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“Entrepreneurship can be nerve-racking on occasion. “

Nicolas Gremion is the founder and CEO of Foboko.com, a platform that serves people’s desire to get published. Foboko is a revolutionary concept because it’s a website that gives away free eBooks, while empowering users to publish and profit as eBook authors. Foboko created the first “Social Publishing Wizard” to allow community members to collaborate on writing, receive help from peers, and connect directly with readers.

Foboko aims to assist and lead authors through the entire publishing process by breaking down publishing into 6 main sections: Book Basics, Brainstorming, Cover and Image, Workdesk, Review and Publish, and Earn Money. At every step, the author can ask the community for help and feedback.

MO: In a nutshell, what is Foboko?

Nicolas: Foboko is a social community with a built-in “Social Publishing Wizard.” It breaks down the eBook writing and publishing process into baby steps, and people can contact the community for instant help at any point in the process. The final products are shared with a large audience of avid readers, and it’s all free.

MO: Where did the name Foboko come from?

Nicolas: The name “Foboko” was the winning entry in a contest we hosted some time back to name our new site. We believe our audience chose this name because it’s short, repetitive, easy to say and spell, and catchy. Who better to name your service than the very people who’ll be using it?

MO: Where did the idea for Foboko come from? What was the tipping point for Foboko?

Nicolas: The main idea behind Foboko was to remove the major obstacles today’s would-be authors face when it comes to:

1) Creating a book, and

2) Getting that book read.

Since we’re in the industry, we realized that current “solutions,” including all the various self-publishing options, are inadequate for the majority of authors. As such, we set out to design a system that would remove each one of these obstacles. Foboko is a thoroughly planned and designed response formulated through research, study, and ingenuity.

MO:  What are some of the obstacles today that make it hard for authors to get published?

Nicolas: There are now tons of self-publishing methods available to authors. However, most of these have a common weakness. The unfortunate reality of today’s publishing world goes like this: while you may have written the greatest book ever, as a new or unknown author, you’re likely to sell very, very few copies of your eBook, even if it’s 99 cents on Amazon or iBooks. Yes, you do hear of the occasional success story of Author X selling a million copies of his eBook, but those are few and far apart. Our solution: make eBooks free on Foboko, which attracts the masses. This allows new and unknown authors to gain crucial exposure, build a fan base, and promote themselves and their businesses. Plus, the Advertising Revenue-Sharing Program allows them to earn money at the same time. It’s really the best of both worlds.

Besides making the process easier, what this also does is help authors put together the best books they can. Authors can edit and republish their books through the wizard as often as they want. So, as they interact with their fans and readers and get feedback, authors are essentially able to keep improving their eBooks on the fly. This is a major advantage over having your book published on sites like Amazon, which are essentially static.

MO:  What are the differences in the editing process between a traditional publishing company and Foboko?

Nicolas: Foboko is completely self- and peer-edited. Most new authors cannot afford professional editing fees, which tend to run in the thousands of dollars. At Foboko, an author is able to open up any section, or the entire work desk, to anyone for peer editing. Members of the community can volunteer to help authors. This allows readers the chance to comment and help before the book is offered as a final product. This community atmosphere not only assists the authors, but it gives the readers a sense of satisfaction, knowing they are helping the next generation of great authors. Additionally, and importantly, if readers ever point out mistakes, an author can easily jump right back into the wizard, make the correction, press the “publish” button, and all 5 formats of its eBook will be automatically updated by the system. It couldn’t be any easier or faster.

MO: Explain the process of starting up Foboko. What were the hardest parts? What were the easiest parts?

Nicolas: For me personally, the hardest parts were mental. I knew we had the skills and resources to eventually create the system. We’ve been at it for a long time now; we first started planning Foboko over 3 years ago and have been developing the systems for nearly 2 years. A lot happens in that time:

  • You get your fair share of naysayers who tell you the ideas are dumb or won’t work, or the space is too tough.
  • You face development hurdles and challenges not previously recognized.
  • You work against the clock, meaning you just can’t predict how long it’s going to take to develop something completely new and, as such, must constantly be adjusting your timelines.
  • Despite your best-laid plans, there’s always that worry of “What if things don’t go right?”

Entrepreneurship can be nerve-racking on occasion. I’m not immune to it despite having been around the block successfully a couple of times. The mental games can be daunting, but fortunately full confidence in our team, product and plan pushes us to succeed.

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