ValoBox - Targeting Customers with APIs

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This presentation accompanied a workshop at the Klopotek Publishers' Forum in Berlin, 2013.

APIs offer huge opportunities to grow your customer base, engage your readers and increase the efficiency of your business. In this workshop, we show how APIs can be applied to publishing, using ValoBox as one of the examples. We'll take you through many options, from using APIs within the internal production process to providing individuals and companies with access to your metadata and content.

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ValoBox - Targeting Customers with APIs

  1. 1. Targeting customers with APIsAdam Duvander @adamdAnna Lewis @anna_cnOliver Brooks @cn_oli
  2. 2. Workshop overviewSession 1Talk: What is an API?Interact: Try an APISession 2Talk: Productivity through APIsInteract: Ask about specific use casesSession 3Talk: How ValoBox use APIs to distribute booksInteract: Q&A
  3. 3. Workshop formatAsk questions. You get out what you put in.You are probably not alone - if in doubt, ask!Aim for a solid understanding of APIs
  4. 4. What is an API?Session 1
  5. 5. What is an API? Application Programming Interface
  6. 6. What is an API? A conversation between machines
  7. 7. What is an API?Humans are smartInterpret messagesFill in the blanksFilter noise http://www.picstopin.com
  8. 8. What is an API?Machines are dumbMissing data = errorUnclear instruction = errorUnexpected response = error http://nerdywithchildren.com/
  9. 9. What does an API look like?Information or action accessed via a URIConverse using simple, structured dataCommunication between cloud services
  10. 10. What does an API look likeHuman - HumanQ) Can you give me the details about A futurist manifesto?A) Sure, its ISBN is 9781449305598 and it was published by OReilly media. It was written by Brian OLeary and Hugh Mcguire.
  11. 11. What does an API look like?Human - Machine
  12. 12. What does an API look like?Machine - MachineGET http://valobox.com/streams/565
  13. 13. Example: Amazon product APIFree product dataLink to purchaseUsed by every social book site
  14. 14. Example: Amazon product API
  15. 15. Example: Foursquare GET: https://api.foursquare.com/v2/venues/explore?near=berlin Server locations: [ { id: 5892, name: "12 Apostels", lat: xxxx, lon: yyyy, image: "http://images.foursquare.com/452342.jpg } ]
  16. 16. Interactive1.  Open chrome/firefox browser2.  Enter URL valobox.com/tornado/v1/streams/5653.  View JSON data4.  Can you find the title?
  17. 17. Interactive
  18. 18. Interactive
  19. 19. IFTTT Recipes
  20. 20. Productivitythrough APIsSession 2
  21. 21. Productivity through APIsMachines:•  Love repetition•  Are very fast•  Dont make mistakes
  22. 22. Importance of housekeepingBut machines:•  can only follow instructions•  can only complete a task if they have all the data
  23. 23. Case study: CompletelyNovelPublishing platform for self and small publishersAutomated• book production• printing• order management• royalty management• ...
  24. 24. Case study: CompletelyNovelSome APIs in use:•  Print-talk printer communication•  Barcode generation•  Paypal checkout•  File conversion system•  Amazon Product Advertising•  ...
  25. 25. Case study: CompletelyNovelResult70k users12k Titles2-5k orders / month14hrs / week staff overhead
  26. 26. Preparing for APIsEnsure data is:•  complet•  accurete•  exportable•  avoid duplication•  in a common standard•  avoid duplication
  27. 27. Preparing for APIsMap your processesIdentify:•  repetitive tasks•  tasks requiring no intuition•  time-intensive tasks•  which people/processes need the information
  28. 28. Implementing APIsDeveloping in-house vs. use services•  What/who is it for?•  Do you have in-house skills?•  Who will maintain and develop it?
  29. 29. Implementing APIsSupport existing standards• http://openlibrary.org - catalogue of books (free to add to)• http://opds-spec.org/ - format for transfering book data and catalogues• http://www.editeur.org/83/Overview/ - ONIX data format
  30. 30. Implementing APIsCommon places publishers use APIs:•  File-sharing/management•  Sharing metadata with third parties•  Printing from internal systems•  Working with startups
  31. 31. API tipsSuper simpleBreak up processes into partsThink hard about different ways of solving the problem before choosing oneWrite good documentation
  32. 32. API tipsAdvertise your APIs•  Internally•  Externally
  33. 33. InteractiveDo you have a process you think could benefit from an API?Ask us about implementing APIsWhat barriers do you encounter?
  34. 34. Public APIsSession 3
  35. 35. Web-friendly Books
  36. 36. Launched October 2012
  37. 37. How do yousell to peoplewho arentlooking forbooks?
  38. 38. Web-friendly = bigger audienceGlobal Monthly Searches: “business books” 201 thousand “how to start a business” 1.5 million
  39. 39. Make your content a partof the web
  40. 40. ValoBox offers a viable solutionTakes advantage of the web’s ubiquity,speed and flexibilityPreserves value of booksWorks for customers AND publishers[Image: screenshot]
  41. 41. Make it quicker, easier, cheaperFull text searchCloud-based storageWeb-friendly purchasing •  Login with Facebook/Twitter •  Preview pages from anywhere •  Buy by the chapter •  Pre-pay system
  42. 42. Share and embed on social networks
  43. 43. Business model: Revenue shareCreate a million book stores byempowering others to sell your bookValoBox: Marketing:15% 25%Publisher:60%
  44. 44. APIs inside ValoBoxThe company structure:•  User management•  eBook Production•  Accounting•  Distribution
  45. 45. APIs inside ValoBoxServer Customer UserAccounting Management Reading Distribution app Book Production
  46. 46. Metadata APIWhat books are available?Search for booksGet more details about a bookGet book imagesGet links and embed codes
  47. 47. Metadata APICreate your own•  bookshops•  information serviceshttp://api_demo.valobox.com/books
  48. 48. Reader APIEmbed books within a contextControl reader from parent pageControl parent page from reader
  49. 49. Reader APICreate your own:•  Reading experience•  Mashupshttp://api_demo.valobox.com/books/show/2125
  50. 50. Social sharingOne click sharingOne click accessTarget specific pages
  51. 51. Search APIGoogle search API so specific (paid) content can be found via search engines
  52. 52. Find out morewww.valobox.com/api
  53. 53. QuestionsSpecific use cases - ask us about APIsQuestions about ValoBox?Adam Duvander @adamdAnna Lewis @anna_cnOliver Brooks @cn_oli

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