New Service Aims To Make The Antiquated Book Publishing Industry More Social

By Megan O'Neill 

“Traditionally the role of the book publisher was print and distribution and in an eBook world this is already irrelevant.”  So says Ronny Golan, CEO and co-founder of BookPulse, a new service aimed at bringing book publishers into the modern, more social world, with a platform that lets them build ongoing relationships with their readers on social networks.  Traditionally, book publishers have had no direct relationship with readers.  BookPulse wants to change that.

I had the opportunity to speak with CEO Ronny Golan to find out more about BookPulse.  He described it as “Goodreads on speed.  BookPulse offers the same capabilities of Goodreads with the viral effect of Facebook.”  They provide a platform that lets book publishers easily set up and manage Facebook communities surrounding books, like a social online book club that offers everything from reviews to trivia, Q&A with the author or publisher, coupon, sweepstakes and the option to compare prices and buy.

Ronny explained to me that publishers, until now, haven’t really embraced social media in the ways that other media-related businesses have.  Many film studios run social media campaigns and pages for all of their films, record labels run them for their artists, networks run them for popular TV shows.  However, if you try to find active and worthwhile fan pages for your favorite books you will have a harder time.

Book publishers often have a smaller budget and hundreds, if not thousands, of books on their rosters so taking on the task of managing communities for all of these books can be expensive and time consuming.  BookPulse understands this, but also sees the fact that most books don’t have Facebook pages as a major market failure, so they’re making it as easy as possible for publishers to manage pages.  They offer a platform where publishers can manage hundreds of pages from one central location and even let community members share some of the duties.  Ronny says, “We are able to give publishers tools to create pages, manage pages, and do it in a way that won’t cost them too much and will enable them to reach millions of users using their already existing brand.”

BookPulse has seen great results so far in terms of engagement.  Their newly launched Facebook page for The Hunger Games already has over 13,700 likes and hundreds of comments.  Ronny tells me that BookPulse pages are seeing a conversion rate of more than 45% clicking like and the amount of unlikes is negligible.  Additionally, users are moving between pages in a publisher’s network and sometimes clicking like on as many as 5 or 10 other pages.  Other BookPulse page examples include Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hobbit and Vampire Academy.

In addition to being a platform for publishers to manage Facebook pages for books, BookPulse is also working on a social e-reader.  Users can download books, complete with extra materials, and socialize while they read.  They can see what other readers are saying about the book and share their own favorite excerpts, comments and reviews via Facebook.  The app launched first on iPad and will be available soon on Android as well.

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.