Created on: March 14, 2013 Last Updated: April 18, 2013
“Book events aren’t what they used to be,” laments Togather CEO, Andrew Kessler. The solution? Togather, a self-proclaimed “event creation platform that unites authors with audiences worldwide.”
Togather aims to fix “broken” book events with its crowdfunding model. Authors can create an event while readers can propose a book event for their favorite author. If solicited, authors can approve, deny, or even negotiate the terms of the book event, with the site helping to price events and manage the criteria, including minimum number of books, RSVPs and even honoraria. Similar to the Groupon model, once the criterion is met, that is, enough people reserve a seat, the “deal” is on. To ensure that readers don’t drop out, Togather makes readers put their money where their mouth is and pre-purchase a signed copy of the book. Authors and readers alike have an incentive to promote the event. Readers get to see their favorite author in action while authors get guaranteed sales of their book.
Togather helps first time authors publish and promote themselves because anyone, from first time self-published authors to established heavyweights, can sign up and create an event. As long as there is enough interest, your event is a go. Helpfully, the site tells authors exactly how many books to bring to an event. This is especially useful for self-published authors as the prints are, in a sense, pre-paid.
While the site sounds promising, it does have a few drawbacks. For one, users must have a valid American zip code so the site is restricted to the U.S. For another, crowdfunding models depend heavily on network effects, meaning that the more users, both authors and readers, sign up, the better it will perform. Because the site is still in beta mode, there are few users, and even fewer events. However, the news isn’t all bad; Mashable states that Togather was one of the finalists at the SXSW Accelerator and the Huge Labs, an incubator attached to digital agency Huge, is investing in the company.
Launched about six months ago, Togather is a Brooklyn-based startup founded by Andrew Kessler and Aaron Shapiro. The startup was launched out of Kessler’s frustration with current methods for promoting books.
“Social media felt successful, but I wasn’t selling any books,” he told PaidContent.org. Togather will help to “close the loop on all the social stuff” and convert that into book sales.
Learn more about this author, Penne Cole.
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