Books are a wonderful thing, but the way they’re created and consumed has changed very little over the decades. A lone author sits down, writes his opus and people queue up to buy it. Or not. Recently, though, there have been attempts to change this paradigm, such as authors ‘auctioning’ off their work before they start writing, and of course e-books have created all sorts of new opportunities for more interesting collaborations.
The new Foboko online service brings together authors and readers in an innovative and very interesting collaboration in order to deliver better results and more passionate fans. The service gives authors a platform which provides writing and publishing tools and also links them to a community of passionate readers who can offer feedback and advice on their work. Kind of like a crowdsourced writing process.
Now this may sound like a recipe for disaster (death by committee?) but the really interesting part is the fact that the whole thing is tailor made for new writers who can learn their craft, share their books for free and then hopefully move on to make a living out of it, if they discover they have the talent. The direct interaction between the reader community and the authors is also very cool, and definitely something that could enhance a writer’s skills as they try new genres or discover their best style.
Finished e-books are available in a number of different formats, including PDF, HTML, text and Kindle, although since the service is in its early days, most are simply PDF files available for free download. There’s a lot to like about this concept, and the execution of the community tools and social aspects looks to be first rate. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, but were intimidated by the process, or if you’ve ever wanted to have a closer relationship with a writer you like, this could be the place you’ve been waiting for.