tailored to suit each device.
Graphicly’s platform also delivers customizable, real-time analytics which help authors and publishers tailor their content to their audience’s mode of reading. You can also use it to determine how content is consumed, how often readers read a book or how much of it they’ve read, and more.
Graphicly touts itself as the only self-publishing platform that is optimized for image-based and fixed-format books, making it ideal for comic books, graphic novels, children’s books, art books, magazines and cookbooks. It takes no commission on sales. Publishers and authors retain all rights to their content and 100 percent of the net receipts from sales via the various retail channels. Users pay a single flat fee to publish ebooks across the various ebookstores and an additional charge for full-service conversion if requested, or for other optional services, including the production and publishing of apps. Publishing over the Web and Facebook is free
Micah Baldwin, the Graphicly founder and CEO,.is the former head of business development for Lijit, a blogging and publishing start up acquired by Federated Media in 2011. According to Forbes, Baldwin’s work “has also revolutionized your Twitter feed,” in that he invented Follow Fridays (#ff), “the Twitter trend that has been tweeted hundreds of thousands of times and seen by hundreds of million of followers.”
“Over the past few years, the team at Graphicly identified an unmet need in the digital publishing industry for automated tools to convert, distribute and promote image-based content,“ says Baldwin. “By opening up our proven digital distribution platform, we now provide these services, while giving authors and publishers full control of their content and revenue streams and a deep understanding of how readers are engaging with their content. We believe our customer’s books should be available in every marketplace imaginable, with the knowledge and support to properly market and promote them.”
Baldwin later told IGN Comics in an interview, “There is something fundamentally wrong when a publisher or author is spending their time and money marketing a middleman versus their own brand. It should be “come to MY website. MY Facebook Page. Come see MY books. Not go to Graphicly or some other app. Authors and publishers should be spending their time marketing and promoting their own brands, not providing free marketing to middlemen.”
Graphicly claims that “more than 400 publishers and 6,000 creators from major publishers such as Image Comics and Chronicle Books, to indie creators from around the globe,” use its platform.
Archie Comics is among the publishers that have teamed up with Graphicly and they’re now using the platform to sell comics through their Facebook fanpage.