Part I of an Exclusive Two-part Interview with PENTIAN CEO & Founder Enrique Parrilla
By R.J. Huneke
On May 31, 2014 PENTIAN launched its revolutionary publishing and crowdfunding model in the US at the Book Expo of America.
Things will never be the same.
I was fortunate to sit down with Founder and CEO Enrique Parrilla, just hours after the exciting debut going on in the Jacob Javit’s Center in New York City, and his vision of the future of the publishing world is keen and bright for both readers and artists taking part in Pentian’s “everyone wins” platform.
Mr. Parrilla was very pleased when he stepped away from the buzz of the Pentian booth at the Book Expo to talk to me. Dressed in a sharp suit jacket and button-down shirt that was happily tie-less, his passion for books immediately became contagious.
He started off saying, “[we’re] launching as we speak, and people are going [crazy] over it.”
Pentian is invoking their crowdfunding platform, as a publisher, and their business plan calls on potential readers and investors to crowdfund their Pentian favorites so that the cost to create, print and distribute the book on the market is covered by the determinate readers who wish to bring their authors’ works to life.
Pentian believes that invoking a community around funding a book helps to add to the media exposure and burgeon its success.
Mr. Parrilla spoke very candidly that Pentian “seek[s] to reward . . . the backers with financial compensation for 3 years . . . with profits from [the funded] book. What this essentially does is create an army of sales people for that book working for you.”
Authors everywhere rejoice!
Rarely has a business model helped to provide them with such free marketing prowess or incentive.
He went on to say that with the “small army of people who are financially invested [in the projects] . . . we have a very fair mechanism to reward those people who have taken a risk.”
Who as an avid reader would not warrant risking a few hundred dollars on an author and/or idea they are passionate about – and feel would take the world by storm, whether hitting the best-seller list or becoming a successful Hollywood film – especially when they would be compensated a set percentage of sales for three years for their investment?
Readers and stockbrokers beware: there is a new investment portfolio in town!
“Being a publishing company ourselves,” says Pentian founder Enrique Parrilla, “we own the production process.”
The process is quite simple:
Authors submit their work to Pentian, and they judge the project strictly based on the quality of the work
Pentian and the author come up with a plan of how many and what types of mediums the book will be produced in order to get it on the market and place the project on Pentian.com’s crowdfunding site
Pricing levels are suggested: reward levels $10 gets you e-book, for instance, or $25 gets you a hardcover copy and more money might get you a signed hardcover.
Readers and investors contribute to financially cover the costs of the project’s production and receive a part of the profits from the sales of the book
The author’s work is published at the very best of quality in both paper and e-format.
For Enrique Parrilla, the way that technology has opened up the world continues to amaze, and the connections between writers and readers can be made instantaneously, as working Pentian’s “crowdfunding platform . . . enables ‘disruptive’ financial connection between authors and readers.”
“In thirty days we can have a book sold worldwide,” says Mr. Parrilla, as he smiled proudly.
The reason Pentian promotes a “disruptive” connection is because they eliminate the old barriers – disrupt them completely – in favor of a more direct model.
Published books used to be only held by the traditional publishing industry model and, in more recent years, by self-published authors (the majority of whom do not provide readers with quality product, whether in the physical paper printed or in the actual written material on the page).
This is not the case now that Pentian has created a publishing uprising and Renaissance of written works, of all genres, in Spain.
Since launching its beta test model six months ago, Pentian has captured over 6% of the self-publishing market and that number is growing exponentially as the company launches in the United States.
Mr. Parrilla believes Pentian has “great potential because it’s all over the world . . . you can push a button and your product is everywhere.”
And now the US is eager to see Pentian’s newest headquarters location in Los Angeles, California thrive.
“The reason we set up shop in L.A.,” said Mr. Parrilla, “is because we are seeking relationships with the media producers, the people that are in charge of acquiring content and licensing rights and stories are having a hard time finding original stories . . . and we have a situation where the market can determine what is hot.”
How did Pentian first come about?
Enrique says that they “saw a need that wasn’t being met.”
He spoke of a scenario he witnessed being played out on a major crowdfunding site: “One day . . . somebody looking for four or five thousand dollars [on a Kickstarter or Indiegogo-like campaign] got $20,000 . . . and did not publish the book” and they fulfilled their contractual obligation, took the profits, but the readership did not get the product they wanted.
