WEbook

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WEbook
WEbook Logo
Web address http://www.webook.com
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Online social publishing
Registration Free
Created by Itai Kohavi
Launched April 2008
Current status Online

WEbook (pronounced "we book") is an online literary community [1] geared towards discovering new writers and helping them on their path to publication. It brings together writers, readers, and almost 80 literary agents, for the purpose of finding new talent, and helping them get published.[2]

Initially the vision of Israeli entrepreneur, Itai Kohavi, WEbook launched in April 2008, with corporate offices based in New York City.

After a brief hiatus, on April 5, 2013, new owners re-opened WEbook to the public with a new publishing platform, where readers choose the stories they want to read and help get them published. WEbook.com claims to have been the first online community devoted to discovering new authors and uniting readers, writers and literary agents with unpublished manuscripts. Its latest move marks "a profound change of direction" for the website, for it sees WEbook become a publisher, enabling its readers to call the shots, finding and publishing books from within the WEbook community

Site description[edit]

WEbook aims to retain the creative spirit of independent publishing and to match it with the invaluable talent-spotting prowess of a traditional publisher, fuelled by the passions of an engaged social community. Through its free Page to Fame programme,[3] the decision-making is transferred to the WEbook audience, who will judge a book's quality and its commercial potential. If WEbook members read and rave about a particular book in the raw, it has a chance of being successful once published.

Readers who sign up to Page to Fame are given book openings, short stories, essays, poems and blog posts to read, and are able to choose their preferred genre so that an author's material is always matched with its target market. Readers then rate each written work on a five-point scale, with the ratings determining the work's progression to the next commissioning stage. Each time a book is elevated, a publishing professional will review the manuscript. The programme is "fair and anonymous" - a reader is unable to search for a specific work or author, preventing biased voting. Those readers who review in high volume will be promoted to Top Scouts and Expert Raters. After five rounds of intensive reviewing, the most popular texts will be published by WEbook, which provides a full-service publishing process with 85% royalties. WEbooks, as they are known, are available from WEbook's own online store,[4] powered by the Albury BookShelf,[5] both as digital downloads or printed editions. WEbooks are also available through all conventional booksellers.

There are now more than 140,000 registered users, 70% in the US and 20% in the UK. There are no subscription fees, and all services are free. "We have no intention of trying to up-sell services to the active user base - we don't think they'd appreciate it, nor do they feel they need it." [6]

WEbook also helps writers through AgentInbox, a free electronic author-to-literary agent query service. Authors are matched with literary agents who are interested in their manuscript's genre.[7]

History[edit]

WEbook started as a collaborative book publisher. WEbook published, 101 Things Every Man Should Know How To Do.[8] 101 Things was written by 28 different authors and greenlit for publication by the WEbook community.[9] The how-to guide includes entries such as how to grow a beard, bribing the cable guy and looking good in a Speedo. It is currently being sold through online booksellers, as well as its own site.

Also, under the heading of Jan 20 2009: True Stories, Real People, One Day, WEbook collected stories about Inauguration Day 2009.[10] The book, which included entries from 58 authors, launched on President's Day 2009 through the WEbook website and online booksellers. All profits from sales benefited 826 National, a nonprofit tutoring writing and publishing organization.[11]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

In April 2008, WEbook was named one of the best online spots for writers to work together in Washington Business Journal[12]

In October 2008, WEbook was profiled by E-Commerce Times as a "startup to watch"[13]

In October 2008, WEbook was named one of the first publishers specializing in the online publishing genre by Forbes.com[14]

In March 2009, WEbook was named among the best sites on the World Wide Web on BBC News[15]

In August 2010, WEbook was named Finalist in Lead411's New York City Hot 125[16]

Funding[edit]

Founded in February 2007, WEbook received a Series A round of "between $1 million and $5 million" from Greylock Israel Partners—an early investor of Facebook, Digg and DoubleClick[17]—in June 2007. One of the company's six angel investors included ICQ co-founder Yair Goldfinger, who is now a WEbook board member.[18] In September, 2008 WEbook raised $5 million in funding. The round was led by WEbook’s new investor, Vertex Venture Capital and its existing backer, Greylock Partners Israel. The round also included investments from eight unnamed angel investors.[19]

References[edit]

External links[edit]