LynneQuisition: iAuthor

Interviews by Lynne CantwellAuthors are always looking for new ways to find new readers, and one website that aims to help is iAuthor. Founder Adam Kolczynski has agreed to take a seat in the comfy chair and answer a few questions about the site.

For starters, Adam, how would you describe iAuthor?

Adam: iAuthor is a book discovery platform. Through a theme-driven and intensely visual approach, iAuthor connects readers to authors…and vice versa. All content is author-generated. The result is a true democracy of opportunity. Authors have equal access to readers, regardless of their route to publication.

Lynne: What prompted you to start the site?

Adam: I’ve been fortunate to work at both ends of the publishing spectrum: first as an author, then as a publisher. While forging links with industry advisors, I asked them to identify the publishing industry’s greatest challenge; the Gordian Knot, if you like. Almost unanimously, the reply was “book discoverability”.

iAuthor’s mission is to make books not only “searchable” but “discoverable”. We want to recreate the serendipity of the bookshop. Amazon-style metadata will make a book searchable in seconds…if the buyer already knows of its existence. But what if they don’t? That’s where iAuthor’s “serendipitous discovery” comes in.

Lynne: I’m all for getting discovered. But what makes iAuthor different from, say, Goodreads?

Adam: One difference is our LitSampler, which allows authors and publishers to upload an excerpt of their book from their iAuthor dashboard.

Another key differentiator is iAuthor’s “Themes”, which we believe fill in the gaps in genre-driven discovery. Users can create, share and embed book themes (e.g. “Books that lay bare the human condition”), then invite followers to add content to their theme. “Most liked” and “Most followed” Themes are given greater prominence. Unlike “lists” on Goodreads, iAuthor’s themes are entirely user-controlled and fully interactive. They include the ability to curate content from outside iAuthor too.

Lynne: How many reader members do you have?

Adam: As of May 2015, our combined social media reach stands at 90,000, with a 22% monthly growth rate. We intentionally don’t assign tags such as “author”, “blogger”, “reviewer”, “librarian”, as if they were entirely separate from “readers”. Most are readers; and highly avid ones too. Our average visit duration is 7 minutes 30 seconds, with almost a million engaged minutes spent on the site since launch.

Lynne: I see that you’re based in the UK. A lot of indies in the US have found it difficult to crack the UK market, and while iAuthor is global in reach, I wonder whether it might give American indies an “in” in Europe, in terms of visibility.

Adam: iAuthor draws its users from 144 countries. 54% live in the UK and US, so connecting these markets is paramount. UK authors are using iAuthor to tap into the US market, just as US authors are building brand recognition in the UK. iAuthor is a discovery platform, not a publisher, so rights and royalties don’t encumber the process. This leaves the path clear for any author, regardless of where they’re based or who they’re published by, to add their books to iAuthor.

Our Amazon and Kobo retail links are geo-targeted, so that when prospective buyers click the “Buy Now” button on iAuthor, they are automatically directed to their marketplace of choice.

Lynne: What advice would you give an author looking to promote their books on iAuthor?

Adam: Here’s a tentative list of author best practices:

1) Once you’ve activated your book, upload an enticing excerpt using LitSampler.

2) When creating a book profile, make full use of your image slideshow. You can use the available image slots to share photos of your book signings, cross-promote your other book covers, and more.

3) To expand your reach, add your book to iAuthor’s vast selection of Themes.

4) Create smarter Themes. Themes should not be specific to one book or series. After all, other users are unlikely to add books to your Theme if it’s too narrow, or merely a vehicle for self-promotion.

5) Harness your existing network. iAuthor’s integrated share and bookmarking buttons are included as standard on every book profile, theme and book sample.

6) Be proactive about following users, not merely following them back. The more meaningful engagement you initiate, the more you’ll attract.

7) Listen to your analytics dashboard. By monitoring your book’s performance through real-time stats, iAuthor allows you to tweak your content to optimise performance.

Lynne: It all sounds intriguing. Adam, thanks for stopping by, and good luck with iAuthor. You can learn more about iAuthor at https://www.iauthor.uk.com/.


Indies Unlimited does not endorse or support any specific providers of products or services.

Author: Lynne Cantwell

Lynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews. But she began as a fantasy writer (in the second grade), and is back at it today. She currently lives near Washington, DC. Learn more about Lynne at her blog and at her Amazon author page.

17 thoughts on “LynneQuisition: iAuthor”

  1. I recently discovered this site and uploaded my books. Not much activity yet, but I’ll have to upload excerpts and play with the themes.

    The one thing that I quickly found is that my Firefox browser play well with all the functionality. Chrome seems to work fine, but I was wondering if anyone else had similar issues with Firefox and this site?

    1. Bruce, I’m finding issues between Firefox and websites in general. I’ve heard that most web designers now are aiming to make their sites work best on Chrome. I’m not happy — I really like Firefox. But I think that’s what we’re stuck with.

      1. I (fortunately) haven’t experienced widespread issues with Firefox. The iAuthor site is the only one I’ve encountered (so far) that has significant trouble with FF. Like you, I’ve used FF for years and I hope they don’t fade from prominence. But I suppose it’s enviable that a new browser will take over at some point.

        I don’t know if Adam is lurking to address FF issues with his website?

  2. Thanks so much for this info. I’ll look into it. I’ve known about them for ages, but never delved. We’re so overloaded that sometimes the road to Hell is paved with good intentions!

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