In the wake of the digital publishing revolutions many opportunities are waiting to be taken by self-publishing authors and writers. No longer are people who want to tell their story, be it in a how-to-book or a novel, dependent from agents and the established publishing companies.
For myself and many others a dream came true: The first published book!
Of course I treasure the royalties and exposure I get from my books, but there is more to it. To me this is also about lifting writing and publishing to a new level, as part of developing society. When I met Giacomo D’Angelo from Simplicissimus Book Farm I was delighted, because I got to know a new way to publish my eBooks to many international stores, I also met a men and a company with a vision.
Giacomo is the Product Manager of Narcissus.me, the self-publishing platform created by Simplicissimus Book Farm. He also leads the development of BackTypo.com, the latest gem dedicated to everyone willing to produce an eBook on their own.
Simplicissimus Book Farm is an Italian company founded by Antonio Tombolini in 2006, and nowadays it produces and supplies services for digital publishing in all its features.
Let me present Giacomo D’Angelo and the narcissus.me self-publishing platform, the services it offers to indie authors and their vision for publishing in the 21st century.
Giacomo, tell me and the readers about narcissus.me, your story and your vision. When did you start working with indie authors? What is your take on the recent development in the publishing market?
I joined Simplicissimus in 2009 with the aim to build STEALTH, that quickly became the leading eBook distribution platform in Italy, and nowadays is active in many countries and aggregates more than 1000 publishers.
Then we decided to build Narcissus on top of the same distribution technology powering our publishers, in order to deliver the same worldwide distribution capabilities to everyone, with no exceptions.
Digital distribution is a game changer for the publishing industry, enabling all the authors, writers, bloggers, journalists, and everyone else to “be read” by leveraging on the power of the Internet. That wasn’t possible in the past, when the physical distribution was very expensive and only the publishing houses were able to afford it.
Thanks to the digital distribution, today an author can play the very same game as a publisher, without being a “real” publisher, and this changes everything!
The direct consequence is that all the publishing professionals who stand between the writers and the readers have to reposition themselves on the market, and that has been seen as a risk by some, and as an opportunity by others.
I see a bright future for the self-publishers – I mean everyone who wants to act as the publisher of themselves, and not only the indies – because they don’t have the same constraints of the “publishing corporations” and they don’t have any “status quo” to loose. They can move fast, innovate and experiment new tools and technologies for improving their work. I feel they are not afraid to try and even fail at first in order to find the right path to be successful in the long term. I think those skills are essential to have in the new publishing landscape.
Which services do you offer to authors and writers?
We offer our worldwide distribution technology by keeping a mere 10% fee for each sale, whatever the eBook store, whatever the eBook price and size, everywhere in the world, no strings attached.
The author can directly upload his or hers ePub file on Narcissus, choose the sale price, chose the eBook stores where he wants to sell, complete the eBook meta data, and just click “Publish”. We complete the publication process within 24h, and provide to the author a self-service dashboard for managing the book’s life cycle.
Narcissus is a one-stop solution for self-publishers who want to easily manage the publication of their eBooks, the payments of their earnings, and everything in between.
We also provide some paid services for eBook conversions and cover designs, because there are also authors that need help. In fact producing a well-done ePub is not easy, I’ve personally bought many bad ePub files by some big publishers as well, didn’t you too? That’s why we decided to build BackTypo and integrate this new tool with Narcissus.
BackTypo is a free online service that allows you to produce well-made books without any special technical knowledge. It’s completely free and super-easy to use! Here you can find a good introduction to it: http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/07/introducing-backtypo-a-self-publishing-tool-with-italian-flair/
Most of all, using BackTypo + Narcissus the self-publishing experience becomes really awesome. You can publish your manuscript everywhere with just a couple of clicks, maintains your eBook updated over time very easily, and to finally stop worrying about the technical details 🙂
You are working internationally, in which languages can authors use narcissus.me?
Right, we have already localized the platform in many languages: English and Italian of course, and also Polish, Turkish, French, German and Spanish. This is not only a matter of strings translation: we are actively working on those language areas in order to understand and solve the local needs, and spread our technology to the local publishing communities.
Which online bookstores can authors reach with your help?
We distribute on many relevant international and local online eBook stores.
Some of the internationals are Amazon Kindle Store, Apple iBooks Store, Kobobooks, Google Play Store and the Nook Store.
In addition to the “very big guys” Narcissus is also integrated with many local eBook stores (more than 30 Italian online eBook stores, and others in Poland, Turkey and France). Most notably, we have already integrated the biggest eBook platform in the Spanish market (Tagus, as explained here), and we’re going to announce the integration with Tolino.de to better serve the German market as well!
You spend a lot of effort in the dashboard, authors use to upload and manage their books, tell us about it. What’s unique about narcissus.me?
Narcissus.me provides a unique and straightforward self-publishing experience. You can create your eBook – through BackTypo – publish it on the most important eBook stores making it available to a worldwide audience, you can manage your invoicing and be paid – 60% of the list price – automatically (the standard sales commissions of the stores is 30%, while 10% is the Narcissus’ fee).
Thanks to Narcissus.me you can sell your eBook on the additional eBook stores we add over time all around the world, as well as instantaneously opt-out any eBook store you may dislike, as you wish, without any exclusivity and constraint.
We are a technology company, we developed and own all the distribution technology stack behind our system, and this is our uniqueness: to provide the best technology to improve the publishing world, without having any interests to sell advertising, consultant or other glittering shit to the authors.
After finding Narcissus, the authors – the Narcissus as we lovingly use to call them – definitely stop looking for alternatives!
Our blog is full of posts about the self-publishing experiences of our authors written by the authors themselves, check it out: http://narcissus.me/blog
Thank you, Giacomo!
Of course I have tested the services of Narcissus.me myself and I love the experience.
Three things stand out to me:
- The Dashboard and the whole process of uploading and managing your eBooks works really smooth and easy.
- The sales reports come quick and are easy to read.
- The communication is always easy-going, friendly and competent.
So have a look, give it a try and benefit from this great service for authors and writers and