JukePop, an e-book platform that provides book discovery for self-published authors by offering libraries and traditional publishers the ability to identify popular indie works, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000. Through the Kickstarter campaign, JukePop is hoping to raise enough money to further automate its services for libraries.
JukePop was launched in 2012 by a group of computer engineers, led by CEO Jerry Fan. The service finds self-published titles that have attracted attract readers and then create an easy-to-access feed of these titles for libraries and legacy publishers. Through JukePop, librarians can identify indie titles they can circulate, while legacy houses can identify potential writers to sign.
The service was designed in collaboration with the Santa Clara Public Library--it has eight branches and serves 2 million people--and, for the work, SCPL was named the Top 2014 Innovator by Urban Libraries Council, an award that honors libraries that work with Silicon Valley startups.
JukePop, which has a staff of three, is hoping the funds from the Kickstarter campaign can help it complete the programming necessary to scale the platform to eventually serve about 60 library systems.
“JukePop is an incubator for self-publishers and traditional publishers,” Fan told PW. “We saw the problems self-publishers face. They come to Jukepop because aspiring writers want feedback from readers.”
At JukePop, self-published authors can post finished manuscripts or works in progress—much like online writer community Wattpad—and solicit reader comments. JukePop has circulated about 1,000 indie e-books and has “tens of thousands” readers, Fan said.
To create the feeds for legacy publishers and libraries, JukePop relies on data derived from tracking its readers behavior. Mining this data, the company breaks out shortlists of the most popular self-published works in a variety of genres.
“We provide our authors with quantitative and qualitative feedback,” Fan said. “We can tell the demographics of our readers," he explained, adding that the company can also determine reader engagement with a title, i.e. whether someone is just browsing through a title, or if they're actually reading it. Fan continued: "Book publishing is a word-of-mouth business, and the JukePope platform measures a book’s marketability in real-time.”
Currently JukePop is free for librarians and publishers—$5,000 of the Kickstarter campaign will be used to cover the programming costs of the program so far, Fan said—and Fan vows that there “will be no extra infrastructure costs or third party fees to libraries.” Fan says that eventually JukePop will "offer services to distribute self-published e-books to retailers as well as libraries” and, “we’ll find a way to structure in fees to support ourselves.”