New launch: Book publishing 2.0

Wow, this looks interesting. A new social media platform called Crink or “Creative Ink” has just launched, enabling amateur, budding and experienced authors to publish, sell, buy and market their books online. It allows authors to create social networks, personalised online shops, groups and forums around their interest areas and books.

Customers can order books from an author’s personalised online shop and have a copy of the book delivered to their doorsteps, bound and printed. For example, family histories could be captured in a published book or budding ornithologists could write a personalised bird book from their very unique perspective. Crink’s offering is “on-demand-publishing” so orders as low as one book can be placed at a time.

Rhode Odendaal, the MD of Crink says that “everyone has a book inside them” and that this platform now allows them to publish it professionally. The Crink Social Media Platform was specced by Kate Elphick at Digital Bridges and built by Luuk ICT. It is a Media24 initiative.

Crink platform is mostly automated. It’s managed by an avatar called “Jessica Maverick” who guides the authors when they need assistance. The success of publications is determined by the involvement of authors who manage their own titles and marketing.

I’ve had a cursory look at it and I like what I see. Would be nice to see some reviews of it from people who have signed up and used it extensively?

Nice to see some local innovation.

Comments (5)

  1. ismail wrote::

    I wonder who is behind this?

    According to whois info it looks like a media24 project.

    Any ideas?

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm #
  2. matt wrote::

    3rd par: “It is a Media24 initiative.” 😉

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm #
  3. @ismail: As far as I know, Crink grew out of a few Media24-based initiatives including Content Solutions and various print services they have offered clients over the years.

    The catalogue of titles they distributed at last year’s Cape Town Book Fair included clients who’d used various Media24 services, such as short-run printing. Media24 has gathered them (in the Crink catalogue at least) under the Crink banner.

    Crink’s offering looks solid and Media24 provides the backing and the infrastructure to make it very successful. It’s not clear to me yet how wide their book distribution network is (can you only buy books from the Crink website, or are they also on Kalahari or even Amazon?), and there are some sales and marketing services promised on the website that aren’t active yet. It’s good for everyone if Crink does well.

    (Disclosure: My company Electric Book Works offers a service at that competes with Crink.)

    Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 2:07 pm #
  4. Ryan Peter wrote::

    I’ve started using Crink and I love the idea because it provides an alternative to Although, I don’t think Media24 thought the idea up first – has been around for a while.

    The only problem with is that is incredibly expensive for South Africans, especially if you want to order your own books. With Crink, the price is perfect.

    However, the interface with Crink still has too many bugs and they need to iron out these ASAP. Some of the bugs are simple oversights, others are understandable.

    Secondly, I sent them a message through the system for help with some particular problems I was experiencing and now, more than 24 hours later, I haven’t received a response. I really want Crink to work, but so far the interface can be better and the communication better as well.

    Friday, March 27, 2009 at 9:43 pm #
  5. eurica wrote::

    I have a book that I would like to publish in Afrikaans and a friend with a book in English. Both books are non-fiction with a lot of photos. I would like to be able to make contact with this publisher. I am not interested in subscribing to his blog.

    Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

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