Pentian strictly adheres to planning the production of a book and crowdfunding for that cost alone.
The cost is associated with getting a book on the market, not on the traditional crowdfunding for books, like the Kickstarter model, of continued funding through a certain period.
Once a book is backed, the crowd-funding campaign ends and the book creation begins. This as Enrique Parrilla says, “instills a sense of urgency” to back a project while there is still the opportunity to invest in it.
And Pentian already has a host of worldwide distribution partners, including Ingram, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google, Apple, El Corte Ingles and more.
This is turning the publishing industry on its head – as Pentian’s P/R release depicts – by allowing the readers to choose what a best seller will be, not the big publisher’s President and their marketing budget.
“Everyone Wins” as they say in their press release (except maybe the “Big 5”).
In terms of the “Big Five” traditional publishing houses determining most of what readers in the world get to see published, that time is quickly passing. Their business model is being shaken dramatically at its foundations.
Everyone looks to benefit from a more hands-on approach to publishing, as Pentian is happy to point out.
How exactly does Pentian decide what is “quality” and will be put up for funding?
In order to maintain a relationship with reputable distributers, Pentian adheres to a strict quality control – if a book is illegible or not up to snuff in terms of its overall shape and idea, Pentian politely declines the submission; if it is raw or “not 100%” on the surface, but the project’s idea and content is great, they will offer a team of experienced editors to polish or format the project, but not to alter any of the key creative plot or character elements, only to streamline the grammar and finished product.
The writer does not have to worry about compromising their creative work based on the publisher.
Mr. Parrilla was emphatic that at Pentian they “do not get into the content, in terms of editing . . . [he has] friends that have been going back and forth with a traditional editor [and publisher] for a year and a half to publish a book with an adulterer as the protagonist,” but because the US market does not like adulterers they required the ending changed to reflect poorly on the adulterer.
Pentian does NOT get involved in the writer’s content.
Pentian is looking to do what many of us have as a fundamental basis of our reading and writing souls desired: art is made and published as it is meant to be depicted by the artist, and the readers who are interested will actually see it as such.
In terms of creating art and writing, Pentian only offers an editing team as part of the production process if the work needs help polishing its grammatical and clerical work.
Successful authors are currently flocking to Pentian, because of their favoring the artists that create the work, not the publisher.
“The 'Big Five' houses . . . are going to start losing quality content from authors,” said Enrique.
He immediately cited an example of an author that has a following of 70,000+ social media followers, and has published two books with one of the traditional publishers, and when he went to have his third book published, they said simply that they had no interest in doing it.
He could come back to them with his next project. The author went looking to take advantage of the fan base he built himself and fund the book that the publisher callously discarded without even testing the market for interested readers, and Pentian was where he ended up. [We’ll hit on this author, by name and in detail, in part II of this interview, folks.]
Read the rest of this article on Examiner.com here
An exclusive interview with Librify Vice President Eva Ongeri
By R.J. Huneke
Teaming up with Target, Librify is poised to launch a comprehensive virtual book club headquarters that is sure to provide readers with many never-before-seen book experiences.
I sat down with Eva Ongeri, the VP of Strategic Partnerships at Librify at the Book Expo of America, in Manhattan’s Javit’s Center on May 30, 2014.
“Get in on the latest and greatest reading platform,” said Ms. Ongeri.
The passion of the Librify team came across at once in a quick heartfelt note of encouragement for potential Librify readers.
Their current model is procuring members to build book clubs within Librify, to receive an e-book a month, to get great deals and promotions for books in print from Target, and of course to engage and interact with the myriad readers and authors on Librify.
The goal is to guide readers to what will best serve their time.
Choosing the Best Talked About Books to Read
Librify aims to give a valuable recommendation, through its users, reviews, and book club platform, to “make a decision on what’s the next book to read,” said Eva Ongeri.
In an increasingly busy society where billions are connected online, choosing where to spend the limiting 24 hours in a day can be tough.
“People have time commitments and we recognize that,” said Ms. Ongeri, “and we want to help people find the best books to read” in their too-often crammed day.
Doing this is more about connecting Librify members and authors in an organic way with recommendations, rather than just deciding what Librify plugs as gospel.
“[It’s] great to get recommendations or guidance from your friends,” said Eva, “where we’re different is . . . the [Librify] platform will also allow you to engage with readers and users within Librify, within your book club itself . . . their discussion . . . [with] book club views [that] talk about books . . . [and] different book clubs’ views.
