Bubok UK – Overview

Bubok is an online self-publishing service and bookstore founded in 2007 and has just launched a dedicated UK service this week. Bubok is marketing to the DIY self-publishing area and files uploaded must be in a PDF or doc format.

Yet, the online download advice conflicts with what is stated in the press release (PDF, doc or ppt). Either it’s PDF only or PDF and docs as acceptable formats.

…and from the online website load up information:

“Remember, it must be in PDF format, its extension must be between 30 and 800 pages, the fonts must be embedded and images in high resolution1 and, preferably, it should be in any of the publication2 sizes of Bubok (although if it is not correct, Bubok will resize it automatically).”

The online tools pretty much work like Blurb or Lulu, but honestly, step back a few years, this seems like a work in progress and remains far behind the versatility offered by the competition. An author can load up completed PDF book files or use the basic custom cover design tool. Bubok will supply ISBN’s so the book can be sold through online retailers and in their bookstore, but distribution is limited, though Amazon Kindle is included.
Initial use of Bubok requires registration to upload a book. Yes, it is free to use the online tools, but a ‘proof’ purchase is required. You see where I am going with this. Print costs – like many DIY publishing services – are high comparitive to working directly with a printer, and if you want to make a decent profit, you may be disappointed. Bubok is a million miles away from what CreateSpace offer for free as well.

PROFESSIONAL EDITING SERVICES

PROMOTION SERVICES

(Above, some of the additional services. The website and domain is a crazy price!!)

As you can see, we are on the high end and this is a publishing platform built on sell-on services. Blurb figured this out years ago and developed their BookSmart design tool to download and optimised compatibility with Adobe products, including InDesign, and this appealed to DIY authors and photographers. Sure, this might appeal to the casual author looking at ebook publication (80/20 for the author on a royalty split), but Bubok are faced with the same growing pains as their competition years ago to make this platform far more flexible and versatile.
For purchases of 15 copies or more receive a 10% discount.

For purchases of 50 copies or more receive a 15% discount.

For purchases of 100 copies or more receive a 40% discount.

(On the retail price – gee, thanks!! –  EDITOR)

I’m glad those editing services don’t include text editing because the website and downloadable manual are appalling and read like a Hong Kong DIY furniture manual. Critical information like royalties, online distribution outlets (Wattpad and Scribd included, but nothing beyond big name e-tailer Amazon) and the core information a self-publishing author needs is missing or simply too deeply embedded in the website. Nobody wants to beat up the new guy on the UK self-publishing block but this is a case of a  little done, and a great deal more to do! Bubok do provide some ‘How To Publish’ instructions here, but be sure to have your Hong Kong interpreter close by for gibberish English translations.
From their press release (and keep in mind all I posted about last week on press releases from companies):
BUBOK LAUNCHES IN THE UK SIGNIFYING DEMAND FOR SELF BOOK PUBLISHING
Bubok, the global self-publishing website, announces expansion into the UK, proving that self-publishing is on the rise. Bubok operates a no upfront print or production fees policy but instead simply takes a percentage of the cover price once a book has been ordered or sold. There is no stock holding, no sign up fees and the copyright remains with the author. (no distribution beyond Amazon, Scribd, Wattpad and their bookstore – EDITOR)
Traditional publishing takes time, technical skill, personal connections and financing, factors which up until now have convinced so many budding authors to abandon their writing aspirations. Bubok is completely changing this model proving that there is now a trustworthy and professional alternative to traditional publishing. Bubok provides a fast, easy and affordable alternative so that anyone can now publish a book whether to sell, share or use as a promotional tool. (Nonsense – these claims were made ten years ago and competitors of Bubok are still way ahead – EDITOR)
Says Justine Petrenko, Head of Internationalisation, Bubok Publishing: “There are nearly 11,000 new publishers entering the literary field every year, most of which are self-publishers, (well now, are we talking publishers or authors or both, and where is the back up for this info? – EDITOR) which is why Bubok is doing all it can to support the book writing experience. In fact for the first time in 2010 the total amount of non-traditional, social print produced titles outstripped traditional print titles by three to one, a fact that many would have considered impossible 5 years ago. Research (What research? – EDITOR) has told us that 81% of people felt that they had a book in them and despite feeling compelled to write they were completely overwhelmed by the rigmarole of the whole book publishing industry and as result abandoned their writing aspirations. Bubok is changing this by making it easier for anyone and everyone to self-publish.
Continues Justine: “People have much more choice now as to how and in what format they want to digest their media. You only have to look at the growth in the Kindle with Amazon’s Kindle business. Add to this the spectacular growth in eBooks and it’s very clear that consumer reading habits have changed forever. Bubok is here to facilitate this phenomenal movement in the publishing world by helping budding authors to realise their talents and in turn bring a much greater and wider choice of reading material to the general public.”
With no software to download, users simply upload their file in pdf, doc or ppt format; (online manual says PDF file only – EDITOR?) create a title, author and synopsis; choose binding style, size and cover design or upload their own cover design; set the sales price for the book whether as an eBook or hardcopy and finish by ordering a printed copy to check the final result. Each book is printed on demand and in any quantity, whether as a gift for one or thousands for a much larger audience.
-ENDS – (who the hell puts this in a press release! EDITOR)
About Bubok
Founded in 2007, Bubok is committed to self-publishing and has secured a global customer base built on its passion for books and writing. Offering a full professional service throughout the entire writing process, Bubok is easy to use, smart and cost effective. Its international presence means a book can be promoted on any of the Bubok country websites and printed in the country where the order has been taken. Bubok has partnered with Amazon in Spain and is hoping to secure an arrangement with Amazon UK later this year.

To arrange an interview with Justine Petrenko, Head of Bubok Internationalisation, and to find out more about self-publishing please contact:

Media Contacts:
Paul Spiers / Andy Eastham
Tel: 0845 017 7522
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