Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
They say that there’s a writer in all of us.
The web has revolutionized book publishing and promotion, and brought it within reach of anyone with an idea. There are numerous instances where a greenhorn has made a pretty bundle by offering books for the price of a sheet of paper through sites which promote fresh authors and independent publishing. Getting your first book published is no longer about a basket of rejection slips.
Thanks to author websites like the ones we profile below, the journey from a writer to an author could be a short one.
You won’t ask too many questions when you know that this site has been developed by HarperCollins. HarperCollins hopes to shortcut the process of finding budding writing talent by finding new literature and the new writers behind it. Authonomy is an online community for readers, writers, and generally anyone who has an interest in books. You can create a personal page and upload a raw manuscript (at least 10,000 words long) for others to read, review, and rate. The community ranks your work and puts it in the spotlight for HarperCollins to pick up and publish it through its traditional book publishing programs.
Authonomy has a few lists like weekly top rated books, Editor’s Desk, and Book Chart, which you can go straight to for viewing the work of new writers. With the help of the social networking features, you can talk to the budding writers, share tips, ask for advice, and improve your writing. Authonomy gives you a visual bookshelf which is like a watch list for the books you liked reading. Watch list also helps you keep track of your favorite books and authors.
Figment follows the same social path to discover great writing as the site above. There are few minor differences in the features as Figment brings in motivational prods like contests to push you and your writing. On Figment, you can not only read excerpts of books, you can also purchase them from sites like Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and IndieBound. The Figment Library is a cool place to browse the work of others. The library is neatly arranged around the various fiction genres.
Figment asks you to be brave and just start posting. You can start using the site’s writing tool to create your first ‘bestseller’ and come back to it when bursts of creativity hit you. Figment preserves your writing. At the end of the day, you can take the help of the community, forum, and the various groups to meet up with other ‘Figs’ and he hash it out over things you love.
Jottify works on a similar principle of write – discover – sell. It is a neat place to share your writing and enjoy somebody else’s work too. The Jottify store allows you to publish your work in e-reader format, at the touch of a button. Jottify gives you the tools to compose your book. Jottify formats the e-book (in three e-book formats); the author picks a sale price and gets 70% commission for every book that gets sold.
Jottify again is a great place to join-up and see what others of your ilk are writing and reading. You can download a few books which are marked as ‘free’.
Libboo is an online platform for all kinds of writing…even collaborative writing projects to crowd source a book. Each user can be given an individual profile. Libboo also is a bridge between your writing and the world of publishing. The About page says that Libboo has a fully automated copyright management policy. As an author you can completely manage the publication of your book. Using Libboo and its content creation tools (an online editor), you can create books and publish them in popular ebook formats. There’s of course, the community feel that could be helpful to the aspiring writer as he reads, writes, and connects.
For an aspiring writer or a novelist, it makes sense to try out these smaller author websites as against the bigger names in the publishing world. It’s very difficult to get your name showcased in sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. Another stumbling block comes with the commercialization of your book and the commissions you might have to forego. These five sites go a long away in helping you test the waters.
Here are a few more hints for the aspiring novelist:
- Create Your Short Stories & Novels With StoryBook
- 10 More Websites That Help Cure Writer’s Block With Writing Prompts
- 7 Collaborative Storytelling Websites to Weave Your Own Digital Stories
- 4 Of The Best Online Print-On-Demand Book Publishers
- Five Creative Writing Projects You Can Do Today
Have you dreamt of writing a book? Let us know the story of your success or failure.
Image Credit: Shutterstock