“At the moment, social engagements are happening sporadically across many social media platforms,” she went on, “this is specifically designed” for that purpose.
Readers, reviewers, book clubs, and authors are brought together to talk about worthy reads.
Cue The Authors
Live author discussions and engagements are scheduled to be a part of Librify’s app too, to give a further exclusive experience around the popular reads and the book club members.
“Librify speaks to the consumption of readers . . . once they start reading they want that social engagement about that book . . . authors want that too,” said Ongeri.
Connecting the authors with the readers is a powerful tool, and Ms. Ongeri said that “lots of authors are stopping bye and there is just lots of excitement.”
Early Bird Trial Membership + Buying Books On Librify
Librify is currently running trial memberships with a free e-book download and an exclusive invite-only introductory pricing promotion at a significant discount for the next few weeks.
This way, book club members on Librify can benefit as early adopters of the exclusive Librify book club model before it officially launches later this summer.
As VP of Strategic Partnerships Eva Ongeri points out, “the press has dubbed Librify’s ‘Membership model’” based on the future $8.99 per month fee, and this includes one purchase of an e-book that you download each month from a “Redemption List” of over 100 bestsellers and you own that book, regardless of your continued membership status.
There is also an a la carte selection of numerous e-books for purchasing separately at any time.
There are many discount offers on e-books to purchase and some books are offered for free, including many of the “classics.”
Each month, for the small fee, one book can be downloaded at no cost to the member and the virtual book club activity commences.
Librify refers book-hungry members to buy print books offered by Target.com and sometimes at a great discount. For those looking to buy e-book versions, Target will refer customers to Librify on their site, Librify.com.
More Photos: View all 5 photos
By R.J. Huneke
One of the greatest modern myths and displays of the hero in modern folklore, as well as one of the greatest cinematic tales of all time, the Star Wars franchise aims to bring together their billion-plus fan-base to donate to Star Wars: Force for Change to support UNICEF’s Innovation Labs and other innovative work for children, and as an incentive contest participants can win a chance to be in the Star Wars Episode VII film!
J.J. Abrams posted a video on-set and explained how the good Samaritan can donate for $10 and potentially win prizes or the chance to actually go on-set in London, meet the cast and creators, and then be filmed, with a friend, in an actual scene for the movie.
This video has a really cool looking alien too!
Star Wars: Force for Change encourages would-be Jedi and Sith lords throughout the galaxy to help fund dozens of life-changing projects for kids, such as solar-powered learning kits that will help provide portable gadgets (maybe droids?) to give every child in the world access to quality learning.
Read the rest of the article on Examiner.com here
Yesterday a new patron of Crazy Beans in Miller Place walked in, turned around 360 degrees while breathing in the aroma of fresh ground coffee bean, and joyously exclaimed: “there’s a real coffee shop on Long Island now?” and lo and behold, the Crazy Beans coffee house just upped the ante opening their second location in Stony Brook Village today!
Go on in, and drink in all of the intriguing CRAZINESS.
The “Crazy Specials” as owner Callie Brennan calls them are customized and unbelievably tasty foods thought up and cooked up daily for breakfast and lunch, like the “Gouda Morning” (2 eggs over-easy, with sausage and gouda cheese on 7-grain baquette).
The Beans is full of art, books, games, and awesomeness!
Much of the food is often insanely healthy too, including many gluten-free muffins and foods cooked fresh, and it is ALL delicious.
If you have had your fill of coffee (and I do not see how that is possible), get yourself a local microbrew, as their taste in beer offerings is also pristine.
The Beans, as I like to refer to it, is open in the early a.m. at 6 and serves food until about 3 p.m., though on Friday nights there is often live music and the kitchen re-opens from 6-9 p.m in Miller Place.
Open mic and diverse local bands are often performing phenomenal tunes on various nights amidst the pleasant patrons.
Check out all of the action at the Crazy Beans official Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/crazybeansmillerplace
The prices are excellent and tend to do a lot better than the local Starbucks; the stark difference is that Crazy Beans actually makes the food fresh, in-house, and offers coffee with more of a scintillating experience for the taste-buds.
Now that there is a Stony Brook Village locale there is twice the fun.
The coffee, espresso, and other “crazy creations” consist of over a dozen various lattes, including a Harry Potter favorite, the butterscotch latte (iced or hot) that offers the muggle world its closest thing to a J.K. Rowling-invented butterbeer.
