Oct 8, 2011

Publishers Weekly Publishes Inkubate!

by Stacy Clark

Earlier this week, Publishers Weekly ran a feature story about Inkubate’s innovative plans to pair writers with publishers, editors and agents. In “Inkubate Plans to Digitize the Slushpile,” Senior News Editor, Calvin Reid reported that the search tools we’re developing will enable subscribers to quickly identify literary works of interest. Publishing professionals use Inkubate to “Discover” content any number of ways, including by author, genre, literary form and writer-generated tags. Inkubate then helps them make contact with the author in a secure and copyright respectful environment.

At Inkubate we see our technology transforming the proverbial mailroom slushpile into a valuable, minable raw resource and we’re clearly not alone. Bruce Shaw, President and Publisher at the Harvard Common Press commented on Reid’s piece, writing, “I'm willing to give it a chance...if it is really well organized, and simple to see what is there (before delving further, if so desired), it could be very helpful...And I’m looking forward to seeing more and talking with them more about it.”

Many other industry professionals, including acclaimed authors, Dianna Hutts Aston and Betsy James, and literary editor & producer, Jody Feagan have concluded that our model just makes sense. Brendan DeMelle, Executive Director and managing Editor of DeSmogblog.com writes “Inkubate is likely to be a win-win for everyone.”


Consider, too, the growing demand for high quality content to feed the eBook business models of major publishing companies and it becomes clear that Inkubate is undoubtedly timely. After all, there simply are not enough editors or agents working in the industry to engage in the process of traditional “Discovery” while simultaneously managing the volume of new work that will be required to fill this emerging market. To remain competitive and relevant, publishing companies need to be able to differentiate their eBook content from that of the online aggregators like Amazon and Google and self-publishers, otherwise they will not be able to command the premium price points that curated works deserve. The sheer volume of eBook publishing that has publishers salivating (750,000 eBook titles in 2010 on top of the nearly 300,000 traditional books) makes it obvious that the old way of initiating Discovery just won’t be sustainable. Inkubate is the engine that will drive this emerging market.


We are excited to be the only company committed to building solutions for writers, publishers, editors and agents as they transition to meet the challenges (and opportunities) of a rapidly evolving industry.


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Inkubate News

Jun 10, 2011

Writer with a Day Job

by Stacy Clark

Jay Gale was fortunate to meet author, Áine Greaney, last night at Ipswich, Massachusetts’ Book Nook, where Greaney was launching her new guide, “Writer with a Day Job.”


When asked by Jay what she believes it takes to make it as a published author, Greaney remarked, “You have to have persistence, and, frankly, you have to be a bit nuts, too!”


Quiet laughter ensued as the writers in the audience nodded in approval…after all, it does take a certain kind of resilience and determination to persevere in an industry where traditional formulas for success are so often obscured by random forces, such as luck and timing.


Following Greaney's reading, Jay had a chance to speak with several attendees of the event and explained that rather than charging writers for the opportunity to be paired with the publishers and editors they aim to reach, Inkubate will pay writers each time their work is “Discovered.” One writer, already under agent representation explained that she signed on to Inkubate and created a profile that included the contact details for her agent who was representing one of the three works posted.  


“This approach works well for represented writers”, Jay commented. “If a publisher is interested in a work that they see, they’ll know how to connect with you via your agent’s details…so rather than being a disadvantage to you or your agent, it’s actually a boost for everyone to be seen and considered online. Inevitably, it will enhance both your value and theirs in the marketplace,” Jay added.


Another visitor stated that they see traditional Discovery as a kind of false science. Jay agreed and added, “And the alchemists are laughing at the Isaac Newtons of the world who want to apply real standards and experimental controls to the process of identifying promising new works.” The ensuing discussion involved what many writers in attendance believe is the need for an organized 3rd party solution. “What many publishers view somewhat pejoratively as a slush pile, we actually see as an opportunity..." Jay said, and added, “...with smarter tools, drilling through to find what you’re looking for quickly and efficiently is a breakthrough for publishers and writers.”


With roughly 450,000 freelance writers in the U.S. who work a day job, just as Greaney does, Inkubate is designed to be the one-stop shop for both busy writers aiming to be seen and busy editors aiming to find more time to pursue the real joys of publishing – pairing manuscripts with illustrators, marketing writers’ national book launches and cultivating promising young writers.


Inkubate congratulates Ánie on her success!

Stacy Clark, a co-founder of Inkubate, is also an educator, writer and researcher who lives in Dallas, Texas.