December is often a time of reflection for me and for most people. I spend time thinking about the accomplishments I’ve made over the last year, the opportunities to do better and to set my goals for the coming year.
Coincidentally, this year in addition to reflecting on my personal life and career, I also get to take a look back at Booktango. Booktango officially went live to the world in Beta one year ago. It’s been an exciting year and as we close out 2012 and celebrate our first anniversary, I wanted to take some time to celebrate the last 12 months and look ahead to 2013.
At launch, Booktango had some of the core features you see today such as the online editor, error identification, e-book details collection, retailer selection and submission. We knew we weren’t done, but we were excited to get an initial product out and begin gathering feedback from our authors. We continued to develop and plan new features for roll out during the first few months following launch.
We launched our DIY cover designer, which allows authors to save time and money by using their own images, choose from our gallery, or upload their own completed cover. This was a critical milestone as it brought the whole e-book package together. We know how valuable the cover is to book sales, and are proud to give our authors options in choosing a cover for their e-book.
We launched what is likely our most exciting news and rolled out a promotion for 100% royalties for our authors. Every penny we collect on our own bookstore goes directly to our authors, and every penny we are paid from retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and more is also paid 100% to the author.
Of course, the only way we could sweeten a 100% royalty deal was to give our authors some kick butt reporting to view and analyze their sales.
We didn’t stop there and we didn’t focus only on changing the technology of Booktango. It was important to us to allow authors to continue to publish for free, but we also wanted to make sure our packages and services were relevant to what authors who needed some assistance as well.
We added even more packages to our service line up. We rounded out the summer by adding some major features to the cover designer to make it easier than ever to share and get feedback on your DIY cover design.
Behind the scenes we’re working on even more things to continue to improve the platform. Some are less exciting than others, but all in all our ultimate goal is to make Booktango the best place for an author to self-publish their work.
We’ve had a great family of authors and fell in love with many of your titles. We learned that authors may have one book that is near and dear to them and publish one title or they may have a lifetime of writing built up and publish as many as 90 titles with Booktango. We’ve received some positive press and made some partnerships with some publications to help get their word out in e-books. We’ve learned from the feedback and tried to improve when we can. The feedback loop is the most important to me as we look to build more tools, products and improve our service to meet the needs of our wide variety of authors and book buyers.
Reflecting back on our first year and our Booktango family of authors, I am excited about what we can offer, thrilled with our authors and the response we’ve received, and hopeful that the features and products we’ve delivered have made our authors happy as well.
Looking ahead to 2013, we want to continue to improve and listen to the feedback of our users. Have a feature you want to see, please comment on this post below.
From all of us at the Booktango family, we wish you a Happy New Year and continued success as we enter 2013!