Tomio Geron, Forbes Staff
Building on that growth, a new start-up Hyperink is a publisher of digital books that are targeted to specific niche audiences. “We’re directly taking on Amazon and trying to disrupt how the entire book publishing industry works,” says Hyperink cofounder and CEO Kevin Gao.
In a change for the book industry Hyperink generally does not select from books that are submitted by authors. Instead, the company finds topics that are in demand through analysis of things like Google search trends. Then it seeks out authors for those topics. “It’s the reverse of the traditional book publishing industry, which is supply-driven, where you get manuscripts and pick from them,” Gao says. Does that sound like blog writing, where a bunch of similar stories all target certain hot keywords? In some ways, Gao says, but Hyperink’s books are structured, organized and written by experts in their fields. Instead of spending one or two years to publish a physical book and trying for big mega-hits, Hyperink is going the opposite direction. It focuses on fast publishing–it can churn out a book in a month at one-tenth the cost of physical books, Gao says. It’s also going after the “long tail” with topics such as “Getting Corporate Law Jobs,” “Dating For Singles Over 40,” and “Marketing Your Android App.”
Because of its model Hyperink can get much more specific with titles than typical publishers. For example, instead of a book on “How to get into College,” Hyperink has a book, “Harvard Law School Admissions.” Hyperink’s books are typically 30 to 75 pages. “Book publishers generally have generic topics that are 200 pages because it looks good on a bookshelf and because of all the overhead costs,” Gao says. “We want to get really specific and really long-tail to give consumers the books they really want to read.” While the books are largely non-fiction now, Gao says the company could do fiction as well.
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