Flash Sales Hit The Book Business

Flash sales sites are all the rage, from Rue La La and Gilt to Groupon and LivingSocial. While book publishers have experimented with selling some of their titles on sample sale sites, the titles offered have generally been older (and often related to the theme of the site, on topics like fashion), and individual authors have been left out.

Now, a new site is offering a way for authors to offer flash sales on their own titles, as well as providing them with other social media and promotion tools.

Booklr, which has launched in beta, was founded by Josh Brody, previously Director of Operations at media-financing company Media Rights Capital, and Jesse Solomon, previously an Associate Fund Manager at Moscow-based hedge fund VR Capital.

Booklr has just launched its first author promotion: Novelist Sam Munson is using the site to run a promotion that lets readers buy the Kindle version of his book The November Criminals for $5.99, half off the regular price. Once a reader buys into the deal, Booklr gives him or her a copy of the book through the Kindle store.

Booklr’s goal is “to make it very simple for authors to view all their social media information [such as number of Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads followers and mentions] in one place, understand sales data from Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) and other retail partners, and run very specific promotions,” Brody explained. For now, the “sales data” provided is simply an author’s Amazon sales ranking (along with the Brody and Solomon said they eventually hope to link to Amazon Author Central accounts to include actual sales numbers provided by Nielsen BookScan.

Author plans range from free to $25 per month. The free plan offers basic fan data and Twitter and Facebook integration. The $25 premium plan includes Facebook and Twitter integration, the ability to monitor sales and review data, a demographic breakdown of fans and followers, and access to the platform for running promotions like flash sales.

Brody’s official bio notes that prior to joining MRC, he worked at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment for Ari Emanuel, the inspiration for the Ari Gold character in HBO’s Entourage. The site is backed by angel investors and has also received funding from Columbia University.