What is Tablo?
Tablo is a new home for publishing. We're a place online where anybody can create and publish a book, connect with a global audience of readers and find new opportunities for their work. Tablo lives on the web, the iPhone and iPad, and it's used by writers in over 150 countries.
How does it work?
Think of Tablo like YouTube, but replace all of the videos with books. We're a global community of both writers and readers who together share and surface the best new stories.
At the heart of Tablo is a beautiful writing environment where anybody can write (or upload) their story. You can create anything with Tablo, from short stories to novels, poetry to screenplays, and even textbooks or journals. You can publish progressively to help you build an audience or upload a completed piece of work. When you click the publish button your book is shared throughout Tablo for readers to enjoy.
To readers, Tablo is a never-ending library of new stories from authors around the world. You'll find new writers sharing their books for the first time and established writers workshopping future novels in the same place. You can even browse through a growing collection of classic novels, interviews with authors, first chapters from contemporary novels and even deleted scenes from your favourite books.
Beyond books, we're also building Tablo into an ecosystem that can connect you with great writing communities and literary organisations, like libraries, schools and traditional publishers. This is new, and it's a part of our vision for the future of the industry. We're working to create a home online where any writer can share their story, connect with readers and achieve real things with their writing.
Who made Tablo?
Tablo was started by a young Australian author, Ash Davies, back in 2013. He was writing his own book whilst studying at university and struggled to get it published. As a blogger Ash was so used to this experience where you could write something, click a publishing button and connect with readers. Publishing his book was so complicated that, after months of dealing with eBook files, ISBNs, agents, bookstores and rejections, he almost gave up. Plot twist: he started Tablo instead.
The genesis was that publishing a book should be as easy as publishing a blog, and that every author should have the ability to connect with their reader. Today Tablo is a small team of book-lovers spread throughout Australia. We want to change the publishing industry by giving every author the chance to be heard.
Why does Tablo exist?
We believe that everyone should be able to share their story. Even as technology evolves, the publishing industry still seems to be clinging to a centuries-old model that's fraught with rejection and gatekeepers. We're book-lovers at Tablo who have seen the way other platforms like YouTube and Soundcloud have embowered creators to connect with their fans and even surfaced incredible new talent. Our vision is for a democratised publishing model, powered by technology and unburdened by gatekeepers, that allows any writer to connect with readers and become the next bestseller.
Who is Tablo for?
All writers and readers. We champion new writing in all forms. You can write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenplays, essays or journals. We're home to stories in a whole range of languages, in any genres, from writers in 150 counties. There are young aspiring poets, generations of memoirs and established authors experimenting with future work. The only thing these people have in common is that they all love books.
Who owns the copyright to books published on Tablo?
The authors do. We're authors ourselves at Tablo so we care deeply about your rights. We don't seek anything – only permission to share your work throughout the Tablo network which you can revoke by un-publishing at any time. There's no exclusivity either (unlike some other platforms!) and we encourage sharing your work in as many places as possible.
There seem to be a lot of options to publish online. Why Tablo?
Unlike a normal blogging or writing platform, Tablo has been crafted around the book publishing experience. You can join Tablo with nothing more than idea for a book and use our platform to build your story and connect with readers. Our formatting is designed to suit long-form content with a table of contents and chapter-level comments. Even our reading experience will automatically bookmark your place in a story and sync it across your devices.
The magic of Tablo is in the publishing opportunities we work to create for our authors. It's all a part of the publishing ecosystem we're working to create online. Writing on Tablo means you can join libraries to connect with local experts, self-publish your work to the iBooks Store for sale, and even expose your work to traditional publishers with the hope of getting a contract. Tablo is different because it's about more than just writing and reading. We really are building a new online home for the industry.
What are the different ways to publish on Tablo?
There are two ways to publish your work within Tablo. The first is to publish your work for the other writers and readers of Tablo to enjoy. This kind of publishing is similar to posting a video to YouTube, or a song to SoundCloud, where all of the creators and readers in our community are able to discover your work for free. It's the best way to get involved with the Tablo community and build an audience. The second way to publish your book is to list it for sale on bookstores. This is a separate process to publishing on Tablo wherein you set a price for your book and can list it for sale on the iBooks Store. The goal of having two kinds of publishing opportunities is to allow you to share your work for free and build an audience, but also make money through bookstores when the book is finished.
