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Thread: [epub] Ourboox

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW epublishabook's Avatar
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    [epub] Ourboox

    Ourboox is a start-up in closed Beta stage that will provide writers with a new, fun way to get books illustrated by readers.As a volunteer assisting the founding team, I have been invited to a few meetings.

    Though things are still under wrap, I can tell you that it will provide writers with a fun way to promote their name as writers and will be ideal to publish short stories, travel logs, children stories and any short form of writing.

    Their publishing platform will be entirely free!

    They have just been singled out by Google who is now providing some modicum of assistance, but having Google's initial approval is a huge step so it is definitely worth signing in to be part of the open Beta scheduled for early next year.

    Here is more about them http://blog.ourboox.com/2013/11/10/g...hing-platform/.

    Come and sign in :-)
    The Divided Island, an illustrated healing story for children in de midst of a divorce
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  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Rather than delete this as spam, I'm going to move it from General Discussions to BR&BC.
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  3. #3
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Ok, I had a good look around the site the OP linked to and I'm still not sure what it is Outboox actually do.....

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW epublishabook's Avatar
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    At this stage, the platform is not yet working smoothly enough to be available for everyone, still working on it.
    It enables uploading text and image and obtaining immediate formatting, plus the option to print it on demand without additional formatting.
    Right now, the cover function is still bugging and there are a few problems with different image formats, plus the legal copyrighting terms of use still has to be approved by a lawyer.
    Basically, users, both writers and illustrators keep all their rights, but the issue with potential piracy still has to be covered ...
    The Divided Island, an illustrated healing story for children in de midst of a divorce
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  5. #5
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Oh, it's a POD. So.... what makes it different to every other POD?

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW epublishabook's Avatar
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    POD is an added facility. The main purpose is to ease communication between writers and illustrators and enable the creation of collaborative books
    The Divided Island, an illustrated healing story for children in de midst of a divorce
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  7. #7
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    So how does anyone earn any money?

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW epublishabook's Avatar
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    There are ways being devised, but that is not the main purpose. free short illustrated stories can be made viral with much more ease than long form books, therefore providing exposure for both writers and illustrators, building thier name recognition.
    Other functions are under study,
    The Divided Island, an illustrated healing story for children in de midst of a divorce
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  9. #9
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Hmm... so you want people to put their stories on your site and not make any money for name recognition? How are you going to get the names out widely enough for this recognition to happen?

  10. #10
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epublishabook View Post
    Ourboox is a start-up in closed Beta stage that will provide writers with a new, fun way to get books illustrated by readers.As a volunteer assisting the founding team, I have been invited to a few meetings.
    The books' readers will illustrate them? So they'll read illustrated books before they're actually illustrated?

    What control do authors have over the illustrations which are added to their books? Can they approve them, or can any illustrators make up their own versions of any texts submitted? If authors do have approval, what happens to the illustrations which are rejected? Because asking illustrators to produce work on spec like that is somewhat exploitative--we might have a thread about that in our Art And Design room.

    Though things are still under wrap, I can tell you that it will provide writers with a fun way to promote their name as writers and will be ideal to publish short stories, travel logs, children stories and any short form of writing.

    Their publishing platform will be entirely free!
    So is this a promotional site or a publisher?

    If the publishing platform is entirely free then that implies the authors get 100% of the income generated from the sales of their books. Can you confirm that you don't take any commission from their sales?

    They have just been singled out by Google who is now providing some modicum of assistance, but having Google's initial approval is a huge step so it is definitely worth signing in to be part of the open Beta scheduled for early next year.

    Here is more about them http://blog.ourboox.com/2013/11/10/g...hing-platform/.
    What has Google done to single it out? How has Google approved you, and what assistance is it offering you? As far as I can see you're appearing in searches but nothing else--and that's something that just about everything online achieves.

    Come and sign in :-)
    No. Not until I know a whole lot more about what you're offering, and what's in it for me. So far I see a worrying lack of clarity with regard to every aspect of this service.

    Quote Originally Posted by epublishabook View Post
    At this stage, the platform is not yet working smoothly enough to be available for everyone, still working on it.
    It enables uploading text and image and obtaining immediate formatting, plus the option to print it on demand without additional formatting.
    There's a huge difference between the formatting required for e-books and the typesetting required for print editions.

