Chicago-based Blog Into Book is turning bloggers into authors by publishing their best posts into ebooks.
We interviewed Blog Into Book Founder, Zack Price, to learn more about his startup.
What is your company’s mission?
Blog Into Book wants to make book publishing accessible to every blogger in the world. Blog Into Book turns Bloggers into Authors by publishing their best posts into ebooks made available on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Google Play, Kobo, and other stores worldwide.
How did you get the idea for your company?
I have been publishing books for 15 years. One trend lately is many of the aspiring authors looking to get published are bloggers. I decided to set up a service specifically for this group of writers which brings us to the launching of Blog Into Book.
What has been your biggest “aha” moment since founding your company?
Content is content, regardless of your title. Whether you are a high profile author or small-time blogger, you can have a professionally published ebook in all major stores.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding?
Bootstrapped. Currently using profits to fund business.
Tell us about your Azure cloud-based solution.
We will be moving all of our website data and image hosting to Azure
How did you get excited about Azure?
Meeting with Sonal Mane and Tim Beckman from Microsoft at Chicago’s Tech Hub 1871 where I am a member. They explained to me how Azure is more scalable and will provide faster speeds and better pricing.
Do you build for scale first, or for revenue? How are those things related in your mind?
This all depends on the nature of your business. I have founded startups that need to reach a critical mass to work … those need scale first and foremost. However, a company like Blog Into Book earns revenue on a customer by customer basis, so revenue is the primary goal, and scaling can come later.
Do you make reasonable predictions about how you are going to achieve revenue and then test them out, or do you start with a business model and deploy it, to see if it brings in revenue?
For Blog Into Book, there are a few ways we can bring in revenue. Some are through book sales and some are through publishing services. It all depends on what the customer wants at the end of the day. We started by splitting book sales with the content creator, but it looks like many bloggers would prefer to keep all of their royalties and pay the publisher a flat fee upfront. Another interesting revenue model coming to the book industry is a subscription, Netflix-like service.
What questions do you think a startup non-technical founder needs to answer when considering a cloud architecture for his or her startup, specifically during the business model generation period?
Find someone who has done it before with another company. This doesn’t necessarily mean a “co-founder”. It can be a mentor, or someone you hire as you need their service. If you do offer equity, it can be vested over time, so if the tech-savvy person doesn’t stay on they don’t earn a piece of the business.
Where do you include technical members of your team during the building of your business plan?
Filled in on all tech and sales aspects of the business. If the tech people are aware of what’s going on, they can help build toward the team’s ultimate goal.
How much of what you are building is based on leaving a legacy vs technical challenges vs making something just for fun?
I only work on startups that I think are fun to do. Usually it is tackling a problem I face myself. I also love the startup life of setting your own hours and writing your own paycheck. My success is determined by myself, and I would not have it any other way.
When did you decide that you were “startup material”?
When I was 10 years old I started selling baseball cards and produced a sports memorabilia show in my High School cafeteria with over 30 dealers and 300 attendees. I’ve never had a ‘real job’ since.
What impact or legacy do you hope to make in the market and in the business world?
I want to create things that have never been done before, that other people can use. With Blog Into Book, I want to let all bloggers have their own published book. As for a legacy, I don’t really have one. I have fun starting companies that I think are cool.
What do you think of the BizSpark Program?
It is terrific to have access to the best and most recent Microsoft software. Startups cannot always afford the newest upgrade or software which may be expensive to their budget. The BizSpark program is a perfect way to get new businesses started.
Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?
It is clear Microsoft is dedicated to helping startups grow. They have made every resource available to me as an entrepreneur and at no cost. Where I may have been using other products or older Microsoft products, I am now equipped with their best products along with support to take my startup to the next level.
You can download the Blog Into Book App from the Windows Store here.
Blog Into Book Founder, Zack Price