We talked to Kinga Jentetics about PublishDrive’s publishing platform and COVID-19 pandemic.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Kinga Jentetics: At the first wave of the pandemic, I was scared of how COVID-19 affects my loved ones, my business, and me as a person. COVID-19 brought me more focus on my lifestyle and forced me to slow down by cutting my travel schedule. The pandemic is changing the way how we connect: everything is digital. I think our generation is fortunate to have technology that enables us to stay connected even through social distancing, but I have to admit, I miss to meet my family, friends as often as I usually do. Our first year of marriage with my husband got a bit more apocalyptic than we planned, but I believe in happy endings!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded PublishDrive.
Kinga Jentetics: I have a business and marketing background, working in the music industry as a marketer. When I wanted to publish my master thesis, I realized how painful the publishing process is with time-consuming and costly processes and a possible small reach. With my co-founders, Robert Csizmar and Adam Rendes, we started to work on the idea of PublishDrive, the all-in-one digital publishing platform to cut costs and save time for authors and publishers all around the world, meanwhile increasing their royalties by connecting them to 1bn potential readers.
How does PublishDrive innovate?
Kinga Jentetics: PublishDrive innovates in the publishing field by building technologies that help authors and publishers find their audience and save time on publishing books in any book format. PublishDrive has the widest network of readers with 400 stores and 200K digital libraries in over 100 countries. We built an AI -robot to index books that help in visibility and targeting. Our top-notch analytics tools help publishers understand their market, and we created the most transparent royalty management system as well.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Kinga Jentetics: So far, we did not see any negative effects of COVID-19 on our business. At times of social distancing and quarantines, more people are looking for at-home entertainment options. This is one of the very few positive outcomes of the pandemic: more people read. As a result, more people read and listen to books, and consequently, more people have time to write, and more publishers realize they need to expand on their digital strategy. We also compile a book report about the latest trends we see on the market.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Kinga Jentetics: I consistently make difficult choices! I had to learn this year that I need to take care of myself first so that I can take care of others. That’s my 2020’s biggest learning. The second biggest learning is that I have to be more vulnerable to my team, especially during uncertain times like these. That’s how we can connect on a higher level, and that’s how I can build a much safer environment for them.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and PublishDrive in the future?
Kinga Jentetics: I write my feelings and thoughts when I feel stressed. When I get my biggest fear/stress or anxiety on paper (or actually on my laptop), I instantly feel relieved. Also, I do yoga daily, which helped me overcome some of the physical challenges my lifestyle has with all the time spent at the computer.
I project that I personally will become a better leader through all these challenges 2020 brought to me. I believe our company is doing greater things than ever now, and our growth will continue in the next coming years as well, regardless of the pandemic situation.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Kinga Jentetics: Most of our competitors are based in the US and have a longer track record on the market. We stay in the game with our constant innovation through expanding our distribution network, adding new formats and promotional opportunities for our authors. We constantly invest more in our support team as we all know that we all need support during a pandemic situation.
Your final thoughts?
Kinga Jentetics: We will all remember 2020 – the year when all the worst things could happen. But I believe we all learned a lot about each other, and most importantly about ourselves, that will bring us to a more united world.