    If you're allowing books to be moved from one format to the other without any additional work, you're encouraging text-dumps. It's almost guaranteed that anyone doing this is going to end up with a book which is one big mess. Add to that the issue of working with illustrations, and you're building nightmares for everyone involved.

    Right now, the cover function is still bugging and there are a few problems with different image formats, plus the legal copyrighting terms of use still has to be approved by a lawyer.
    Basically, users, both writers and illustrators keep all their rights, but the issue with potential piracy still has to be covered ...
    If they're publishing through you they won't be keeping all their rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by epublishabook View Post
    POD is an added facility. The main purpose is to ease communication between writers and illustrators and enable the creation of collaborative books
    This is a very complex area, with very specific legal implications and contractual requirements and a huge potential for things to go wrong. Do you have a legal advisor on staff? How are you going to make clear to people who join your site what these complications are, and what they need to do to protect their work? How will you handle the inevitable disputes which will arise? What are the terms under which people post their work to your site? Specifically, how do you deal with the rights issues created when writers and illustrators work together? Who controls derivative rights? What limits do you impose on the commercial exploitation of such collaborations?

    To put it plainly, suppose an artist illustrates a book but the author doesn't like their work. If the author has a right of approval or rejection, those illustrations are now useless as they are so tied to the original text: the artist can't use them in any context, not even in a portfolio. Or can they? Would the contracts you use (please tell me you use contracts...) allow the artist to work with a writer to produce a new text to make use of those illustrations? If so, how will you deal with the claims of plagiarism which will then result?

    Another example: an artist illustrates a book, and the author approves those illustrations. As you've said the author and artist retain all rights to the work, I'll assume the artist retains all rights to his or her work. So when the book becomes hugely successful and the artist takes advantage of this success to produce a range of merchandise based on her illustrations (which she is within her rights to do, as she's retained all rights), the author can't expect to make any money off these derivative works; but as the author has retained all rights to his or her own works, the artist is infringing on those rights. Legal fun ensues, and your site will be right in the middle of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by epublishabook View Post
    There are ways being devised, but that is not the main purpose. free short illustrated stories can be made viral with much more ease than long form books, therefore providing exposure for both writers and illustrators, building thier name recognition.
    Other functions are under study,
    If it really were easy to make anything go viral, everyone would be doing it.

    Your site is unknown: how is anyone on it going to get any exposure or build any name recognition? To do this you need to attract readers but the history of display sites such as yours suggests that that's not going to happen.

    If that weren't enough to put me off, the sloppiness of the writing on the site inspires little confidence; and the founder of the site is a frustrated, unpublished writer with no experience of publishing, and it shows.

    For the sake of the writers who sign up I hope it's a success, but I doubt it will be. You can count me out.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW epublishabook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    The books' readers will illustrate them? So they'll read illustrated books before they're actually illustrated?

    What control do authors have over the illustrations which are added to their books? Can they approve them, or can any illustrators make up their own versions of any texts submitted? If authors do have approval, what happens to the illustrations which are rejected? Because asking illustrators to produce work on spec like that is somewhat exploitative--we might have a thread about that in our Art And Design room.



    So is this a promotional site or a publisher?

    If the publishing platform is entirely free then that implies the authors get 100% of the income generated from the sales of their books. Can you confirm that you don't take any commission from their sales?



    What has Google done to single it out? How has Google approved you, and what assistance is it offering you? As far as I can see you're appearing in searches but nothing else--and that's something that just about everything online achieves.



    No. Not until I know a whole lot more about what you're offering, and what's in it for me. So far I see a worrying lack of clarity with regard to every aspect of this service.



    There's a huge difference between the formatting required for e-books and the typesetting required for print editions.

    If you're allowing books to be moved from one format to the other without any additional work, you're encouraging text-dumps. It's almost guaranteed that anyone doing this is going to end up with a book which is one big mess. Add to that the issue of working with illustrations, and you're building nightmares for everyone involved.



    If they're publishing through you they won't be keeping all their rights.



    This is a very complex area, with very specific legal implications and contractual requirements and a huge potential for things to go wrong. Do you have a legal advisor on staff? How are you going to make clear to people who join your site what these complications are, and what they need to do to protect their work? How will you handle the inevitable disputes which will arise? What are the terms under which people post their work to your site? Specifically, how do you deal with the rights issues created when writers and illustrators work together? Who controls derivative rights? What limits do you impose on the commercial exploitation of such collaborations?

