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Welcome reader, I appreciate your attention for as long as I have it. I think, before the article dives into details, it’s only fair to give you warning. Some articles serve to educate. Some, as tutorials with the lofty goal of ensuring readers leave smarter than when they arrived. This is not one of those articles.

Here’s the short version for those of you rushing off to your next meeting or play date; welcome to our rebranded self-publishing platform! We are the very same passionate team behind the original myebook.co.za publishing platform, however a little older and hopefully that much wiser.

Not enough?

Want more?

Good. Grab your coffee, let’s go.

Some Background

It’s 2012. A frustrated – yet ruggedly handsome – chap spends yet another night buried beneath pages of online search results. Empty coffee cups litter the desk, marking a trail of unanswered questions. Close to the end of his tether and nearing the end of the search results on Google, he is close to giving up. His goal? Getting his author-father the feedback & appreciation his writing deserves. Finding his father new readers. Getting his father’s books published, online.

Days turn into weeks; questions continue to buzz like flies over your favourite meal. Yet his searches scouring the local publishing landscape yield little. It seems there are few who actually understand what it means for an author to prepare for their books for the digital landscape. Fewer still who can help the author get there.

2012 was a tough year to be an author. News was abuzz, boasting of the benefits for those authors who embraced the eBook format. It was a gold-rush of sorts. Headlines permeated the search results of authors making their first million from Amazon. Self-published authors nogal!

Married to this excitement was a wealth of ignorance. Some authors had issues with a monopolistic Amazon and chose to forgo the publishing platform completely. Many authors had issues with a digital medium and assumed that if they didn’t enjoy reading from their Kindle device that their readers felt the same. A few brave authors dipped their toes. It was a start.

{Spoiler alert} Our protagonist eventually discovers the (publishing) route leading to the legendary eBook Eldorado (Amazon). Yeah, it was messy. Especially for authors outside the US. During the journey he partners with and then divorces several local eBook experts. Suffering through a mixture of inflated invoices and kak service it always seemed the authors needs came last. The publishing landscape truly mirrored a wild west.

Fuck it, I’ll do it myself”, he thinks. Lo and behold the myebook platform was birthed into the void. (This is the short version.)

A Business Takes Shape

After feverishly publishing authors over the next 2 years, I (yeah, it was me all along…) had developed a formula. A dash of technical know-how, whisked together with a dollop of friendly service and allowed to simmer on a single online platform. Our brand started taking shape.

The publishing industry had evolved greatly since I started out. An author from 2010 might have asked “what is an eBook?” or “How do I publish my eBook online?”.

Today, authors are asking for the best way to record & publish their audiobook online or how to get videos embedded within their eBooks. (Yup, that’s a thing.)

Yet the need for a friendly face proves perennial. Albeit if the conversations are now being conducted via pixelated distance.

 

The evolution of our self-publishing startup

Over the years since first opening our doors, I have seen several local competitors start and then close their publishing business after a short while. Publishing a book is viewed as a luxury in the midst of a tough economy. Most authors maintain full time jobs whilst passionately writing after hours. This means that where the lowest price is often where a publishing conversion starts, it’s more important than ever that your value to the author is obvious. Said differently, the effort a business puts into it’s branding.

Here’s a look at the evolution of our brand over the years. Every tweak to our branding was done with the author in mind.

 

Our website evolution from 2013 through to 2020.

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2020

Ability to travel back in time courtesy of Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

Our logo evolution over the years

1st Logo

2nd Logo

3rd

Current

Why rebrand at all?

Firstly let’s look at the shift of our online domain from www.myebook.co.za to www.myebook.online, and why this even matters. In the early days our authors were mostly South African. Over the years we started welcoming more & more authors from around the world. Some expats-authors, other authors simply looking to take advantage of our competitive costs and favourable exchange rate. We were worried our original domain name subtly implied that we were only assisting authors from a single country. We needed a domain name that reflected a global reach. Besides, I thought it was cool that the new domain name (www.myebook.online) also served to describe the process of taking your eBook online. (Right!?)

Something you might not know. I handle most of our website design personally. That meant that our website could only grow as fast as my web-design skills. After a few years I reached the technical ceiling of our older website. Our website framework (Joomla, for the curious) was too cumbersome for the things I wanted to do. This also necessitated a move to a more flexible website framework. (WordPress).

Other things were happening in the background. Our team grew as we were lucky to find and partner with other publishing professionals sharing our values. We also figured out the magic of having a brand colour palette. This meant a that we standardised our business colours. Hell, we even hand-crafted our very own author cuddle companion. Max.

 

The bottom line? We’re in this for the long haul. This matters in an environment where companies are often founded for the sole purpose of single deal or government tender.

Onwards and upwards!

We love helping authors. We always have. I really hope that our new look manages to convey this. Every single tweak to every single corner of this website was done with you in mind.

We’re going to keep our website packed with fun & engaging content to make sure you come visit us again and again and again. If you happen to spot a spelling mistake or anything else that looks broken -> let us know!

Chat again soon!

Dave

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