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Apr 6, 2015 11:45 EST

Konst-ig – The “Amazon” of Artbooks: Now it’s time to monetize our assets and go global

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 6, 2015

Konst-ig

The “Amazon” of Artbooks

We’ve been the #1 go-to hub of the art and design world in Northern Europe for 20 years & named one of 12 booksellers worldwide. Now it’s time to monetize our assets and go global.

Konst-ig has been the #1 art and design bookstore in Northern Europe for 20 years and named one of 12 booksellers worldwide as an indispensable part of the creative community. Now it’s time to monetize our proprietary +100 000 book database by launching our B2B metadata service. We view this as the next step in becoming the #1 go-to hub for art and design books worldwide.

Who we are:

A specialized bookstore for architecture, design, art and photography, Konst-ig opened in 1994. In addition to traditional in-store book selling, we have long served as a distribution consultant to publishers. We have developed the online store Konst/ig Books, that we plan to expand.

Konst-ig has also built and managed our own title database, adapted for professionals and those generally interested within the subjects. Our proprietary database consists most importantly of a +100 000 enriched book titles catalogue and is a system developed to meet the specific needs and requirements of our customers. We will now monetize this by developing a B2B metadata production service (Boost).

Customer Base

A worldwide audience of art industry professionals creates the entire visual universe. Architects, fashion designers, city planners, photographers, graphic designers, advertising professionals, landscape architects, as well as educators and researchers within these fields, rely on these books for professional growth, inspiration, and staying on top of trends and movements in their fields.

  • We define our market broadly as 61 million people worldwide; The 2% of online users who are interested in art and design.´
  • The art & design book market is currently valued at EUR 3.62 billion (IBISWorld, 2014) and is growing at a rate of 4.2% annually (Bookscan, 2012).

Discoverability

Metadata helps books to be found and discovered.

Today it is almost impossible to find what you are looking for online. If you do find a book, there are so few details provided by online retailers that it barely helps you in making a purchasing decision.

In our segment, the art and design field, detailed and important information is rarely found. It is more often like buying a music cd without knowing how many songs are on it.

Meet Charles Koroly…

• Metadata is a marketing tool and metadata is content management.

• Today’s service providers don’t seem to handle specialized information. What you usually get is ISBN, publisher’s name, publication year, binding, language, price and number of pages.

• A growing market: As online retail grows, metadata becomes an important factor in retail sales since it has searchable keywords, subject heading classifications etc.

• Research by Nielsen shows enormous increases in sales for books possessing thorough accurate metadata the boost for online sales is a striking 178%(seemetadata white paper-the link between metadata and sales in our documents section).

For close-up click here to download the image

But ultimately this is all to help the book buyer. It’s all in the details.

Making it visible

Boost is a customized digital platform for cataloguing and refining bibliographic information (i.e. metadata) delivered in ONIX for Books – standard.

Konst-ig continues to boost art and design books world-wide by introducing a bibliographic metadata service that allows publishers to make their books visible in the digital realm. We add subject-specific keywords and topics as well as categories and subcategories that speak directly to the specialized art and design book consumer market. The service includes production, enhancement and export of bibliographic metadata to subscribing book distributers and publishers worldwide.

  • Publishers can provide the details they need so their books can be found.
  • Customers want to find the book they are looking for.

to understand the difference between us and the leading competitor click here to download the image for comparison

To date no one is specialized in this area.

Selling the metadata B2B

Konstig plans to export enhanced metadata to the large international distributors (Libri in Germany, Gardners in England, Ingram and Baker&Taylor in the USA) as well as later to specialist libraries. The need is:

  • Publishers: Being ”found” is the great challenge. Every day we get 10 requests from publishers to promote their books, be their distributor and to become part of our new expanding distribution hub.
  • Distributors: We were recently contacted by one of Europe’s largest book distributors waiting for us to launch the Boost metadata service so they can be our first subscribers.
  • Self-Publishers: There is a tremendous growth in this sector and it lacks traditional distribution channels.

Background, driving factors and motives.