    To put it plainly, suppose an artist illustrates a book but the author doesn't like their work. If the author has a right of approval or rejection, those illustrations are now useless as they are so tied to the original text: the artist can't use them in any context, not even in a portfolio. Or can they? Would the contracts you use (please tell me you use contracts...) allow the artist to work with a writer to produce a new text to make use of those illustrations? If so, how will you deal with the claims of plagiarism which will then result?

    Another example: an artist illustrates a book, and the author approves those illustrations. As you've said the author and artist retain all rights to the work, I'll assume the artist retains all rights to his or her work. So when the book becomes hugely successful and the artist takes advantage of this success to produce a range of merchandise based on her illustrations (which she is within her rights to do, as she's retained all rights), the author can't expect to make any money off these derivative works; but as the author has retained all rights to his or her own works, the artist is infringing on those rights. Legal fun ensues, and your site will be right in the middle of it.



    If it really were easy to make anything go viral, everyone would be doing it.

    Your site is unknown: how is anyone on it going to get any exposure or build any name recognition? To do this you need to attract readers but the history of display sites such as yours suggests that that's not going to happen.

    If that weren't enough to put me off, the sloppiness of the writing on the site inspires little confidence; and the founder of the site is a frustrated, unpublished writer with no experience of publishing, and it shows.

    For the sake of the writers who sign up I hope it's a success, but I doubt it will be. You can count me out.
    There's a huge difference between the formatting required for e-books and the typesetting required for print editions.

    If you're allowing books to be moved from one format to the other without any additional work, you're encouraging text-dumps. It's almost guaranteed that anyone doing this is going to end up with a book which is one big mess. Add to that the issue of working with illustrations, and you're building nightmares for everyone involve
    This is exactly one of the problems of self-publishing printed books we are working on solving. With current technologies, you are right, and with current POD, the formatting of picture books is a nightmare for non-tech minds. So, yes, we are working towards automated typesetting for print.

    This is a very complex area, with very specific legal implications and contractual requirements and a huge potential for things to go wrong. Do you have a legal advisor on staff? How are you going to make clear to people who join your site what these complications are, and what they need to do to protect their work? How will you handle the inevitable disputes which will arise? What are the terms under which people post their work to your site? Specifically, how do you deal with the rights issues created when writers and illustrators work together? Who controls derivative rights? What limits do you impose on the commercial exploitation of such collaborations?
    Thanks you for that input. We do have a legal office working on the Terms of Use and the Terms of Collaboration, and I will pass them your remarks as any input might be of value.

    Your site is unknown: how is anyone on it going to get any exposure or build any name recognition? To do this you need to attract readers but the history of display sites such as yours suggests that that's not going to happen.
    Our site is in closed Beta as we only began working on the technical side of the plarform 3 months ago. At this stage, we are not yet in a development stage that allows for wide exposure, and we are looking only to reach a limited number of writers and illustrators to be part of the next round of closed Beta.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by epublishabook
    There are ways being devised, but that is not the main purpose. free short illustrated stories can be made viral with much more ease than long form books, therefore providing exposure for both writers and illustrators, building thier name recognition.
    This sounds like a variant of the 'publishing ladder' misconception.

    Novice writer: "I'll go with a vanity press/use a display site for my first book just to get my name out there - it'll improve my chances of being picked up by a real publisher!"

    *trots off to tell friends and family about vanity-pubbed book/display site*

    Novice writer's friends and family: "OMG! Brilliant! It deserves to be a bestseller!"

    Rest of world, totally unaware that the book/display site exists:

    *crickets*

    Honestly, this scheme has 'disaster in the making' written all over it. And I'm baffled by Google's involvement - what sort of help are they providing?

  13. #13
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epublishabook View Post
    This is exactly one of the problems of self-publishing printed books we are working on solving. With current technologies, you are right, and with current POD, the formatting of picture books is a nightmare for non-tech minds. So, yes, we are working towards automated typesetting for print.
    You can't automate typesetting. Not if you want to end up with a readable book.

    If it were possible, trade publishers wouldn't allocate thousands of pounds to their typesetting budget: they'd use the automated system.

    It seems to me that you don't understand much about typesetting; and I think we might have talked about this before. I might be wrong, but I'll see if I can find a link.