There are fruit smoothies, caramel apple pancakes, and much much more. The Stony Brook Crazy Beans has even added some expanded eating options as the foodie at heart has a reason to go back and forth between hangin' out in the Miller Place hot spot and the cool, brand-spankin’ new, daddy-o, Stony Brook village hot spot.
The coffee house has true charm and offers inspiration to the creative minds and the thirsty alike.
See the slideshow of pictures and the rest of the article on Examiner.com here
The newest role that CMO Sync is able to fill is that of the Simplicity Expert, which has been hailed as one of the emerging jobs of the future and a must-have by 2030.
Well I disagree. I feel it is a must-have now. In the ever-evolving, dynamic world we live in, especially with technology running rampant circles around its innovative self, streamlining the business process, at any level, to make it simpler is essential to having success and performing optimally.
Part designer, part math whiz, and part sociologist, the best simplicity experts need an understanding of how humans work to come up with new and creative methods of working.
Read this from our newest page offering the CMO Simplicity Expert
By R.J. Huneke
April 16, 2014: in a F#%k the Crowds @ The New York Auto Show special event, GM provided a sneak peek at the brand spankin’ new Corvette Stingray Z06 and the Camaro Z28 for invitees and members of the Classic Car Club Manhattan.
The new ‘Vette sounded off with a beautiful ROAR when started!
She was unveiled in a sexy yellow and black color scheme with a fantastic array of close and subtle lines and dips in the body – many of which are lost in photos – as the art of the aerodynamics adds a lot of dips and flowing curves to sick lines on the car’s top, hood, and sides.
I was a lucky guest of Classic Car Club member and artist Fred Harper, who had no qualms about pushing the GT40 to a start.
You might ask: what is so special about these two new animals in the speedy General Motors lineup?
Well, to begin they are really freakin’ fast!
The newest ‘Ray sports at least 625 horsepower from a supercharged powerplant, 8-speed transmission, and the aerodynamic team devised a state-of-the-art design to tear through the air.
The 2014 Camaro Z-28 marks a return to the speedy models of previous generations with a 425 horses, 0-60 mph in 5 seconds.
The inside of the Z-28 is where the car blows away all of its Camaro contemporaries, as a digital gauge rests between the speedometer and tachometer (for programming your own super gauge?) alongside luxury and comfort previously only found in one pony car, the 1960’s Ford Cougar (a luxurious clone of the Mustang from the same years).
Part of the fun was seeing what drivable models the CCC had on hand, like their gorgeous 1968 Firebird convertible, their Cobra kit car, and, of course the infamous GT40, which emanates a look and feel of racing.
The CCC’s flagship location, where they hosted this event, is in SoHo, Manhattan, though it was started in London, 1995: Classic Car Club is the first club of its kind to give members the keys to the most staggeringly stylish fleet of cars ever assembled [http://classiccarclubmanhattan.com].
View More Photos here: View all 6 photos
By R.J. Huneke
Well the Game Of Thrones EPIC Fan Experience of March 20, 2014 at the Barclay's Arena in Brooklyn, NY was truly amazing!
I did not dream I'd be sitting atop the Iron Throne, seeing George R.R. Martin in person talking about how he wrote Game of Thrones and playfully joking that he's "working on it!" (finishing the next book) while bantering with surprise guests from the cast.
The magical night included free T-shirts for all (tasteful), drawings for a custom Xbox One painted up in G.O.T. style (and a free credit card holder phone slip for entering), and yes you even got to sit on the Iron Throne and have your picture taken (no charge either), and I must say I felt quite at home atop there once the magnitude of the situation became apparent to me (see my picture).
All I had really wanted to see when I arrived was the Season 4 premiere, which was screened for 7000 lucky fans in Brooklyn two weeks before the actual show was to air on HBO. The long 9-minute trailer/documentary "A Prelude" that I had avoided watching for months for fear of spoilers was aired and got me pumped for the event.
The crowd murmured impatiently (have to love my fellow New Yorkers) and then a large marching band proceeded to the stage area before the gargantuan screen. With a tumble of drums and then a roaring of horns the entire theme song was played; I thought to myself: that's a cool introduction to this, but they had not even gotten started.
To the crowd's surprise and glee, the loquacious Hodor himself (played by Kristian Nairn) appeared with a microphone on stage to thank all of the fans for helping to make the magic! Many chants of "HODOR!" continued throughout the night.
