Ori Idan of Helicon Books tells us about its digital books and the impact of the Covid-19.
How are you and your family doing?
Ori Idan: Fortunately for us, we found early enough that all this “pandemic” is one big scam and did not take the shot, and thus we are healthy.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Helicon Books.
Ori Idan: About 2011, I looked for a method to publish my own books. I soon found the technology for digital books is more complicated than I thought. I concluded that if it was complicated for me, it must be even more for a publisher with no previous knowledge of technology. So in 2012, I decided to establish Helicon Books to be the technology partner for publishers. In 2014 we launched our main service, and today, the EPUBCLOUD along with our reading application.
This service is now used by about 20 publishers and online book stores to send eBooks directly to their clients, reading either using our free generic app or using a white label app from the store.
How does Helicon Books market its product/services online?
Ori Idan: When we started, we used several methods; first of all, Facebook and Google paid ads. We also sent an email to publishers and bookstores that we thought might need our services. We had a few meetings and found many customers that needed our services. We invested in giving the best customer service possible. This paid off very quickly as customers began telling their friends and colleagues about our services, and today, almost daily, we get phone calls or emails from new potential customers.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Ori Idan: The fact that people were at home caused readers to buy more books online. Our main clients are selling books online, so their business boomed, and as a side effect, we had more income. However, since most other businesses suffered, we had many big projects canceled or delayed. We started working from home, so we had fewer expenses. We spent most of our time building new versions of our products and developing more services and products.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Ori Idan: We do not use specific software tools for our online marketing. We invested a lot in building our own management tools. For example, in our book production service, we have an online system where customers can view the progress of their work. This system helps us keep track of productions, bill customers, etc.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ori Idan: We have many competitors; however, our services usually offer more options than our competitors. We plan to have more products in tangential areas such as automated customer service etc.