    Thanks you for that input. We do have a legal office working on the Terms of Use and the Terms of Collaboration, and I will pass them your remarks as any input might be of value.
    Had you and your colleagues at Ourboox considered these points, or is this the first time you've thought about them? If the latter, then you are clearly not qualified to run this scheme.

    If your "legal office" finds my comments helpful then I'm even more concerned. The points I raised are basic concerns which any appropriately qualified and experienced legal team should be aware of right from the start.

    You are using lawyers with specific publishing experience, aren't you? Not just your local high-street lawyers?

    Our site is in closed Beta as we only began working on the technical side of the plarform 3 months ago. At this stage, we are not yet in a development stage that allows for wide exposure, and we are looking only to reach a limited number of writers and illustrators to be part of the next round of closed Beta.
    You shouldn't be trying to reach any number of writers or illustrators until you've sorted out the legalities of what you're doing.

    If you've let anyone sign up now, knowing that you've not yet sorted out the legal side of this, you're on very shaky ground.

    I strongly advise you to put a hold on everything until you've worked out those contracts, and understand a bit more about how this is really going to work.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW epublishabook's Avatar
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    This sounds like a variant of the 'publishing ladder' misconception.

    Novice writer: "I'll go with a vanity press/use a display site for my first book just to get my name out there - it'll improve my chances of being picked up by a real publisher!"

    *trots off to tell friends and family about vanity-pubbed book/display site*

    Novice writer's friends and family: "OMG! Brilliant! It deserves to be a bestseller!"

    Rest of world, totally unaware that the book/display site exists:
    This sounds like Amazon as well :-)
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  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW epublishabook's Avatar
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    If your "legal office" finds my comments helpful then I'm even more concerned. The points I raised are basic concerns which any appropriately qualified and experienced legal team should be aware of right from the start.

    You are using lawyers with specific publishing experience, aren't you? Not just your local high-street lawyers?
    We are using a major lawyer's office with experience with publishing start-ups, meaning both in publishing and in digital issues. I am actually forwarding all comments to the founder of the start-up, legal and other, as any feedback is conducive to improvement of the platform.

    You shouldn't be trying to reach any number of writers or illustrators until you've sorted out the legalities of what you're doing.

    If you've let anyone sign up now, knowing that you've not yet sorted out the legal side of this, you're on very shaky ground.
    All current beta users are aware of that, and the initial beta user circle is very limited precisely for that reason. The second intake of closed beta users is pending partly to insure legalities are in place.

    People currently signing up are only agreeing to be invited to join at a later stage, they are under noobligation whatsoever, nor under any kind of risks.
    The Divided Island, an illustrated healing story for children in de midst of a divorce
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by epublishabook View Post
    This sounds like Amazon as well :-)
    Amazon is a bookseller with a self-publishing arm. Regardless of the quality of their contract, that is what they are. A person who self-publishes through amazon is responsible for their own marketing. A person who is trade published will be on amazon,as well as many other legitimate storefronts, and their publisher will, to a greater or lesser extent, provide marketing.

    Old Hack has been in publishing for a long time and knows a lot about it. The questions that are being raised are the same questions that are raised for every new business. If you set up a business like this, you should have asked them of yourself long before we asked them.

    Can I ask how, exactly, this works? Making something go viral isn't possible to do on order, it's up to the vagaries of the internet hive mind. How are you going to promote work? How are you going to get it in front of readers? How, in fact, is anyone going to know it exists?

    What's in this for readers? Because they're who you really need to reach to make this work. All the cool illustrations and books available in the world won't matter if people aren't reading them.

  17. #17
    Just the facts, please
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    I flipped through the one book by the founder's wife that I found. If that is the format concept, this will sink like a stone. It consists of text on the left page and photos plopped in on the right. Nothing else. Good picture books weave text and image together, not treating them as separate entities. If you are seeking to use that example to pull people in, it won't.

    Frankly, the quality of the writing on the site - the blog posts, not the sample book -
    is also a huge turn-off. The cutesy spelling of "boox" and "worx" also grate on my nerves.

