23. October 2012–
Fresh off the back of their beta launch a couple of weeks ago, the team behind ebook publishing tool ebookmakr haven't had much time to rest on their laurels. The platform that promises to take some of the pain out of online publishing is drawing interest from writers who aspire to be published but are put off by the complicated process of self-publishing.
We caught up with Rebecca Sunshine, one of the three co-founders, to find out more...
Co-founders Carl-Christian Bruns, Rebecca Sunshine and Stefan Wolpers
Hi Rebecca, who are you and what are you doing?
I am the co-founder and Head of PR and Communications for ebookmakr. I've been working really hard on the launch of the site, but prior to our launch preparation I have been having quite the learning experience as a first-time co-founder. On top of all communication endeavors, I have been hands-on with product development, in-depth user testings, investor relations and more.
The idea for ebookmakr all started with a sweet tooth and a love for ice cream. Stefan Wolpers, the CEO of ebookmakr, has a passion for creating new ice cream recipes. He shares his recipes on his blog. A while back, he decided he wanted to make an ebook out of his ice cream recipes, however, during his search he was unable to come across any affordable, easy and efficient platforms to do so. This is where the idea for ebookmakr came about.
Who are the founders and how did you find each other?
I am originally from Los Angeles, California and worked in event management and consulting before moving to Tel Aviv to study a maters programme. There I helped launch a fashion and culture magazine, which was my first experience launching something.
After Tel Aviv, I realized I had gotten everything out of the city and lots of people were pointing me towards Berlin. I met Stefan Wolpers through an article published here on VentureVillage. Stefan got in touch with me from that article and pitched ebookmakr to me, and we hit it off. So I came back to Berlin and have been working here since!
Stefan is the CEO and key driver behind ebookmakr. He has already made a significant imprint amongst the Berlin startup scene as the founder of Entrepreneurs Club Berlin – best known for organising the Startup Camp Berlin –as well as the founder and MD of Twittwoch, Germany largest network of local social media marketing events.
Carl-Christian is an entrepreneur, economist, and master of media culture. His experience in product management at GawlittaDigitale and his innate sense of technology trends makes him a valuable co-founder and COO of ebookmakr. He, like Stefan, also has a background in event management both organising the first Startup Camp Berlin as well as founding his own event management company.
What is your USP and what makes you different from everyone else?
Our USP for the public beta launch is the blogs-to-ebook function. In under five minutes any user can create an ebook from specific posts or their entire WordPress and Blogger or Blogspot blog.
What is your business model? And how big is the market potential?
We are addressing a global, sixty-billion plus publishing market, which is pivoting as we speak, with the widespread adoption of eReaders and tablet computers. While the adoption of the development on the reader side has been significant, there's been a lag on the production side. There is no major player in the market that offers a holistic software-as-a-service for the production of new ebooks and conversion of existing content to ebooks.
Our business model is based on a Freemium subscription model. All accounts are free. A user with a free account is able to create up to three ebooks including the API for the importing of blogs onto the platform. Also, it's not live yet, but coming soon, we will have premium accounts, including the ability to create more ebooks and further file conversion.
Who is financing you?
ebookmakr is a bootstrapped project. We are currently looking for investors to amplify our customer development stage.
The team is tightly knit and extremely dedicated. We don't have our own private office at the moment, but the co-working space at St. Oberholz has been treating us very well. We will look for our own office after an investment. We are also looking to bring on a technical co-founder.
Who would you like to have lunch with and what would you talk about?
I'm going to change the answer around a little and say I'd love to have lunch and go to a Berlin open air with Thom Yorke. I am so mesmerized by the way he moves and the messages he send. I think our dance experience would send me on an inspirational high for a long time.
Any advice for fellow startups?
My advice is to keep moving forward. Stay positive and go with the flow. Things change on a daily basis and you need to be mentally prepared for life as it happens.
Where will you be in a years time?
In a year I will still be in Berlin, living in my cozy apartment that I love so much. Hopefully I’ll be taking more dance classes and smiling bigger than ever. I will also be a little more travelled. And of course, I’ll be working hard on ebookmakr to ensure that we are delivering the best product possible and sharing our story and product with the world. Hopefully I'll have an intern as well.
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