Wow! Where did that week go? The appearance of blossoms on the redbud and dogwood trees, the explosion of azalea blooms, and the blizzard of dead leaves from the live oak trees have bemused me. If you're seeing crocuses in the snow, brightly colored tulips and pussy willow buds, then I'm sure you feel the same way. Even with the Easter cold snap looming, I've put away the heavy coats.
The arrival of spring is not the only source of my bemusement. Publishing options have me looking slightly glassy-eyed. Like the sudden switch from winter to spring, the explosion of ways to turn my manuscript into a book seemed to go – overnight – from only a traditionally published ink-and-paper book to a number of open-ended options with multiple solutions.
In order to begin getting a grip on this transition, I asked Mr. David Nicholls to share his story with us. Last time, David explained how the reality check he experienced when he attempted to publish his manuscript led him to start the Aspiring Writers' group on LinkedIn. The explosion of the group (It's closing in on 1300 members.) encouraged him to take another step. I'll let him tell the story.
"With the growth of the Aspiring Writers group on LinkedIn, it occurred to me that, with the emergence of online publishing, I was looking at an opportunity to empower authors to take charge of their own careers. So many writers, worldwide, want to get their work published, but the traditional publishing industry treats aspiring writers as second-class citizens. Unless an aspiring writer is a celebrity chef or has appeared in a soap, traditional publishers rarely take a chance on a new writer.
With these thoughts and a growing group of writers passionate about wanting to get their work published, I came up with the idea of developing an online portal for aspiring writers. Unique? Certainly not. What is unique these days? But learning from the sites that had already been developed, I set about turning my ideas into reality. I wanted to give these passionate writers the opportunity to publish their work, earning money for the time and work they had already invested.
They say that naiveté can be a good thing and in this case, I would certainly go along with that sentiment. I consider myself an entrepreneur not a 'techie' so I started to look for people who could share my vision. With a small team that included a web developer and a creative director, we put together Lebrary.com. We put out initial feelers and the feedback was very good. In February, it was launched – and we held our breath. Within a very short time, we hit our first target of twenty books on the site, with sales of these books already starting. We even attracted a US Ambassador who put his work on the site. Although these are early days, the signs are very promising. We have plans to develop the site with the ability to download on e-readers, including mobile phone Apps.
Some people have said that online publishing is only a temporary success, but I remember someone saying that about the Internet! So if you feel you want to be part of this exciting revolution – then have a look at Lebrary.com – you'll be more than welcome."
In preparation for today's post, I popped over to Lebrary.com. It now has twenty-eight registered authors with thirty-five books for sale. Though the site is in Great Britain, the transactions use US dollars. Authors can sign up for one of two publishing packages. The basic package is free, with books sold for $2 or $4. The link to the "Author Terms and Conditions" can be found at the bottom of every page. If you have used Lebrary.com, please leave your thoughts about the site in our comments.