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW epublishabook's Avatar
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    Hi Annilyn,

    This is an early stage start-up.
    Some technology is involved that will push visibility, but, as for all budding start-ups, there is no absolute guarantee of success and, at such an early stage, many avenue are being explored.
    The publishing world is in a stage of self-redefinition and, though experience with existing models is indeed invaluable, 5 years ago, pundits were adamants that ebooks would never be more than a short lived fad. I think you wil agree that they have been proven wrong.
    GoodReads was created by Otis Chandler, a software engineer alien to the world of publishing, who wanted to"to help people find and share books they love" ,yet, despite his unfamiliarity with the publishing/library world, GoodReads success is nothing short of stellar.
    Ourboox declared aim is to create a community of writers and publishers to create books together. The technology involved is developped by a sofware engineer, not a publisher. The founder is a children book writer, not a publisher. Current Beta users are writers and illustrators.
    The platform is meant to serve writers and illustrators, not publishers, so as the interests are different from those of a publisher, a lot of experience from publishing industry is not relevant.
    Does ourboox guarantee instant fame? No, nobody does.
    Is there a chance that it will fail? Yes, there is. As with all start-ups, the chance of failure is considerable.
    Is there a chance that it will make it? Yes, definitely.
    What are the advantages of participating at an early stage? As with all successful start-ups, early adopters get a head start.
    What are the risks? Worse case scenario, it closes down and writings and illustrations can continue to pursue fame from other avenues. As ourboox does not require exclusivity, the only risk is to invest some time.
    So, as risk is a little bit of time nil and potential for gain real, the choice is yours.
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  19. #19
    Stealing your twiglets. Anninyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epublishabook View Post
    Hi Annilyn,

    This is an early stage start-up.
    Some technology is involved that will push visibility, but, as for all budding start-ups, there is no absolute guarantee of success and, at such an early stage, many avenue are being explored.
    The publishing world is in a stage of self-redefinition and, though experience with existing models is indeed invaluable, 5 years ago, pundits were adamants that ebooks would never be more than a short lived fad. I think you wil agree that they have been proven wrong.
    GoodReads was created by Otis Chandler, a software engineer alien to the world of publishing, who wanted to"to help people find and share books they love" ,yet, despite his unfamiliarity with the publishing/library world, GoodReads success is nothing short of stellar.
    Ourboox declared aim is to create a community of writers and publishers to create books together. The technology involved is developped by a sofware engineer, not a publisher. The founder is a children book writer, not a publisher. Current Beta users are writers and illustrators.
    The platform is meant to serve writers and illustrators, not publishers, so as the interests are different from those of a publisher, a lot of experience from publishing industry is not relevant.
    Does ourboox guarantee instant fame? No, nobody does.
    Is there a chance that it will fail? Yes, there is. As with all start-ups, the chance of failure is considerable.
    Is there a chance that it will make it? Yes, definitely.
    What are the advantages of participating at an early stage? As with all successful start-ups, early adopters get a head start.
    What are the risks? Worse case scenario, it closes down and writings and illustrations can continue to pursue fame from other avenues. As ourboox does not require exclusivity, the only risk is to invest some time.
    So, as risk is a little bit of time nil and potential for gain real, the choice is yours.
    Actually, what writers risk with you is the loss of first rights, therefore making it even harder to get an agent or publisher interested in their work should you fail. First Publication rights are very valuable. You should know this before you set up. Your site will count as first publication, just like me posting a story on my blog would, and will close avenues for writers.

    Goodreads isn't a display site or a publisher, it's a social network where people review books and promote their already-published work.

    Can I ask *how* it serves writers and illustrators, exactly? Because the best service writers and illustrators can have is to get their work in front of the buying public. With that in mind, experience in publishing is valid and essential.

    'Writers and Publishers working together'? How are you different to every other display site that has promised the same and failed? I suggest you look through the index and click on everything labelled 'display site'. You will see the same promises and the same claims of being new and different. It's not new and different, it's been happening since the internet was a thing. It doesn't work. Publishers have enough work with the stuff already on their plates, they don't want to sign up to an online slush pile. Have you got any legitimate publishers on board yet?

    I already invest a lot of time and risk for the hope of real gain. It's called the submissions process and it's worked fine for me so far. My first published short story, on a small magazine site, can be read below. According to the owners of the site who published it, around 500-1000 people read it - or at least clicked on it. Plus, they paid me for it. I have no name, no recognition, no fame at all. All I did was write it, then email them asking if they were interested.

    I'm not adverse to the new and different, but I do like for the people behind it to be aware of the pitfalls from the people who have travelled the roads before, and for people to be aware of exactly what they are asking authors and publishers to risk.

