Publish it Forward: Q & A with BiblioCrunch

This month I bring you Miral Sattar,  the CEO and founder of BiblioCrunch, a New York based start-up which focuses on helping authors connect with editorial and publishing experts.    She's also the author of a crowd-sourced guide to the best desserts in New York City.  Read on to learn about her new endeavor as well as where to find the best ice cream on your next trip to the Big Apple.

Tell us about yourself:

I've been working in the publishing industry for 11 years. Before I started BiblioCrunch I worked at TIME launching digital initiatives (iPad and mobile site, mobile apps, a video and podcast channel, blogs, and SEO).  I love books and magazines in all their forms. My writing has been featured in TIME, CNN, NY Daily News, among other media publications. I have a MS in Digital Publishing  from NYU and a BS from Columbia University in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I published my first self-published book in February 2012 titled NYC's Guide to Delicious Desserts which cracked the Kindle Top 100 list. You can find me on twitter @miralsattar or @bibliocrunch.

What's your Elevator Pitch?

BiblioCrunch is a literary services marketplace that matches authors with quality, vetted, award-winning professionals. The platform brokers the interaction between a community of rated and reviewed publishers, authors, designers, editors, proofreaders, conversion specialists, marketers, app developers and enhanced eBook experts to help them create exceptional books.

Publishing professionals and authors can also showcase their work through shareable, public profiles.

BiblioCrunch also provides a subscription-based service called the Author Concierge service where a BiblioCrunch professional  guides the author through the scary realm of self-publishing.

What's the sexiness factor?

The book publishing industry is going through the quickest transition because it is the last to go digital. As a result of this shift, authors no longer need to go through the traditional gatekeepers to publish quality books and are moving towards self-publishing. Putting together a quality book involves not just writing it, but getting it edited, then formatted, then designing a cover, and having a marketing strategy around it. It’s easy to get a book onto a reader’s device but confusing to put the whole thing together. It’s the paradox of digital publishing. BiblioCrunch helps authors sift through the madness and we make sure that every book we work on is high quality. Our professionals on our platform are also put through a strict vetting process, so you know you get quality.

We get really excited when we see our authors break the Top 10 list on Amazon as a result of our hard work.

We also host a Twitter chat every Tuesday, #indiechat to answer questions from authors about the self-publishing process.

We also have a tips blog that teaches you everything you need to know about self-publishing (blog.bibliocrunch.com).

Can you talk more about the vetting process for the professionals on your site?  How do you assess them?  How do you ensure quality?

We have a checklist that checks multiple things.
1) We check to make sure the professional is listed in a freelancer association that already has a vetting process (Editorial Freelancers Association, ASJA, Canada Freelancers Association, San Diego Freelancers).
2) We check to see if they have a LinkedIn with recommendations of their work.
3) We check to see if they have a website that advertises their services.
4) Then we do a final google search for their name or company to make sure they don't have any bad reviews.

How does BiblioCrunch make its money?

We have multiple revenue streams.

1) We have a freemium model where you can be a free or paid member with plans starting at $9.99 a month.

2) We charge a transaction fee for projects on our platform (13%). That transaction fee is waived for premium paid members.

3) We also put together editorial packages for members who want us to do everything for them. This is for authors who don't want to manage any of the process and would like the services in one bulk.

We're also announcing a huge partnership which will give our authors even more exposure.

Ooh.  Can we be the first to know?

Yes, it's with Wattpad. We are finalizing things this week.

Final question:  What's the best place for ice cream in NYC?

Aha, funny you ask!

I was just making updates to our NYC Dessert Guide:
http://www.amazon.com/Citys-Crowdsourced-Dessert-Guide-ebook/dp/B007EFM1F6

Amorino - 60 University Place, NY NY
Their ice cream sandwiches (Focaccina) are to die for.

Thanks so much, Miral.  I'm looking forward to seeing you at The Tools of Change Conference next month. 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Eve Bridburg is the Founder and Executive Director of GrubStreet. Under her leadership, the organization has grown into a national literary powerhouse by expanding offerings to better educate and equip writers in the digital age, launching new, innovative programming for advanced students, and significantly expanding scholarship opportunities to ensure access. Eve curated GrubStreet’s NEA-funded Publish it Forward lecture series and our innovative Launch Lab, led GrubStreet’s Diversity Task force, laying the foundation for GrubStreet’s next chapter, and was the driving force behind establishing the country’s first Literary Cultural District in downtown Boston. Eve’s work has been recognized by Boston Magazine, who named her one of Boston’s 50 most powerful women in 2010, and by ​BostInno Magazine who gave her their 2014 Arts and Entertainment Award for driving innovation in Boston. Having graduated from its inaugural class, Eve remains active with the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, a consortium of 200 of the world’s top cultural leaders, which addresses the critical issues that face the arts and cultural sector worldwide. Eve has presented on publishing, the future of publishing, and on what it takes to build a literary arts center at numerous conferences, including AWP, O’Reilly’s Tools of Change, GrubStreet’s own The Muse and the Marketplace, Whidbey Island Writers Conference, The Sanibel Island Writers Conference, and Writers at Work. Her essays and op-eds on publishing, the role of creative writing centers and the importance of the narrative arts have appeared in The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Cognoscenti, Writer's Digest and TinHouse.  Eve worked as a literary agent at The Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency for five happy years where she developed, edited, and sold a wide variety of books to major publishers. Before starting GrubStreet, she attended Boston University’s Writing program on a teaching fellowship, farmed in Oregon, and ran an international bookstore in Prague.

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