  • The number of published books has increased dramatically in the Nordic countries, Europe, USA and Asia; it is virtually impossible to get an overview.
  • This new expansive self-publishing market is in dire need of being found and showcased to distributors and end-customers alike.

With this growing trend we see that even the role as sales channel has changed:

  • Today the online sales channel is often the only source of information on books.
  • Bibliographic data is sourced from a variety of database sources like Nielsen’s Bookdata, Ingram and Libri stock data.
  • Customer purchases result in recommendations to other consumers. The search functions work well, provided that the customer knows what he is looking for.
  • The digitalization process is expanding at an ever increasing rate, demanding high and accurate standards, i.e. correct and broad data so that customers can independently find what they are looking for.

The traditional book world faces big challenges due to: – the digitalization of bibliographic data through the new ONIX standard which facilitates information flow of metadata worldwide. – the new digital publishing tools available.

Boost — An Open Source Solution

  • Through various mapping filters and algorithms the book data gets refined.
  • The system is built around ONIX and the solution is entirely Open Source-based.
  • Currently the database contains over 400 000 titles, of those 100 000 are enriched.
  • Book data from publishers will either be imported to our database through digital feeds or via a user-friendly interface for manual entries into a template.
  • The data will then be put through our mapping system and additional enhancement will be added and finally checked before being export ready.

This loan based crowdfunding round

We are pleased to be one of the first cases out when FundedByMe launches it’s new tool of crowdfunding for business. We believe that our core principle has always been to involve our customers and treat them like long term friends and family, and they have become epic fans during the years. Therefore we are convinced that crowdfunding for this type of project is an optimal tool since we want to grow with you. This loan is a first step of funding allowing us to take a first important step ahead with our bibliographical metadata service, Boost.

Future: Invest in Konst-ig

We will soon open an equity investment round aiming toward the next steps. We invite you here to book your early interest.

The art & design book market is valued at EUR 3.62 billion (IBISWorld, 2014) and grows at a rate of 4.2% annually even as the overall book market declines by 8.7% per year (Bookscan, 2012). What if we could take 1% of that market down the road? EUR 362 million ! We are ready, are you? E-mail us.

Highlights

  • Received a substantial grant from Swedish Innovativ Kultur in fall 2014 for the initial stage in developing the Boost service, initially for Swedish and Nordic publishers.
  • International book distributor approaches us summer 2014 asking to buy our metadata.
  • The loan we now seek is to develop this Boost service for publishers internationally with a goal to providing metadata to initially one large distributor in a test phase.
  • We plan to have the test phase of the service ready for sale by mid August, to an initial distributor who has presubscribed.
  • Current low estimate for this 5 month phase generates 41.2k € by year end= 390 000 sek, thus generating the income to repay this loan.
  • 2016 roll out of Boost to 10 European & American distributors, per annum income low estimate 700 000 €.
  • Our next step will be to provide additional titles, charge a fee to the publishers for listing and enhancement of all of their titles and providing data back to them at similar rates to what Nielsen has been charging for an inferior product. In addition Nielsen has recently discontinued their enhancement feature altogether.
  • We invested heavily in the front end of our digital infrastructure. Now we have consolidated, reduced our costs and are prepared to go out with step one, our metadata service.
  • Our traffic online has been good, primarily from Sweden, USA, Germany, China, Spain, UK, France, Denmark, Canada & the Netherlands. The next stage will be to push the online sector in order to convert traffic to sales.
  • Talks are being held by FundedByMe with it’s networks regarding the future equity round and they anticipate the chances as high for Konst-ig to raise the needed equity amount.

Helene Boström

Team leader

Together with system designer and programmer Nicholas Wiig, Helene has spent many years examining the possibilities of digital communications for art and design books. After master studies at New York University, she produced a series of academic symposiums relating to the arts and IT. Since the late 1990s her focus has been on her passion: art books. She leads the technical side of Boost.

Charlotte Ekbom

Team leader

Charlotte has worked with retail, distribution, logistics and marketing of art and design books since the 1980s nationally as well as internationally. Perhaps one of the most knowledgeable people in her field, she has a large and extensive international network of contacts among publishers and distributors. Founded Konst-ig in 1994.

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