By Dennis Abrams
Earlier this month at BEA, Pentian, a crowdfunding platform for books, has launched in the U.S., with operations assistance from Sol Rosenberg, formerly of Copia.
Created by three young publishing and technology entrepreneurs in Spain, Pentian boasts that it promises to “disrupt” the publishing sector and enabled authors to find “innovative” ways to get their books published, while at the same giving readers a chance not only to support their work, but to also receive financial rewards along the way.
“Our goal from the beginning was to be a place for authors to seek funding from their audiences and turn their manuscripts into published works, while providing a fair reward for those who made the success possible,” said Enrique Parrilla, co-founder of Pentian. Readers can support their favorite authors and gain a share in the profits they finance. We saw a need that wasn’t being met, and even more so, a way to make self-publishing succeed while rewarding everyone that was part of the process. Pentian is revolutionizing the publishing industry, by providing a platform where everyone truly wins.”
And indeed, while there are a veritable plethora of self-publishing platforms and crowdfunding sites, Pentian may represent a high value proposition for both authors and readers.
Here’s how it works:
- Authors come to Pentian to gather funding for their book’s publishing.
- Readers pledge to support new talent that they discover on the Pentian site.
- Both the authors and readers profit financially when books are sold. (From net profits, 50% financial backers of the book, 40% to the author, and 10% to Pentian.)
- Pentian continues to promote and market those books that receive an extraordinary amount of popular support.
In an interview at BEA, Parrilla said that in some ways, what he offers is a Vegas for real “bookies” – with this platform, anybody gets a chance to be a publisher. And it offers a win/win for authors and investors: previously it was up to self-published authors to support their own promotion and publicity, now backers are financially invested in helping to promote book sales as well.
And only does Pentian strive to connect authors with readers, it too does its part to build a relationship with its authors. All books are released immediately world wide, and authors are provided with daily sales reports, which Parrilla feels helps to provide a sense of ownership to the author. Pentian also helps with the promotion, adding the cost of marketing into the original fundraising proposal.
Since its launch just six months ago in Spain, Pentian has found success across numerous Spanish-speaking markets, managing to grab 6% of all self-published titles in Spain. Publish works include Titania’s Dream from Andres Gonzalez-Barba, a published author with two previous novels who was not satisfied with the traditional publishing model, and The Alchemists’ Night from Gaspar Rossetty, a syndicated sportscaster who did not appreciate the editorial control exerted by his old publishing house.
Pentian produces books in both print and e-formats, and offers an automated connection to the major marketplaces around the world including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Google, as well as major outlets in the Latin American and Spanish markets.
And now with its expansion into the U.S. market, Parrilla is confident that Pentian’s future is bright. “Traditional publishing is a dying corpse of oligarchic protectionism,” he told me. Pentian, he believes, is the future.