How Pumble Facilitates Communication for Transcre8 & PublishMe

As anyone who’s had to build a business from the ground up will tell you, smaller companies must always be ready to adjust to market demands.

The founder of Transcre8 and PublishMe, Michail Kollewijn, seems all too aware of that fact.

Though his team’s road to success is ongoing, Pumble is proud to have been there to support it every step of the way.

To find out more about Michail’s business ventures, as well as how Pumble fits into his team’s work processes, we decided to have a chat with the man himself.

But, before we share what we found out, let’s talk about how Transcre8 and PublishMe came to be, in the first place.

The origins of Transcre8 and PublishMe

Both of Michail’s companies were inspired by his previous work experience, which included freelance novel translation and localized translation.

In his own words, Transcre8 came first:

Michail Kollewijn

“Transcre8 was founded a year and a half ago as a translation and localization service provider with, initially, a focus on digital marketing content, digital publishing learning materials, and blockchain-related translations.”

The company got its name from the term “transcreation,” a fairly new expression in marketing, as Michail told us:

Michail Kollewijn

“You can’t translate a marketing slogan. You have to recreate it in the target language or sometimes even the same language in a different area. What works in Berlin wouldn’t work elsewhere in Germany, let alone Switzerland. And that’s what transcreation refers to.”

Even so, Transcre8 had a hard time finding its footing, which prompted Michail and his business partner to seek out greener pastures:

Michail Kollewijn

“For a period of time, we pivoted and created a platform called PublishMe, designed to support self-published authors with their foreign language publications, translations, and book marketing, which has now become our primary focus.”

In other words, the shift was a result of market demand, inspired by Michail’s previous work as a translator and proofreader:

Michail Kollewijn

“Initially, the intention was to go more in the direction of corporate clients, but halfway through last year we pivoted to PublishMe, which was born from my working as a proofreader for a couple of authors and seeing the varying degrees of quality in translations they received back from freelancers.”

Nowadays, PublishMe’s main customer base consists of self-published novelists who are looking to get high-quality translations as well as marketing, newsletter, and blogger outreach services at an affordable price.

What is the greatest challenge the team behind PublishMe and Transcre8 has faced?

Though Michail has over 10 years of experience in management, that doesn’t mean that his companies have never come across any obstacles.

We talked about some of the more significant challenges he and his team have faced as they worked to get Transcre8 and, later, PublishMe, off the ground.

Challenge #1: Managing a remote team of freelancers

As a digital nomad, Michail has been working and even managing teams remotely for years:

Michail Kollewijn

Even our company was started remotely. I have been a full-time digital nomad for almost 5 years now, and so has my business partner.

Even so, managing a (partially) rotating cast of freelancers is one of the more unique challenges he’s had to deal with since becoming a business owner:

Michail Kollewijn

“We’re all remote. There are probably, at the moment, about 15 to 20 team members. [The number] fluctuates a little bit depending on the demand for languages. Most of them are carefully selected freelancers who we’ve worked with for a long period of time. We do have a strict quality assurance process when we onboard new team members.”

The fluctuating composition of his team has led Michail to develop strategies for ensuring the best work outcomes for clients and employees alike:

Michail Kollewijn

“We try to work with the same people over long periods of time. And if, say, an author doesn’t have just a singular book but a series they want to do, we try to always use the same teams for their books. Because then, they get to know the style, the characters, the storylines, etc. And it also provides long-term stability to team members in terms of income, which is quite difficult to achieve today because it’s such a competitive market space.”


If you’re in charge of a team of remote employees, you probably understand how challenging it can be to effectively run a team of people who almost never occupy the same physical space. Fear not, this article will help you figure it out:

Challenge #2: Setting up a positive company culture

From our conversation with Michail, we found that he was especially invested in creating a work environment that’s not just about work.

After all, in years past, he saw the industry from the perspective of the freelancers he now manages:

Michail Kollewijn

“I was a freelance translator and proofreader for quite some time. I had a completely different background before but I fell into it, being a digital nomad. That was going very well but after a while, I was managing teams of freelancers at an agency.”

This experience showed Michail the importance of setting up a positive company culture, especially within remote-first teams:

Michail Kollewijn

“I decided to create my own company so I could dictate a positive work environment and a sort of philosophy and approach to servicing clients and what I wanted to do.“

The way Michail has achieved this kind of camaraderie among his freelancers is by simply having conversations that aren’t always about work in public communication channels:

Michail Kollewijn

“From a leadership perspective, it means that me and my business partner have to put a lot of focus into keeping the channel alive. Otherwise, it doesn’t really get used by people because everyone just has enough on their plate. But, when you’re able to create a positive culture remotely with people that you’ve been working with for years, and you’ve never met in person, I think that’s always a win.”


