Saturday, October 30, 2010

Interview with Nick Cash, founder of Book Hatchery

If you are a writer and you are not yet familiar with the website Book Hatchery, perhaps it's time you checked it out, especially if you have an interest in self-publishing your own e-books. Book Hatchery is a site where writers can ... oh, wait. I'll let Nick Cash, the founder of Book Hatchery, do the explaining. I e-mailed him recently and asked for an online interview, and he willingly agreed. So, thanks Nick Cash!

What exactly is the Book Hatchery? And how does it work?

Book Hatchery is a platform to bring authors together and help them distribute their works digitally. Any author can come to the website, sign up for free, and join the growing community. If you'd like to distribute a book, you simply fill out our forms, submit your text/cover art, and let us handle the rest.

Is the Book Hatchery’s focus on self-publishing authors, or is the company also willing to work with traditional print publishers looking to go digital?

We primarily work directly with authors, but our community is open to anyone in the trades of writing and publishing. A traditional print publisher is more than welcome to sign up and try things out if they are interested.

As a multi-distributor for digital publishers, it appears the Book Hatchery is trying to be competition for Smashwords, which seems to be the current leader in multi-distribution for self-published authors. So, why should authors make use of the Book Hatchery instead of Smashwords?

Book Hatchery's multi-distribution service is focused on making things easy and intuitive for the author. Authors can submit their final text and let us handle the digital formatting, or they can submit the fully formatted copies themselves. Authors have told us the process takes about five minutes, and if we can make it any easier then we will be sure to do that!

However, our primary focus is on the community. We want to build things that writers and publishers want and need, and we want to help connect people. Book Hatchery takes feedback very seriously, and authors literally shape the direction we go with our services. We want all authors in the Book Hatchery community to have a voice, and to have an interest in the development of the community.

While Smashwords is definitely a competitor, we tend to think of them more as a kindred spirit. Book Hatchery wants to help change the world of publishing and put the power in the author's hands; Smashwords' service works along these lines as well. The market of digital self-publishing is rapidly evolving, and we want to help spur the innovation and change along with other companies.

The Book Hatchery currently distributes e-books to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple. Any plans to distribute to other retailers?

Absolutely! We are working on distributing with Sony, Kobo, and a few others. Each company tends to have a different process and different requirements, so our distribution channels are still evolving.

The Book Hatchery website looks good, but still a little basic. Are more changes on the way for the site? And the business, in general?

Book Hatchery is always changing. We knew several authors wanted to test our distribution system, so we decided to open up the beta site to the public for people to get an early look at. We think the look and feel will stay the same, but there will be a lot of changes in terms of content and functionality. Of course the authors will have the final say in how things play out, and we are certainly open to whatever changes they think would be good for us.

As a business, we are growing quite quickly. In fact, we moved to a new (bigger) office this week to give us enough space to bring some additional people on board. There are a lot of great opportunities ahead of us, so we will definitely be evolving along with our services in the near future.

Tell us a little about Nick Cash. What are some of your favorite books? Favorite authors?

I'm a huge Michael Crichton fan! I suppose that's not surprising for someone as nerdy as myself. Prey, the Andromeda Strain, and Jurassic Park were all amazing. As I kid I used to read quite a few fantasy novels, but I haven't returned to that genre in a while. Recently I've been on a business book kick; I attended a talk by Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos.com), and afterwards I immediately read his book Delivering Happiness. I also recently finished Tribal Leadership by people at CultureSync, and it completely made me rethink how I view and interact with groups of people.

Nick, thanks so much for your answers. Good luck to you and everyone else with Book Hatchery.

4 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Interesting. I'd not heard of them. Will check 'em out.

Ty Johnston said...

Charles, Book Hatchery is just getting started, but I'm thinking if they play their cards right they could be serious competition for Smashwords.

David Barron said...

Might as well take a look. Can't hurt to try. Good interview.

Ty Johnston said...

You guys let me know what you think. And make sure to let Nick Cash know as well. I'm sure he'd appreciate any constructive feedback.