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Melbourne publishing startup Tablo launches author social network

Facebook may have a new book-based rival after Melbourne-based publishing startup Tablo announced the launch of new social features for its cloud-based e-book publishing service, as part of what it describes as the biggest shift in its plaftform since its 2013 launch.

As we reported earlier this month Tablo, led by 21-year-old founder Ash Davies, recently completed its first round of seed funding and brought on lead investor Paul Reining, former CEO of the Catch Group as a Director and Advisor.

Davies said the developments are part of a wider effort to transform the writer from a solitary character into a social one by encouraging collaboration amongst authors and likeminded bookworms within an online community.

The unique social network will enable authors to create their own individual profiles, complete with a biography, photo and previous or upcoming works, and to share their writing with others in the online community.

Followers can browse the ‘Bookshelf’ of their favourite authors, receive updates on new chapters as they are written, and become part of the creative journey, while users can also join communities called ‘Groups’, bringing together writers and readers with a passion for all kinds of subjects.

Davies said the new features were vital in upending the traditional publishing model.

“Writing has traditionally been seen as a lonely endeavour. This, combined with the sad reality that the vast majority of authors struggle to see their work ever published, means that countless pages of writing from talented individuals, are never shared or read by others. Tablo is changing that.

“Publishing a book in 2014 should not be the same as it was in 1914. Yes, authors still put words onto a page (whether digital or paper), but an ambitious or talented writer shouldn’t need a huge publishing deal to ensure their words are read. With our new social features, readers can discover and follow authors from day one. This will help authors secure and grow a loyal readership.

“Very often the best writers are also the best readers, and technology today allows us to be both, anywhere, anytime, and on any device. The nature of the Tablo community means that the next bestseller might be written on a smartphone or discovered on an iPad, and be armed with a loyal fanbase before it’s even published.”

Tablo, which was part of the Angelcube startup accelerator program last year, said it is currently helping over 10,000 authors, and publishes to the iBooks Store and Amazon.

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