Can I get my book published through crowdfunding?
The self-publishing and crowdfunding platform Pentian not only pays authors, but also rewards supporters of successful book projects with part of the royalties. This system is intended to revolutionize the publishing industry. // by Christina zur Nedden
Pentian combines two big trends: self-publishing and crowdfunding. Authors can publish their books themselves and interact directly with their readers before they incur any book production costs. Supporters of successful projects receive part of the royalties. Pentian's CEO Enrique Parrilla spoke at CONTEC 2014 about crowdfunding in publishing, why readers are better publishers and the impact of digitization on the industry.
Why is that important? Crowdfunding connects readers and authors in a direct way. This is changing the traditional publishing industry.
Enrique Parrilla has developed a system that creates financial incentives for book investors. Crowdfunding is thus rewarded.
Publishing houses that don't specialize in certain topics will die out in the long run, says Pentian CEO Enrique Parrilla.
Digitization is fundamentally changing traditional publishing.
How is crowdfunding changing the publishing industry?
Enrique Parrilla: Crowdfunding creates a direct financial link between readers and authors. A publisher as an intermediary is thus superfluous. Crowdfunding is turning the publishing industry on its head.
How did the idea for Pentian come about?
Pentian started in 2004 as a traditional publishing house in Spain. As the e-book movement picked up in 2009, we started offering self-publishing options. Often, however, authors lack the financial means to publish their book themselves. That's when we got the idea to incorporate crowdfunding into the publishing process. I remember a single mother who wanted to publish a children's book with very beautiful illustrations. Unfortunately, she didn't have the money. Pentian offers a way to bring these books to market.
pentian.com is a #crowdfunding platform for books. CEO Enrique Parrilla explains at # CONTEC14 how #Publishing will change through direct reader funding.
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How does the platform work and how does it differ from the competition?
Authors can present their book projects free of charge on Pentian and collect funding from supporters. Authors can get in touch with their clients and their fan base before book production costs are incurred. If the project is successful, supporters will be rewarded with part of the royalties for three years from the publication of the book. This system turns every reader into a publisher and an investor. I'll give you an example of why this matters: the virtual reality headset company Oculus Rift raised $ 150,000 on Kickstarter and was then bought to Facebook for $ 2.3 billion. The original supporters didn't get a cent. That's outrageous. J.K. Rowling received 12 rejections before she could publish the first Harry Potter book. On Pentian, users who have an eye for good literature are also financially rewarded for it. 50% of the profit goes to supporters, 40% to the authors and 10% to Pentian. Pentian's financial incentive sets us apart from other crowdfunding platforms and has the potential to revolutionize the industry.
If anyone can publish a book, won't the quality be lost?
We have a team of 25 publishers, graphic designers and editors who look at and evaluate every submitted project. If it meets certain standards, the project is presented on the website. After that, the market decides whether it will be funded or not. A publisher may reject a book, but if it gets 60 supporters on Pentian, it won't end up in the drawer. There are currently over 6000 books available. We believe that readers are sometimes better able to decide whether they want to read and support something than a publisher.
Do you think publishing houses should be phased out?
Publishing houses can have an important role, but they must specialize in one type of content. For example, you should only publish children's books or science books and create a unique selling point in these areas. I think general publishing houses won't survive in the long run.
Is digitization a threat to the publishing industry?
No, it's a huge opportunity. Digitization is currently enabling enormous growth in the area of e-books. We recently saw how an e-book by a Spanish author was suddenly being bought more and more in Chile. The reason was likely a series of online comments on the book. That would not have happened without digitization.
Teaser & Image by Christina zur Nedden
Christina zur Nedden
is a freelance journalist and volunteer at the Protestant School of Journalism in Berlin. Her published texts are available on her website christinazurnedden.com. She can be found on Twitter at @czurnedden. Member of the Netzpiloten Blogger Network.
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Keywords: author, book, crowdfunding, digitization, Enrique Parrilla, interview, literature, Pentian, self-publishing, publisher
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