It’s been an interesting week on the aggregator circuit.
Usually, either at Frankfurt or to coincide with Frankfurt, we hear about new initiatives, partnerships and other news from the western distributors, but this year it’s been relatively quiet. But not totally.
Among the pleasant surprises was a series of three posts by PublishDrive’s Zsofia Macho on the tech changes in the publishing industry.
Not that the topic was a surprise. PublishDrive doesn’t describe itself as “the most intelligent ebook publishing platform” for nothing. But PublishDrive is a relative newcomer to the ebook distribution circuit, arriving after the indie goldrush days of 2009-14, and operating from Hungary it has had its work cut out to get noticed, let alone successfully compete with the established American players like Smashwords and Draft2Digital and the established European players like Germany’s Xin-Xii and Italy’s StreetLib.
But coming late to tech brings its own rewards, being able to learn from what the “rival” operators have perhaps been slow to adjust to (for example, PublishDrive launched with an international focus), and, coming from a country where digitalisation in the publishing industry is still in its infancy, being able to bring a fresh perspective to the distribution arena.
So while the other distributors have of course been looking at the new tech opportunities and, for all we know, investing heavily in them behind the scenes, PublishDrive has been very public about its interest.
Nowhere more so than in the aforementioned series of posts, first on AI, then on blockchain, and then a round-up of other tech challenges the publishing industry faces.
Each one compulsive reading, but of course orientated to the self-publishing reader. For an overview of blockchain aimed at the wider publishing industry you need look no further than Publishing Perspectives.
And for further insights into PublishDrive, check out this audio- recording from PublishDrive’s Kinga Jentetics at Frankfurt, which is part of the ALLi Frankfurt Fringe online festival.
The other aggregator news this week comes in the form of two stories concerning StreetLib. At which point full disclosure: StreetLib is the sister company to Antonio Tombolini Editore, the publisher of The New Publishing Standard.
StreetLib announced two new distribution partners in the form of ebook subscription services Legimi and Skoobe, both via Libreka.
StreetLib is also in the news in a press release from the USA’s official ISBN controller Bowker.
“Visitors to the Bowker website myidentifiers.com will now be able to access StreetLib, a publishing platform offering all the essential book publishing tools in one place,” says the press release, along with all the usual niceties that have no place in this post but can be read here if anyone is desperate to know more.