JT White, a product expert and author, had a new book ready to be published. Titled “Practical Product Philosophy,” JT was excited about the prospect of sharing his point of view on product development with an audience thirsty for new ideas and perspectives. At the same time, White was wary of the traditional publishing methods available for his new manuscript.
Connecting authors and audiences without the help of traditional publishers.
Previous negative experiences with traditional literary agents and publishers, as well as self-publishing options like Amazon, inspired White to try something new. JT believes that products should solve real problems. Now that he was facing one himself, couldn’t that belief inform a solution fit to his own needs?
JT believed that his book, which focused on building digital products, would pair perfectly with the release of a new kind of digital publishing and collaboration platform. In need of a product partner who could not only build a great digital product but also take his vision to the next level, White approached Apollo 21.
Make publishing a book as easy as publishing a blog post — with community features built right in.
After discussing the challenges of publishing with the team at Apollo 21, JT decided to create a new digital publishing and collaboration platform called Authored.app. JT and the Apollo 21 team shared a common approach to building products, making them ideal partners for the project.
Together, they envisioned a future where self-publishing a book could be as simple as publishing a blog post, allowing authors to easily write, distribute, and gather fans around their content. The Authored.app platform makes the publishing process effortless and gives the author control over their work.
A digital book publishing platform that fosters community and puts authors in control of their work.
JT had a vision for the future of publishing where books are more dynamic, allowing readers to challenge and discuss the content with one another and the author. These interactions could open the door to future collaborations between authors and their fanbase on future editions or sequels to the original text.
The Apollo 21 team worked with JT to develop a set of essential features for an MVP (minimum viable product) that would enable authors to publish their books easily. This included managing reader access through a one-time or subscription fee, as well as allowing readers to interact with and comment on the book's content.
To remain true to White’s vision, Apollo 21 utilized JT's newly written book, Practical Product Philosophy, to create a system that allowed the author to manage their content and moderate user interactions. This system also provides readers with features to read, save, highlight, and interact with both the text and other readers. The initial build was created in just a few weeks by a small, agile team of designers and engineers. This resulted in the initial release of Authored.app, which serves as the platform for JT's latest book.
Together, Apollo 21 and JT were able to build a platform that provides authors and readers a more dynamic way to interact with each other and the books they read. From new ways to publish finished works to unique opportunities for collaboration, Authored.app opens puts control and community into the hands of the authors.
Authored.app continues to gain adoption by both writers and readers and has a bright future as the old-school way of publishing inevitably ventures away from the printing press and into the digital era.
In Their Own Words
“The Apollo 21 team showed deft skill at knowing when to follow my lead and when to step in with new ideas. I have a real vision for Authored.app but recognize I don’t have all the answers. It’s a joy to work with a partner that can both support my idea and help fill in the gaps that I can’t fill in myself. When building a new product, communication is of paramount importance. In an industry crowded with those that promise great communication and never deliver, Apollo 21 always felt reachable, communicative, and eager to engage in constructive conversations along the way.”