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW epublishabook's Avatar
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    Thank you for your advice on looking up "display sites" on AW. I read this thread in extenso and they address pretty much all the issues mentionned in this current thread.
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  21. #21
    Just the facts, please
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    Ourboox declared aim is to create a community of writers and publishers to create books together.
    Bluntly:

    As an author, I don't want to join yet another community. I want to sell books. If you're not going to help me do that, this is a waste of my time.

  22. #22
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JournoWriter View Post
    Frankly, the quality of the writing on the site - the blog posts, not the sample book -
    is also a huge turn-off. The cutesy spelling of "boox" and "worx" also grate on my nerves.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by epublishabook View Post
    Hi Annilyn,
    I'm not Annilyn, but I'm going to respond to this.

    This is an early stage start-up.
    Some technology is involved that will push visibility, but, as for all budding start-ups, there is no absolute guarantee of success and, at such an early stage, many avenue are being explored.
    Many other display sites have arrived with claims of being able to make writers' work more visible, but none have succeeded in any significant degree. If you have the technology to do this you're onto a winner. How is it that you've stumbled across the secret?

    The publishing world is in a stage of self-redefinition and, though experience with existing models is indeed invaluable,
    I've worked in publishing for nearly thirty years now and in all that time it's been in a state of change. And while you might be trying to discount the importance of experience with existing models there, I'm convinced that it's better than no experience at all.

    What experience of trade publishing do you have?

    5 years ago, pundits were adamants that ebooks would never be more than a short lived fad. I think you wil agree that they have been proven wrong.
    Then you think wrong (you spell wrong, too--just a heads-up).

    Pundits (whoever they are) might have said five years ago that ebooks were a short-lived fad, but trade publishing has been serious about them for a long time now. Some of the biggest trade publishers have been publishing interactive e-books since the 1990s; I was working on something similar in the late 1980s.

    GoodReads was created by Otis Chandler, a software engineer alien to the world of publishing, who wanted to"to help people find and share books they love" ,yet, despite his unfamiliarity with the publishing/library world, GoodReads success is nothing short of stellar.
    GoodReads was primarily aimed at readers: it's not a display site or a publishing service, so it has very little to do with the site you're promoting here, and to introduce it like this is akin to running around the forums slapping everyone about with a soggy red herring.

    Ourboox declared aim is to create a community of writers and publishers to create books together. The technology involved is developped by a sofware engineer, not a publisher. The founder is a children book writer, not a publisher. Current Beta users are writers and illustrators.
    So now Ourboox is a community as well as a publisher and a promotional tool? Blimey. It must be like the Tardis in there.

    The platform is meant to serve writers and illustrators, not publishers, so as the interests are different from those of a publisher, a lot of experience from publishing industry is not relevant.
    But in a previous post you said that Ourboox was a publisher. If that's the case, you are going to need to know about publishing. And yet you don't.

    Does ourboox guarantee instant fame? No, nobody does.
    Is there a chance that it will fail? Yes, there is.
    There's more than a chance, in my view.

    If it were only the founders of Ourboox who would suffer in the event of its failure I wouldn't give two hoots about it: but that failure is likely to take with it all the work that's been put up there. You're going to cost all sorts of writers a lot of heartache. Are you ok with that?

    As with all start-ups, the chance of failure is considerable.
    Is there a chance that it will make it? Yes, definitely.
    It depends how you define "making it". I'm focusing mostly on how this will affect the writers and artists who work with the site; you seem to be mostly concerned with the people who have founded Ourboox.

    What are the advantages of participating at an early stage? As with all successful start-ups, early adopters get a head start.
    A head start on a site with very little profile, run by people with no history of writing success, no idea about publishing and no clue what they're doing.

    What are the risks? Worse case scenario, it closes down
    This is not the worst-case scenario. As I've said before, the writers and illustrators who post their work on your site might end up losing it all. No matter how your legal team writes the contract, if Ourboox ends up owing money to anyone, it's not only possible but probable that the work it contains could be held hostage until those debts are settled: and if they're not, those works will be gone for good.

    Even if that doesn't happen, the first rights to all the works concerned will be gone which can mean that no other publishers will consider them. Which again results in those authors and artists losing their work.

    and writings and illustrations can continue to pursue fame from other avenues.
    If you're going to set up a site for writers at least write coherently. This makes you look amateurish. And "fame"? Really? Do you think that's what creative endeavours are about?