I turned to my betrothed and shared the excited delight. But there was more . . . this was, after all, an EPIC fan experience and not to be outdone.
Hodor announced that the show's executive producer and writer of the books that it is adapted from wanted to say a few words - I immediately looked up, expecting to see a pre-recorded video of the great story-teller, but lo and behold a short, barrel-chested older gentleman with a big beard and a fisherman's cap walked onto stage . . . GEORGE R.R. MARTIN!
Read the rest HERE
By R.J. Huneke
By educating your target consumer, you can be more than a business. You can be a brand turned community and most importantly a source and guide for information.
If you help out those who are interested in the field you work in better understand the processes or pieces in their area, then you will be known as a helpful guide. You give info for free and you build a loyalty.
How do you go about the educational process?
Think of what the consumer knows, not what an inside person in the field, such as yourself, knows. Go to the basics and set up a process and then go into specifics that can help the laymen understand what it is they have interest in.
A great example of an educational site is www.Buyhomeapp.com where the focus is entirely on what the home buying consumer's perspective and needs are.
By R.J. Huneke on Gadizmo
There are times when social media and public opinion can inform the consumer on things that the mass media are trying to force upon them that do not make sense. This is one of those instances. ~RJH
If the rampant use of the overpriced Segway was not enough to shake rotund members of western society into exercising practices (that includes actually walking on two legs when you are able), there is now a bastardization out there with one wheel: the RYNO.
How does a $5300 (starting price) sound for a RYNO?
That is competitive with Segway pricing, but you have the benefit of sitting down, instead of standing like a silly looking tourist would while on a Segway traversing the myriad crosstown sights in Washington D.C.
Look closely at the RYNO: you will notice a cheap mountain-bike handlebar, a dirt bike seat and upper chassis, and a chopper or modern Harley Davidson-like 240-millimeter-wide motorcycle tire.
For the price of a used Harley (that gets great urban fuel mileage), the RYNO offers you an off balance of features, a top speed of ten miles per hour, and a horsepower rating of five.
But not take my word on this, folks. Gizmodo loved this little RYNO.
See the ridiculous video failure and read the rest of this article on Gadizmo HERE
Imagine going into the kitchen at six in the morning, on a bleary Monday, and plodding heavy steps over to your trusty coffeemaker and having the Keurig see you enter its line of sight, recognize you, and ask, “Would you like coffee, Dave?”
“Yes, damn it, I’m standing in front of you because I want coffee,” says Dave.
And then the machine-turned-robot (via its software) acts and pours you a cup of caffeinated deliciousness.
This is not science fiction, folks. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is coming to the masses.
You can now turn yourself into a roboticist with a revolutionary web-based program, the VMX Project, that allows practically anyone to access and utilize a way to teach your own computer and programs to see, recognize, and act (with the help of VMX AI).
The goal: anyone that is online with a computer, webcam, and an Internet browser can train and use their VMX Computer Vision API to get their programs to learn how to recognize, think and make use of objects that they see through a camera.
VMX has been over ten years in the making, and with a month left on the Kickstarter campaign, nearly a quarter of the $100K in funds have been acquired to launch the innovative project.
The founders of VMX and Vision.ai, Lead Developer Geoff Golder and Computer Vision Scientist Dr. Tomasz Malisiewicz, want to take the intuitive tools that they have created and give them to the masses (as opposed to selling them to Skynet and awaiting Judgment Day, Terminator-style).
Let the people – not just the wealthy or the science communities of CMU, MIT, and Google – have the ability to tinker with robots, programs, and AI/vision.
Dr. Malisiewicz spoke with Gadizmo and said that having his project nearing fruition was “truly exciting for [him] . . . because it will let people experience [this technology] in their lives.”
Up until this point, adding AI ability to everyone’s laptops would require tremendous amounts of programming and AI/robotics/algorithm experience. Now with the simple VMX Computer Vision API, anyone with small amounts of programming insight can draw the boxes over objects and teach their own computers and applications how to recognize and act off of visual object detectors.
The possibilities of what you, the people, can do with these tools are infinite.
Watch Tom and Geoff play a new form of Pong and read the rest of the R.J. Huneke article here on Gadizmo.com
As SINC Sites are public computing labs with software tools, a knowledge base if you will, the SYNC Blog is a public house of educational information providing intrinsic insight into the art of tech, media, and business.