Some years ago, Jarek Bogulak and Grazyna Szczepaniak discovered a book that was about to change their lives; a book that they “simply couldn’t stop reading, couldn’t put it down”. This book eventually became the key to “unlock the future”. “We frantically scribbled notes in the margin of this book, folded over the page corners.” says Grazyna. She adds, “We made bookmarks. Talked about what we’d read. But as we were reading, we thought: “There has to be a better way of keeping track of all these important pieces of information… What if we could spread our feelings, share our thoughts and invite other people to join in with the same book? If only there was an…” And the concept of Booke was born.” Today, Jarek and Grazyna are devoting all their time and energy for Booke.
Booke is about reading in community. It is a platform connecting printed book readers, publishers/authors and the brands. In Grazyna’s own words, “It shortens the gap between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and data. Wisdom is the ability to discern and judge which aspects of that knowledge are true, right, lasting, and applicable to your life – you don’t find it in a book itself.” “We all need news (Twitter), we all need relationships (Facebook). But what about wisdom?” she asks. The founders of Booke believe that while books impart knowledge, in order to build your wisdom, it is necessary see the subject from different angles, to know opinions of other readers and to learn practical hints. Booke aims at turning a book into a conference hall or even better, a social media platform. While for the readers of printed matter, Booke allows interaction, collaboration and re-publication – all via one app, it helps the publishers get increased visibility of work, the ability to annotate and develop deeper content and to measure how their content is performing. Booke also helps to develop communities by inviting content producers to augment the reading experience. “It’s all the greatness of the printed word, bolstered and boosted by technology.” Grazyna tells us.
Suppose you love to read books on history, but you might lose track of the people described in the books that you are reading. With Booke, you can easily search for people and phrases. All you need to do is tell the app what you are looking for and you shall get to know where that phrase or name was mentioned in the book.
For Booke, one of the ways of entering the market is through connecting with publishing houses. “We had many meetings with the biggest publishing houses in UK and US, and always their feedback was great, very energizing. And here starts the pain. The inertia of these big companies is immense. The time between the meetings is counted in months… ” Grazyna says. However, Booke can also enter the market independently. The co-operation of publishers is important, yet not mandatory.
Although Booke doesn’t have “direct competitors”, but there are quite a few “indirect” ones. Although sites like Goodreads facilitate social reading, they do not provide additional content. Booke is simple, cheap and the additional content can be attached to the print anytime and by anybody. It also provides content curation, which was reserved only for eBooks till now.
Booke is a good source of analytics for the publishers. “While Nielsen Book Scan measures who’s selling what, we measure who’s reading what and which parts of the printed text are the “hottest”.” says Grazyna.
Booke wants to initially focus on textbooks, academic and scientific books. The founders plan to promote Booke on a selected US university. “When we have one university, we will have all of them, and when we have all of them – we have a mass market.” Grazyna tells us. She adds, “Our goal is that in a next couple years every time you open the book you will automatically open the Booke app on your mobile or wearable device.”
Booke has a freemium model basically. While the platform is opened free of cost for the users, publishers and the brands, the premium accounts will have be paid for. Booke wants to be a content marketing platform for the brands and the brands are charged for the analytics of their content performance. Also the additional functionalities (statistics, analytics, possibility of contacting with the readers) will be paid for by the publishers.
The early adopters of Booke are located in the US, Canada and the UK. . If you wish to join them, please leave an email on Booke’s website.
Do visit the website http://www.booke.co/