    As ourboox does not require exclusivity, the only risk is to invest some time.
    So, as risk is a little bit of time nil and potential for gain real, the choice is yours.
    As I've already pointed out, this is a load of bunkum. Please stop making claims which are untrue.

    Earlier you wrote that you consider an understanding of publishing to be irrelevant in these changing times. Perhaps if you had some of that irrelevant understanding you'd realise how many errors you're making.

    Ourboox is not a good idea. It has great potential for harm, and little potential for success. Please reconsider before you go any further.
    Last edited by Old Hack; 11-11-2013 at 11:14 PM.

  23. #23
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    It sounds and looks like you're primarily interested in illustrated picture books, with minimal text.

    This concept as an online create-your-own business is already matured in ways you can't possibly match. To wit:

    Kodak
    Apple
    Cafe Press
    Zazzle
    Shutterfly
    Staples

    And others have been successfully having users design, upload, create, write, and set the text style and type for books of this sort for better than ten years. They produce a credible product at a surprisingly affordable price in a number of sizes, formats and bindings.

    Your corner pharmacy/drug store/chemist shop likely has a kiosk in store that can create the .pdf file for a variety of photo books.

    In Japan you can set up the book at a kiosk and come back an hour later and it's printed.

    I suggest, strongly, that you contemplate your niche.

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  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    message from ourboox founder

    Hello, everyone, my name is Mel Rosenberg and i am one of the two founders of ourboox.com which is still in a very early stage. That is why I am very grateful for all of the comments, even the ones that might appear derogatory are actually very useful to me.

    I have had a long career as a university professor (publishing many books and articles, including in Scientific American), inventor (second bestselling mouthrinse in the UK), and alongside the successes in my career, I have also failed umpteen times. But trying new things is in my nature, and once in a while I do get it right (especially when I listen to others).

    So I am reaching out to you first to apologize on behalf of Patricia, who may have been too eager in her enthusiasm.

    We are indeed holding a bookathon/conference event on December 12th at campus TLV which Google runs, but Google is in no way connected to ourboox.
    Secondly, ourboox is not for authors who have successful publishing deals, or illustrators who currently make a living working with publishers, but rather for the other >99% of us (myself included) who want to find illustrators who are willing to join forces and e-publish together (and save thousands of dollars in the process).

    Until recently I was editor-in-chief of a scientific journal, so I have some idea of how publishing works. Having said that, I have much to learn from writers and illustrators at all levels. That is why I want to thank you all again for your input, and promise to consider all the suggestions, in whatever context they were given.

    Finally, as someone who left Canada at the age of seventeen, I know that my English is not perfect. But I am delighted when corrected!
    Last edited by Mel Rosenberg; 11-20-2013 at 05:41 PM. Reason: editing is always a good idea

  25. #25
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Rosenberg View Post
    Secondly, ourboox is not for authors who have successful publishing deals, or illustrators who currently make a living working with publishers, but rather for the other >99% of us (myself included) who want to find illustrators who are willing to join forces and e-publish together (and save thousands of dollars in the process).
    Hello Mel - thank you for dropping by.

    I have been editing picture books for children for about a decade now, for several major publishing houses. What bothers me about the model you are proposing is that the thousands of dollars of savings would seem to be saved mainly by nobody getting paid for their work up front.

    If I commission an illustrator to work on a picture book, a couple of thousand dollars (against a royalty) is about the minimum I would expect to pay. This goes even for people straight out of art college. Illustrating a picture book takes a long time and a lot of work, and artists need to eat. It's also somewhat rare for a book to show up on my desk for consideration with all the art in place - you get one or two worked-up pieces and the rest in rough or dummy form - and that's because nobody wants to do 12 spreads of colour a/w/ without any cash on the barrelhead.

    Basically, I have my doubts that the work you'll see as a result of online dating between writers and illustrators is going to be (a) prolific (b) of marketable quality. (And let's not forget that writers and artists may not be the best judges of the best fit for their work.)

    Until recently I was editor-in-chief of a scientific journal, so I have some idea of how publishing works. Having said that, I have much to learn from writers and illustrators at all levels. That is why I want to thank you all again for your input, and promise to consider all the suggestions, in whatever context they were given.
    This attitude does you a lot of credit; I do want to just reiterate though that no publishing could be less like picture book publishing than scientific journal publishing. They're different enough from each other that they're barely in the same neighbourhood.

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