Guy Boulianne founded his own internet-based book publisher, Éditions Dédicaces, which makes extensive use of the latest publishing technology and social media, including Paper.li. He’s also marketing his own eBook reader.
He talked to us about how he runs a thriving publishing company in the age of the eBook.
Tell us about Éditions Dédicaces
We are a company incorporated in Canada and we have just a few shareholders. We do not ask authors to pay us to publish their book, but we do ask them to buy 15 copies that they can sell.
84% of our books are in French, 6% in English. We print on demand, which prevents financial losses from unsold books. Our books are mainly sold in online stores like Amazon, eBay and Abebooks, but we also get orders from European and Canadian stores. We pay royalties annually to authors.
What is different about Éditions Dédicaces?
We use the internet and social networks with the power to make us known worldwide. We’ve had manuscripts from many countries, including France, Algeria, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, the Republic of Congo, Argentina, the US and Canada.
We’re also the first publishing house to market its own eBook reader. But there’s more: the reader includes 75 original books published by us (worth over $750), 25 public domain books, 25 audio books, 15 music files (MP3) and 10 videos. It also includes a book of 120 recipes illustrated in color, a leather case, and The Legend of Wallapaco, text and audio formats!
There’s been quite a lot of interest in the eReader at book fairs, like in Montreal recently, and on TV: “Salut bonjour!” (Quebec, Canada) Rêves et cris (France) and Filmed in Utah (US). We are currently in discussions with the Government of the Republic of Congo to buy them for young students.
How are you putting the Internet to work for you?
All manuscripts are sent in via an online form on our website and our communication is based on VoIP telephony and fax. Our services are accessible via mobile devices at www.dedicaces.tel. We also provide free phone numbers for people to call us no matter where they are on the planet!
What devices can people read your books on?
Multiple devices, including iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Android devices and smartphones. Our eBooks can be purchased on different platforms such as Amazon Kindle, Payloadz, Smashwords (US), Actilib, Youscribe (France) and Kobo (Canada). In fact, we just signed a contract with the Spanish company Bestsharer making our eBooks available for loan on the platform 24symbols.com.
How do you market the books?
We use many social networks to advertise our products and services, as well as offline advertising.
We also appear every week on Filmed in Utah, which has a total audience of 290,000 in Utah, South Idaho and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. The videos go on the Filmed in Utah Youtube Channel, which has had over 270,000 visitors. Each episode has now been seen nearly 6,000 times … only on the internet!
And we have been featured in dozens of newspaper articles in Europe, Africa, the US and Canada.
We are working hard to publicize Éditions Dédicaces internationally, and therefore the authors we publish.
How are you using social media?
Our official blog is automatically broadcast on our various Facebook pages via the online service NetworkedBlogs. Then, we schedule each message in our Sprout Social account, to be broadcast once a week for a few weeks on various social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Sprout Social allows us to significantly increase our readers and followers. During the last 30 days, our Twitter followers increased by 6% with Sprout Social, which is not negligible. It also allows us to analyze our market through very detailed statistics.
We also use our RSS feed to broadcast our news on dozens of websites, as well as Youtube to share our many videos.
What marketing do you do offline?
Book fairs in Canada and France, including 4 consecutive years at the Paris book fair, the Montreal book fair and Expozine, also in Montreal. It’s the largest trade show dedicated to small publishers in North America.
Tell us about some of your social media successes
In 2011, we created our own social network through Ning.com. It’s called “Bottin international des professionnels du livre” (International Directory of the Book Trade). It brings together the different groups in the publishing industry: authors, publishers, printers, literary agents, photographers, illustrators, distributors… The goal is to create a comprehensive directory to be published in paper and digital format.
Members can post their information, create their blog, post their photos and videos, create and join groups and forums, announce their events and chat with other members. It’s growing day by day.
How does your Paper.li paper fit in to your strategy?
We use Sprout Social to publish our Journal automatically twice a day. Our 2,000 followers receive an alert via Twitter, which brings us a daily readership without us doing anything else. Automation is very important for us because it removes a significant overload of work.
Additional to that, because the Journal disseminates the most important information from Twitter on our topic, it brings an undeniable prestige and loyal readers.
What advice do you have for other smaller businesses on using Paper.li?
The editor must use all the resources offered. Give the paper a name and description reflecting the company, add a link to the website and a background image that characterizes it. Curate content from the best contacts. This will make people want to read it regularly and come back to it often.
It’s also a good idea to integrate the paper on your website, as we have, which will attract more readers.
Read this interview in French (PDF download).