“In the Studio,” Graphicly’s Micah Baldwin Leafs Through the Future of Books

Editor’s note: Semil Shah is an EIR with Javelin Venture Partners and has been a contributor to TechCrunch since January 2011. You can follow him on Twitter at @semil.

“In the Studio” rolls into the fall months by hosting a jack of all startup trades, someone who has founded a company (and is CEO), but who also is extremely generous with his time as an advisor, coach, and storyteller to startups.

Micah Baldwin, CEO and founder of Graphicly, not only knows a lot about books, but also where books are headed. At Graphicly, Baldwin and his team focus on building SaaS tools to help current and aspiring authors market their books through the right channels and networks, as well as navigating the revenue-share models currently used by online distributors. Whereas musicians and moviemakers initially resisted aspects of the shift to online, Baldwin believes publishers are taking a different approach, as the market for e-books is trending up and to the right, and he wants his company to build tools to help speed up and smooth out that transition.

If you’re in any way, shape, or form interested in books, reading, e-books, self-publishing, and storytelling, I’d encourage you to watch this video. In our discussion, Baldwin shares a wealth of knowledge about the self-publishing movement, key players, and market dynamics, as well how each constituent — from the story creator, the publisher, and device makers — are thinking about their incentives in this fast-growing market. This is discussion may also be useful to founders of consumer-facing startups in general, as Baldwin talks philosophically about how stories are needed to spark imagination within an audience, something that web design and engaging or persuasive copy could do. Finally, for parents of young kids who play with iPhones and iPads and spend a great deal of time playing with app games or app books, Baldwin also indirectly touches on the potential effect mobile devices and apps may have on our abilities to effectively create, absorb, and share stories.