It’s always a little nerve wracking when you hit “publish”.
When you authorize any project to go live, whether it’s launching a web service or publishing a book, a part of you, while proud of your achievement, prays that the public will like what you’ve created. It’s the first real test if what you made is any good.
Two years ago today, I pressed “publish” and launched ThirdScribe. I’m proud to say that it continues to grow, and we have even more planned for “Phase 3” this year.
Here’s how our 2015 went and what we have in store for 2016.
Some Stats From 2015
Traffic across ThirdScribe Author Sites in 2015.
ThirdScribe is steadfastly focused squarely on it’s core mission, helping authors, and the word is getting out.
ThirdScribe now supports 529 books by 296 authors and powers 166 author sites. As you can see in the pic above, our traffic across the network is steadily growing, and our author sites were visited 305,435 times by 140,964 people (290% growth over last year!). That’s actual people looking at actual authors and their books.
More important to us than growth, however, is making sure our author members get the best support possible. We continue to provide best in class support to our author members, with 20% enjoying our premium concierge level support. And, when we see things like this, we are confident we’re doing our jobs pretty well.
Accomplishments of 2015
Phase 2 was all about improving and refining what we had, incorporating the lessons learned from helping our author members. Here’s a short run through of the many improvements we made over the course of 2015:
- Overhauled our Stories platform, integrating a “Medium-Like” front end editor to make it even easier for authors to use.
- Rebuilt our Author Theme to enable a wide range of customization options.
- Refined our Author Member Levels, to provide powerful services for every budget
- A New Author Dashboard that is clearer and easier to use
- Instituted an Affiliate Program available only to ThirdScribe Members
- Upgraded our Author Stores and central storefront
- Stood up ThirdScribe Service, a service index where authors can find exceptional and reliable service vendors
- Many, many more small tweaks, corrections, and adjustments
Now, moving into Phase 3, we are continuing to expand our services to provide even more value to our authors.
What’s Coming Next
Over this last year, we’ve seen more and more authors publish shorter works between the release of longer novels. As these are often for newsletter rewards or anthologies, there is an emphasis on keeping the costs low. We have been asked several times to format said pieces, but have declined as that isn’t part of our service pack. This year, we’re going to change that. Look for ThirdScribe: Create later this Spring.
After attending some author conferences, it became clear that there is a real need for honest how-to instruction that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. When the average self published book only sells 250 copies, it’s hard to justify the expense of a $900 course on book marketing. For the last few months, we have been working with top university digital course producers to create a series of classes — all very affordable — to teach authors how to successfully market their books online. ThirdScribe Academy will have it’s first classes online in April.
Our last big push for 2016 is something we started in 2015: a web solution for publishers. We successfully beta tested our publisher specific platform in 2015. This year, we’re moving forward to a commercial product. Publishers, powered by the ThirdScribe system, will be able to provide their authors with far more tools and support, for significantly less cost, saving money not only in web development, but in long term IT expenses as well. ThirdScribe.Net will be fully online this Summer.
We’re thrilled to be in the business of supporting authors and helping to bring readers and authors closer together. It’s a fantastic job and we’re looking forward to another year!