One big way that book publishing startups can succeed now


It’s been more than seven years since the introduction of the first Kindle. Ebooks market share seems to be stabilizing at around one third of total books sold in the U.S. according to the latest reports. But ebooks are just the beginning–the detonator, in a way, of a decade-long disruption of the traditional publishing landscape.

Publishers and agents have certainly “adapted,” but have largely failed to carry innovation forward; distribution channels have been disrupted, but the creative process around books and the business model of publishing remain, for now, unchanged.

As it often happens when technology erupts in a non-tech-heavy industry, numerous opportunities have emerged for smaller players: namely authors, freelancers, and startups. To take advantage of the changing industry landscape, however, those small players will have to grasp the delicate mix of strong technology and intuitive user experience (UX) needed to succeed in a tech-unsavvy industry.

Publishers and “tech”

At the Frankfurt Book Fair last October, startup founder…

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WhatSim sells a WhatsApp-only mobile plan on the cheap


WhatsApp is now capturing a good deal of the world’s texting traffic, so an Italian company figured it was time to create a WhatsApp data plan for the world. The people behind Italy’s Zeromobile have launched a new venture called WhatSim that sells a €10 ($11.60) SIM card that lets you chat on WhatsApp for free in 150 countries for a year.

When it comes to text messaging alternatives, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is already a bargain. It’s a free download, and after the first year you pay only 99 cents a year. That, however, does not include the cost of mobile data, which can be exceptional high if you’re trotting the world outside of your home network. So WhatSim has created plan that levels the playing field across the globe. You buy the SIM card for €10 and aren’t charged any data fees as long as you use WhatsApp’s basic text…

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