Our client, Patrick Gould, Esq., was very interested about working with somebody who could get him into the mobile publishing delivery of his law school bar review business. When I met him at the Chicago Book Expo America, we had a good conversation about what he does and what he wanted to do. I really appreciated Patrick’s approach to getting the best possible app for his needs.
First of all, Patrick hired a technical person to interview prospective app developers to see which one did exactly what he needed done for his needs. After I talked with this person, Patrick was pleased with the information he got about us, and we moved into the specifics of his business needs. Any good business person always knows the competition, and Patrick was no exception. The other deliverers of bar training materials, including some multi-million-dollar outfits like Kaplan, had some very poor ratings for their apps. Most of the problems had to do with the syncing problem and the video loading problems inside the apps.
Therefore, I explained to Patrick that this was an excellent time for him to move into the market with the best app to deliver his materials to the students in the best way possible. Social marketing is vital to the life of a business predicated upon technology and the delivery of educational content. I told Patrick that his new business app would not have a problem with the syncing of materials to the user’s mobile device because our app doesn’t allow local access of files. The user must be connected to the Internet to use the Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing app. This provides the user with instant syncing with the educational materials, and, most importantly, the materials cannot be stolen.
Our product is not strictly an app; it is a so-called “web app”. In other words, users do not install the app from a Playstore but instead visit a website which is optimized for mobile phone usage. The user must be logged into the app and connected to the Internet in order to be able to use the materials. The video problems are alleviated with our app by installing the videos on Vimeo and then embedding the video inside an eBook using our ePub3 Creator Studio. Whenever the video is uploaded into the app, it will have a problem with loading when the user tries to view the video. Because we “stream” the video from Vimeo’s server, there is no loading needed. Also, we don’t use YouTube because of the advertisements that get placed inside the videos and interrupt the viewing enjoyment. Hackers do this to increase revenue, but we don’t want our users being side-tracked by some other company’s ads.
Patrick purchased our Turnkey Installation the Embellisher 3.0. He also needed a Php-enabled website, so we sold him that also, with the domain name of GouldBarReview.com included, for $100.00. The security our platform provides was also important for his legal tests. My main competition are online sites such as the Canadian service Bookchain. If you note, they do charge license fees and other fees, simply under the guise of “protecting your eBook from piracy.” My developer tells me the only “almost” foolproof way to protect an eBook is by not having the complete book anywhere in the sales software, which my platform does and Bookchain does not. My platform also allows for ePub3 formatted eBooks (multimedia and interactive).
My developer and I worked on this program for several years to ensure an almost 99% hack-proof program (he says that nothing digitally programmed is ever 100% hack-proof, so I must agree). However, the idea is to slow-down the hacker enough that he/she doesn’t believe it’s worth his/her time to pursue the required stealth. For example, eBooks sold on Amazon include the “keys to the car” inside each book they sell. A hacker can de-program the book in about twenty seconds and have it up for sale on pirate web sites.
The reason my program is so efficient is because the reader must login to a “live” app which never loads a complete copy of the eBook into the eReader portion of the software. To pirate a book, the hacker must be able to download a complete copy, and in my Embellisher platform, this is not possible.
Finally, we worked with Patrick to show him how to use his new app and the creator studio that comes with it. We set-up a one-on-one webinar to show him the steps required to create a simple ePub3 eBook, embed a video, and include other teaching materials for his students. In addition, we instructed him on the use of the Administrative side of the app where he can price his courses and even include coupon discounts. Finally, we explained to him that because he has licensed our top-of-the-line installation, he will be able to expand his business in the future by allowing other instructors to have their own courses to sell inside his app. In other words, each instructor can have his/her own Administrator login and creator studio account, and Patrick can collect a fee from the instructor for using it. In other words, only the Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing platform allows for expanding into the publishing and education business. In fact, entire school districts use our app to do this, allowing each teacher to have his/her own Administration account.
When I began working with the largest eBook distributor in Israel, Yaron Goldstein, one of the first things he told me was that the Israeli publishing community had never experienced the phenomenon of Amazon and eBooks. In other words, there was no rise of the giant conglomerate to attempt the take-over of the digital reading market the way it had happened in the United States. Mr. Goldstein put it rather simply to me, however, when he said, “Why should I give 30% of my money to Amazon?” Why, indeed!
