Today I'm excited to introduce Andrea Schober, CEO of XinXii.com - Europe's leading digital self-publishing platform. XinXii launched in January of 2008 in Europe, adding an English version in September of 2010. XinXii is unique in that you can sell up to 15 different filetypes from their site including Word (.doc), PDF (.pdf), text (.txt), PowerPoint (.ppt), Excel (.xls), Postscript (.ps), mp3 or E-PUB.
If you sell digital prodoucts, you'll definitely want to consider XinXii.com.
1. Hi Andrea, thank you for joining us today! Please tell us a little about XinXii.com and how the company got its start.
Thank you, Shelley, it's a great pleasure! Actually, the idea of XinXii got its start in my publishing company that is focused on guides for expatriates and business people living abroad. We still receive a lot of manuscripts, but unfortunately we refuse many due to the niche theme or due to the lack of pages.
One day, we decided to launch a DIY-platform for all those authors and writers: because they should be able to upload and sell their works on their own - no matter if it's a guidebook, a manual, a novel or a textbook....and in 2008, we launched XinXii as an independent platform!
So XinXii overcomes conventional barriers to publishing by empowering everybody to market his work himself online, without contract, in real-time, for free and with complete editorial and copyright control. On XinXii, authors can quickly and easily upload any file and sell it in their own XinXii eStore.
2. As the current CEO of XinXii, have you been with the company since the beginning? And are there any new and exciting projects or releases planned for 2011?
From the first idea until the launch, I had a clear idea what XinXii should be and how it should work for both authors and readers. But we keep on developing XinXii, so this year is "our year of the app." We will move XinXii to the mobile world - from e-readers to tablets.
3. XinXii claims to be Europe's leading digital self-publishing platform. How many countries, languages and types of currency do you now service?
Actually we run four language versions of XinXii.com, so that the English, French, German and Spanish speaking authors from all over the world can benefit from our service. And by the way, we support their social networking by enabling them to link their author profile on XinXii to their other profiles on the Web (LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter). In connection with our internationalization, purchases can be made in US dollars and British pounds, in addition to euros.
4. There are many different digital platforms available for self publishing authors today. What sets XinXii apart from its competitors?
In 2008, XinXii has become a pioneer in the German-speaking sector with its concept of helping authors to publish and sell their own texts on an Internet platform and has, in fact, created that market. As you've already mentioned, we are now leading in Europe, we are established.
Our platform allows for a broad range of written works to be published and sold, offering authors a broader choice and more convenience than many existing platforms: They can upload and publish their work in more than 600 categories, in 15 different filetypes within a few clicks and in real-time - for free, without hidden costs and obligations. Every author has full copyright and editorial control, that means that, at any time, he is able to test different prices, to upload a new version and to edit or delete his entry without asking. Last but not least, we really care about our users: We have an active support and a fantastic community!
5. XinXii is free to use, each author is able to set up an eStore to sell their products and you do not demand exclusive rights to their work. In addition to those great benefits, do you also offer distribution of books to any of the major online ebook retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple iPad iBookstore, Kobo, Amazon Kindle, etc.?
We are in the final planning to support e-readers and mobile platforms very soon!
6. In regards to electronic products, what XinXii's position is on digital rights management (DRM)?
We have followed the pros and cons of DRM since the very first day of development: Adding DRM measures to digital files will bring an author into a certain sense of security, they might prevent from "private sharing." But how safe is a DRM dongled document really? It has been observed by many that DRM does very little to prevent piracy. Every bestseller document, we were able to decode through technical geeks within minutes.
So there will only be a backdraw for the honest users, who are forced to install second level programs to get their document open for reading and their are confused when they would like to read their newly bought thriller on their tablet instead of their desktop PC. In consequence we don't add any DRM measures to "our" documents. But for the unwanted distribution we limit the number of downloads of a document in case an account got gone wild in the world of social communities and we monitor the major exchange platforms.
7. Okay, now we're getting to the question everyone wants to know...how much do authors get paid? Briefly explain XinXii's revenue model to us.
On XinXii, the author sets whatever price he wants and gets paid for every purchased download. He keeps 70% of net sales if the price is greater than $2.49, and 40% if the price is between $1.49 and $2.48. And: XinXii is totally free of costs - regardless of file size: There are no hidden costs (like delivery costs e.g.).
8. Working in the digital self publishing world, I'm sure you've seen some authors succeed, while others fail miserably. In closing, what is your #1 piece of advice for self publishing authors?
Write good stuff, benefit from XinXii as a professional sales platform and keep on talking about your book on every channel!
9. And finally, how can we stay in touch with you?
I'm looking forward to welcome your readers on XinXii.com :-) Here are the links to keep in touch:
I appreciate Andrea giving of her time. There are some exciting things ahead for XinXii, check out their website to see if it is a good fit for you.
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