What happens if you map the path from wanting to write to becoming a self-published author, throw in a bit of the Groupon idea, and then build a website for authors? You get Writers Boon, a one-stop guide and marketplace for indie authors trying to find their way through the maze of writing, revising, editing and publishing a book.
Carol Vorvain, the woman behind the project, is an author and attorney who lives in Australia. Her own books are about life and living joyfully and adventurously. You can find them on her website http://carolvorvain.com or on Amazon.
Frustrated with the difficult and confusing process of self-publishing a book, she decided to put together a website of resources for authors and organize it according to the steps an author must go through to write and publish. She spent three years getting the site ready to launch and had it built on Oracle, the world’s leading database solution, so it is stable and easy to use. Boon means something that is helpful or beneficial, so Writers Boon means something that will help writers.
Let’s take a look at how Writers Boon is organized and at what it offers the indie author.
Writers Boon is organized according to the steps an author takes from wanting to write through publishing and marketing a book. The first section is Get Organized. To view everything in it, you will first need to register with the site, which takes only a minute and is free of charge. If you do not register, then you can see only some of the resources. Once you are registered, click on any link on the homepage. This will open the link and simultaneously reveal the website’s organization in the left sidebar.
The Get Organized section includes information on setting up an author website, accounting for writers, crowdfunding and other topics that you won’t need until you have actually written something. However, if you are ready for this kind of organizing, then it’s all good to know.
Writing Resources is the next section. It covers coaches, retreats, software, books on writing, etc. This is where you will find help doing the writing of your book. You will also find editorial services, here, under Editors & Editing. This is a good place to look for discounts. The site defaults to listing discounted services at the top of any section. A 15% discount seems to be standard, though some go higher. When I asked Carol about the discount, she said it actually works well for both the author and the editor. Evidently, some marketplaces for authors charge both the author and the editor a commission, whereas Writers Boon charges neither. So, not only do you save money, but your editor will still get much the same payment she would have received had she charged her full price through another marketplace.
Here’s an example from Carol:
Let’s say I am an author looking for an editor. Let’s assume one of the editors I found on Reedsy said it will cost me $1000. If I go ahead with it, on Reedsy I will pay $1100 ( $1000 plus their commission fee, which is 10%.) The editors will also pay a 10% commission fee, so in the end they will get $1000 minus 10%.
On Writers Boon, rather than paying $1100 I’ll be paying $850. That’s because the editors on our platform in return to promote their services for free are required to offer authors a minimum of 15% savings. As an author I would save a minimum of $250.
Also, as opposed to other marketplaces, we also do not charge any membership fee. Writers Boon and access to all its features is entirely free for the authors.
Publishing Resources covers everything from book and cover design through indexing and ISBNs, as well as links to a publishing course and to books on publishing.
Marketing and PR includes getting your book reviewed, promoting it through various services, running an author’s blog, etc. It provides help with SEO, social media marketing and other musts that can be difficult for many authors.
Book Selling Resources covers printing (both print and ebook) and distribution, including foreign rights.
Writers Boon also includes three discoverability features that are unique and free.
Quozimus—think of a Pinterest for book quotes. Why book quotes? Because they grab the eye and draw readers better than reviews, excerpts, and covers. Reviews and excerpts are great, but they take time to read, and your potential readers may not have time. Covers are important, but they don’t carry the impact of a few well-chosen lines of text from your book. All you, the author, has to supply is the quote, and Quozimus turns it into a card in a
InBookish—author interviews on the Writers Boon site. There’s no charge. You just sign up.
Lastly, Writers Boon includes extensive information on book wholesalers, including those with ties to the library market. Along with the usual US companies, there are others that specialize in the Australian market. The extensive list is here. There is also an article on providing CIP information by a librarian who can create it for you, here. (If you don’t know what CIP means, read the article. If you are an author and want to sell printed books to libraries, it’s something you need to have done for you. If you are a librarian and need a local author to get CIP data so you can catalog his or her book, here is a resource.)
I like the idea behind Writers Boon. Anything to help indie authors get organized and go through the steps of self-publishing without getting overwhelmed and giving up has to be valuable. I also like the discounts that Writers Boon offers. When people set out to write a book, they don’t expect to have to pay to publish it. It’s great to see a resource that discounts rather than marks up.
A good site both for independent authors and for librarians trying to understand the self-publishing process.