There was a lot made about the “Netflix for books” business model. Perhaps Smashwords spoke most coherently about it. Of course, they had signed a deal with Oyster, one of the outfits that offers the “all you can read buffet.” Hugh Howey, the former indie supporter came out in favor of the Amazon Kindle Unlimited experience for the reader and author. Of course, he was one of the “lucky ones” to receive a “non-exclusive” contract agreement to sell his titles through Amazon. Even the Huffington Post came out with the article to assess the overall playing field for the author in these days of “streaming content.”
Yaron and I are working together to provide a better model for authors. Our model says that mobile publishing is the only way indies can stay competitive against this tidal wave of greedy profiteers in the “land of the corporate giants.” Make no mistake. The authors are the ones losing out in the long run with the corporate business model. It’s basic economics. Karl Marx even talks about it in Das Capital. If the business person (yes, an author is also a business person) does not own the means of production, then he will always remain subservient to the overlord. What is never discussed in these articles about Safari, Oyster, Scribd, Kindle Unlimited and Playster, is the fact that they own the means of production. In other words, without the ability to create and distribute your own intellectual property, independent authors will remain patsies to the Goliaths in this world.
My company, EMRE Publishing, LLC and its product, the Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing and Marketing platform 3.0, is the David who can fight this Goliath. Our slingshot is what will give our clients the edge. Mobile distribution of books allows authors to become the controllers of their destinies. No other means of getting your books in front of readers’ eyes will allow you to collect most of the profits directly into your bank account the way our platform does. This is the main reason Yaron came on board, and this is why we’re willing to work with any independent who wants to experience the freedom of getting their “ducks in a row” in order to establish a brand that won’t be taken under by the conglomerate model of book sales looming on the horizon.
Shirley Franks has purchased our installation of the Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing platform 3.0 to use her expertise as a nurse and business person. She wanted to be able to prepare and teach graduate nurses the practical skills they need to pass the Nurse Practicum, which is a final and required test by one’s peers to see if you have the practical skills necessary to work with patients.
As a result, we created her website and landing page to introduce her clientele to her services. This was an extra cost because she did not have her own server or website. We were able to do this with no problems. All registrants will automatically receive a free copy of Shirley’s eBook, A Foreign Nurse’s Guide to America, when they register for her free app. The courses will be offered inside the app. Students can login to their course on any mobile phone available, just copy the platform URL to their home screen, so there are no complicated management interfaces. They can also pay for their courses right inside the app using Stripe.
As you can see, our installation works for authors who have something to teach their readers. Not only can you sell your books inside our app, you have established a unique, one-on-one platform from which to teach them the specialized information you may possess.
I hope you don’t mind the bit of nepotism, but my son, Chris Musgrave, uses my platform for his growing online product sales. He was tired of the “buyer bots” and extra charges that Amazon was piling on. So, the way he profits is to create the multimedia eBooks in the studio part of the software, and he then markets the eBook for each of his products and adds extras like videos and interactive text inside that can bring-up images to show the quality of the item being sold to each prospective buyer. He prefers to market in a mobile environment because it allows him to send links to each product by using Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin, Skype, or any other social platform, where he can reach high-end collectors and quality product buyers. Once they sign-up to his platform, he has future sales guaranteed.
He is now a consultant to the pawn shop in Rosemead. Brown’s Pawn and Jewelry. He is married to Kristal Kent and they have my granddaughter, Jenna Nicole, who wants to be a genetic research scientist when she finished college. She’s the real “star” of our family.
As a fellow author, I understand the hard work that goes into each manuscript, and when you create a series of books in one genre or subject area, you want to be able to keep your readers in one place—your place. Ownership and security, I say again, are the keys to any thriving business. Especially the digital eBook business.
James Musgrave was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. He taught as a Professor of English and worked as a Supervisor, Management Development at Caltech, Pasadena and at various San Diego colleges. He is now the author and publisher at EMRE Publishing, LLC in San Diego. He has won many writing awards, and his mysteries are “featured selections” by the American Library Association. He was also a Finalist in the Bram Stoker Awards, First Place Award for Best Historical Mystery in the Chanticleer International Book Awards, and a Finalist in the Heekin Fellowship.