“Self-publishing” has become an increasingly prominent tool in creatives’ arsenal, with musicians now able to record, market, and distribute their songs online, and authors able to attain best-seller status without a hint of a middleman.
With that in mind, Australia-based Tablo is striving to gain its slice of the self-publishing e-book pie with a platform that lets anyone publish their handiwork chapter-by-chapter via a WordPress-style editor. These chapters can then be read by anyone in any browser for free, or finished works can be uploaded to Apple’s iBooks store or Amazon for a 20 percent commission on all sales. Today sees the official launch of Tablo’s first mobile app — Tablo Reader — on both Android and iOS. Through the apps, you can search for new works-in-progress and emerging authors, and read anything you find for free, across most genres.
But Tablo is more than a publishing tool — it touts itself as a “premium self-publishing community where you can connect with readers while you write your book.”
So in effect, you can garner feedback from other users as you’re writing the book, with the platform serving as a Twitter-style social network that connects authors with prospective readers. The interface looks somewhat like Twitter too, but we digress.
The new app is beautifully designed and lets you peruse by opening paragraphs and summaries and swiping until you see something you like.
Tablo currently lays claim to more than 20,000 authors from 130 countries, who between them publish north of one million words a day.
“Our goal at Tablo has always been to help authors share their stories and connect with readers,” explains Ash Davies, the 21-year-old founder and CEO of Tablo. “We’ve worked hard to create an experience where you can’t judge a book by its cover.”
While niche platforms such as Pubslush have arrived to help budding authors garner funds to produce their next book, there has been a growing number of online services geared towards giving raw talent a leg up. Amazon is perhaps the most well-known provider of self-publishing tools, while smaller upstarts such as Blurb also allow authors to publish, distribute, and sell both print and e-books.
By focusing on the “social” facet of the writing process, letting readers feed-in along the way, Tablo goes some way towards differentiating itself from the pack, however. And with self-publishing on the rise across the literary realm, it could prove successful.
“Today’s best musicians and filmmakers are uncovered on platforms like YouTube,” says Davies. “We’d like to see the next generation of bestselling authors uncovered on Tablo.”
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