Making sure your team feels connected is crucial when running a remote-first company. To learn more about how you might achieve such a feat, check out this article:

Challenge #3: Finding an affordable and easy-to-use communication platform

As an owner of a remote business, Michail understands the value of having a centralized business messaging platform:

Michail Kollewijn

“Having a centralized communication platform is always a necessity. At the time, we also had another, almost more important, question that we were trying to find an answer to — the price point.”

Naturally, when Michail and his team set out to find a dependable team communication app, finding an affordable solution was crucial. After all, their business was quickly picking up steam:

Michail Kollewijn

“As soon as you start scaling the team beyond 2–5 team members, those monthly recurring costs start adding up. So, the price point and ease of use were practically the main deciding factors for us to start using Pumble. And, because it continued to tick those boxes, we stuck with it.”

As for how Michail landed on Pumble as a viable option — well, you’ll just have to read on to find out.

How did the team behind PublishMe and Transcre8 discover Pumble?

Finding dependable yet affordable internal communication software was one of the first challenges Michail set out to overcome when he started his business.

Luckily, he was no stranger to doing extensive research:

Michail Kollewijn

“I think it was a lot of reading blogs and doing research — those comparative articles. Eventually, Pumble came up, and we narrowed down the search, comparing Pumble with others and reading reviews. Then, we did a trial and realized we didn’t need a lot of the fancy features. We’ve optimized a lot of the processes using Google Drive and Sheets, etc. But for groups and channels, and guest channels for clients, Pumble is very valuable.”

In the end, Michail’s team opted for Pumble’s PRO pricing plan because it offered everything they needed at the time:

Michail Kollewijn

“We don’t really use much of the video call features or team call features because it’s unnecessary at this point in time — our projects are quite insular and very specific. But for the chat, document sharing, keeping tabs on progress, etc., Pumble has served us really well and it continues to be one of the easiest to use and cheapest options I’ve seen out there that has practically everything the competition offers as well.”

As far as Michail and his business partner are concerned, simplicity reigns supreme.

What makes Pumble the perfect tool for PublishMe and Transcre8?

Ultimately, Michail didn’t only choose Pumble because of its affordable pricing plans.

Rather, it was because the app allowed his team to focus on what really matters, free from distractions:

Michail Kollewijn

“I was used to working with Slack, which has a ton of integrations you can opt into. But, a lot of options can make it almost more difficult to define a clear work process. I like to keep things very light and basic, with the idea of less is more or having a lean business model that makes it easier to pivot, adapt, and change, or evolve.”

In other words, Pumble was the efficient yet adaptable communication solution Michail and his team needed.

It was a tool that allowed them to pivot from Transcre8 to PublishMe during tough times, and it’ll be there to support any other business decisions Michail might have to make.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how the PublishMe team uses Pumble right now.

Which Pumble features does the PublishMe team use the most?

During our conversation with Michail, we wanted to find out how he and his team really used Pumble.

Thankfully, Michail was all too happy to offer our readers a peek behind the curtain:

Michail Kollewijn

“On a day-to-day basis, [we] primarily [use it for]: 

  • Sharing documents
  • Talking about timelines, and 
  • Updating people on new developments or a new project coming in.

Also, being able to just reach everyone at the same time is the most valuable feature to us.”

So, let’s talk about the main features Michail’s team uses to stay connected.

Feature #1: Public and team channels for internal communication

According to Michail, the main channels the team behind PublishMe uses are language-specific:

Michail Kollewijn

“For our internal teams, we have language channels — we have the French team, the Spanish team, and the German team, in their respective channels. We also have Marketing in separate channels.”

However, Michail also uses public channels — namely, the #general channel that is automatically generated when users go to set up their Pumble workspace — to overcome the insular nature of remote work and promote a positive company culture:

Michail Kollewijn

“I guess the favorite channel is always the one where everyone can just talk about their day-to-day because it’s the most approachable, the most humane. [It’s the one] where you would just congratulate someone on their birthday, etc. — the one that takes you out of the daily grind.”

Having said that, due to the nature of their work, the PublishMe team also needs to work closely with their clients, which is where Michail’s second favorite Pumble feature comes in.

