e-Book publishing is a lot harder than it should be, often requiring developer skills. Despite ePub standards, developing for e-readers can be like coding for the web during the bad old days of the browser wars. Adding images, video, web-fonts or styling with CSS are all considered advanced skills. Once your e-book is ready, distribution can be equally challenging; navigating multiple e-book stores, file formats, requirements and meta-data.
The challenge was to remove all of this complexity and create a simple to use SaaS application that allowed anyone to create an e-book without the need for any development skills, distribute with the push of a button and track all sales activity from one place.
Collaborated with leadership on product vision and roadmap based on customer research, participated in planning and execution of product launch, development of a set of core product principles, collaborated with an Agile user experience team utilizing Lean UX while working closely with the engineering team. Throughout design and development, the core product principles served as a touchstone in guiding product decisions.
Vook is an end-to-end cloud-based e-publishing solution. With Vook, users can create and publish e-books anywhere; build and style awesome looking e-books without knowing any code; effortlessly incorporate fonts, easily add video, images and sound; preview their e-books quickly; manage metadata simply; conveniently watch sales from multiple channels all in one dashboard.
Vook was later renamed Pronoun and exited in a sale to Macmillan Publishers.
Publishers Weekly has been testing the platform and [Vook] could indeed be a game changer.
Craig Morgan Teicher, Publishers Weekly
New Vook website after using a combination of web analytics and usability tests to optimize conversion, resulting changes that led to a 17% lift in trial sign-ups.
Joe Wikert, Chair of Tools of Change/O’Reilly Media
Unified login and sign-up page—reducing the need to drive users to the correct page. Greatly reduced sign up friction, reducing workflow from a five-step process to a single step.
We talked about making it as easy to build an eBook as write a blog post—I think [Vook] delivers.
Pete Myers, newkindofbook.com
From one dashboard, users can start a new project, quickly see the status of current projects and get sales data from multiple e-book marketplaces—including Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
You guys did it, you created WordPress for ebooks.
CTO of major news publisher
One of Vook’s biggest differentiators is the Style Editor, giving users the ability to style e-books without the need to write any code. Users have control over typography, lines and color. On publishing, Vook handled generating code optimization for each of the popular e-book stores.
This is so user-friendly.
Author and TED speaker
Metadata Made Easy
Metadata is the lifeblood of e-book marketing and is key to discoverability and ultimately to sales. Managing metadata is challenging, as each e-book store has differing requirements—often for similar data—and using obscure publishing industry terminology. A streamlined user experience was created by analyzing all of the data sets from multiple e-book stores and collapsing them into a unified set of three forms.
I really liked the user interface and the process is very intuitive and clear.
Push Button Distribution
A core value proposition of Vook is push button distribution to multiple e-book distribution channels. Previously, e-book distribution required organizing files for each platform, preparing separate metadata XML files and logging into each channel where the user would have to re-enter the same data and upload files multiple times. Vook’s distribution user-flow distills all of this down to a single workflow.