Can I upload my existing book to Tablo?
You sure can. We've created (and patented) the best book uploading process in the industry. You don't even need to prepare your document. Tablo will read through and analyse your book to create a perfect book with a full table of contents every time.
How can I make money from my work?
Right now you can use Tablo to list your book for sale on the iBooks Store. You can set your own price, click a publish button and see your work appear for sale in 51 countries in just a few days. Finding new ways for authors to make money (and make a living!) from their writing is really important to us, so we're actively exploring new payment models for writers.
How can I connect with traditional publishers?
Stay tuned. Fairly soon traditional publishers will have their own space on Tablo where you can submit your Tablo manuscript. Manuscript submissions will be coupled with insights into how readers are engaging with your book. Our goal here is to connect writers directly with publishers and, by coupling this submission with data that shows how your book is performing, make it easier for you to break through the manuscript submission process.
What are Tablo Libraries?
Tablo Libraries are a world-first initiative that we launched in 2017 with the State Library Victoria. It involves libraries hosting their own space on Tablo where they can connect with local writers and readers. You can join a public or state library on Tablo, connect with workshops or events, and add your book to the library to become eligible for campaigns or submissions to their state or national archives. If you'd like to see your library on Tablo, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can schools or universities use Tablo?
They sure can! We're working with education partners to create closed writing, reading and collaboration spaces on Tablo where students can publish books and connect with their peers. If you'd like to see your school, university or writing class on Tablo, send us an email at email@example.com.
How are you different to wattpad?
The biggest difference is that Tablo has been designed around the book publishing experience. We're more than just a social network to share your story. You can connect with the broader publishing ecosystem and find real opportunities for your book. This might include sharing your manuscript with publishers with the hope of landing a publishing contract, or make money by selling your work on the iBooks Store. Authors can join Tablo with nothing more than an idea for a story and follow our experience to build an audience and achieve real things with their book.
There are also some smaller (but meaningful) differences. Because of our publishing focus Tablo generally attract's an audience of writers with real publishing aspirations. We've also focused on creating a beautiful writing and reading environment that autosaves and backs up your work. Our reading experience (especially on the iPhone) is particularly special, and lets you browse through stories with a Tinder style swipe.
How are you different to Kindle?
Amazon's Kindle is a retail bookstore where people list their completed work for sale. Tablo is a place to write your book and build your audience. We're more relevant to the earlier portions of the creative workflow – the ideation portion where people have an idea and want to create something. People on Tablo are generally creatives who want to share and build their new ideas. When your book is finished, edited and when you have an audience, that's when retail channels like Kindle or social networks like Goodreads become relevant.
Why can't authors use Tablo to publish to Amazon Kindle?
We used to, but we no longer support publishing to Amazon. We think Amazon is openly hostile towards authors, unfairly demand exclusivity through their KDP Select program, and push prices in a way that hurts the broader publishing industry. We used to provide a direct channel for Tablo authors to publish their books on the Kindle but after a lengthy dispute with Amazon regarding the rights of our authors we no longer support this retailer. You can still publish your Tablo books to Amazon manually by exporting your assets, but we think it's better for the industry if we work to provide you with a broader range of publishing opportunities, such as with traditional publishers and libraries. If you can't beat them, innovate around them.
Are there any plans to offer an Android app?
There sure are! As we're a small team, we know we can build a significantly better experience for writers and readers if we focus on one platform at a time. That's why the majority of our work has focused on the web and on iOS. We do however have a lot of demand for an Android app (you should see the number of tweets and emails we get), and we're planning to invest in a great Tablo Android app in the second half of 2017. Right now we do have a lightweight Android reading app, but it's not actively supported so we tend not to recommend it.
Are there any plans to offer print-on-demand on Tablo?
We probably shouldn't say this, but we like print books more than eBooks. We'd love to give you a shiny green button that sends a box of beautifully printed books to your doorstep. It's in our plans, and all part of a broader vision for Tablo where we act as the home that brings your story to life.
I have a question that hasn't been answered here!
We'd love to hear it! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment on this book :)