Feature #2: Guest channels

Since the PublishMe team works so closely with the authors whose books they translate and market, having their clients in their workspace is key, as Michail told us:

Michail Kollewijn

“Once negotiations are clear and completed, we onboard [our customers] to our internal dashboard for the purpose of making sales reports available each month, [negotiating] contracts, [sending] manuscripts, etc. And then, we invite them to our work channel on Pumble, where we introduce relevant team members or project managers who will oversee the project.”

To Michail, guest channels, which are a relatively new feature on Pumble, were a pleasant surprise:

Michail Kollewijn

“Guest channels were a nice little addition to our workflow that we didn’t anticipate. They make it really easy to invite an author or a group of authors to a certain work channel and have a direct line of communication.”

Feature #3: Mobile app

Even though the Transcre8 and PublishMe teams have pretty basic needs, it seems that Pumble has met and even exceeded them.

Still, by the end of our conversation about his teams’ most used features, Michail also added the fact that he can take Pumble on the go:

Michail Kollewijn

“It’s also good that you guys have an app. It’s good and bad: it means that work follows me everywhere, but it also means that you’re available every minute.”

We’re glad to hear that Pumble has been supporting Michail’s digital nomad lifestyle, at least.


All jokes aside, it’s true that carrying your work around on your phone can become overwhelming after a while. That’s why setting proper work-life boundaries is so important. To learn how to do that, check out this guide:

Who would Transcre8 recommend Pumble to and why?

As we discovered during our conversation with Michail, Transcre8 and PublishMe have long been recommending Pumble to their collaborators:

Michail Kollewijn

“We’ve certainly shouted out the Pumble name to plenty of people who we’re working with or have worked with over the past year.”

After all, both companies use guest channels to keep customers, whether they’re self-published authors or corporate clients, in the loop.

However, Michail would also be the first to recommend Pumble to startups — as his companies have been happily using it from the get-go.

In addition to the incredibly affordable pricing, Pumble also has the flexibility to adapt to any work process changes you decide to implement.

So, it’s the perfect tool for dynamic teams at the start of their success journey — capable of growing right alongside your team.


Michail’s startups aren’t the only ones who’ve benefited from jumping on the Pumble train. To read more about how a startup might utilize Pumble, check out our interview with the CEO of Nerd Evolution:

A look ahead into the future of Transcre8 and PublishMe

Near the end of our conversation, we invited Michail to share some of the plans he had for both Transcre8 and PublishMe:

Michail Kollewijn

“What I see with PublishMe, the last year has been about laying a lot of foundational work in terms of creating positive work relationships with the clients that we do have and the teams that we have. A lot of it was a very very steep learning curve at every turn. It still is, every single day. But it’s exciting.”

He also mentioned that both companies were due for a rebrand, though PublishMe remains a priority:

Michail Kollewijn

“We’re doing a rebrand within the next couple of months, and we’ll have a brand new website done, a new logo, color scheme, everything. So, I think that’ll be one of the most exciting steps forward that’ll really propel the company onto the next stage. The vision is to help as many self-published authors reach as many readers around the world as possible.

And for Transcre8 as a company, the goal is to also expand and take on additional clients, but that’s going to be another revamp in itself with a new website further down the track. I think the primary focus at the moment is on the books.”

So, it seems like big changes are in the works for both Transcre8 and PublishMe!

Keep your work communication lean with Pumble

As a business owner, you have to be flexible enough to steer your company wherever it needs to go, even as the tides of your industry change.

That’s exactly what Michail has done with Transcre8 and PublishMe — and Pumble has been there every step of the way.

However, notably, there was another brand name that came up in our conversation with Michail — Clockify, the popular time tracker.

Michail Kollewijn

“We use Google Suite and, in certain instances, Clockify, which is a very easy, free-to-use, mostly time tracking software.”

But, did you know that Clockify was Pumble’s sister product?

Indeed, you can get both Clockify and Pumble — as well as our project management software, Plaky — for a fraction of their price in the bundle.

Or, you can stick with Pumble and join Michail and many others who are discovering that premium quality team communication software doesn’t have to break the bank.

Keep it simple — make a free Pumble account today.

Olga  Milicevic

Olga Milicevic is a communication researcher and author dedicated to making your professional life a bit easier. She believes that everyone should have the tools necessary to respond to their coworkers’ requests and communicate their own professional needs clearly and kindly.

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