A guest post by Adam Charles, Writer and Director of the excellent iWriteReadRate.

iWrite (© jeffrey james pacres http://www.flickr.com/photos/jjpacres)

By way of introduction, iWriteReadRate.com is primarily an ebook website for writer’s work. 

We are developing a dynamic, democratic, open and supportive community for writers and authors to receive valuable ratings and reviews to enable them to prove and improve their writing.  Whether you’re a writer or a reader looking for new stories, we believe there will be something on our site for you. Writers upload their work and our site automatically converts them into ebooks.

I liken my need to build the website to that of being a natural writer.  I don’t mean that it all came completely organically; rather that you simply cannot stop yourself from doing it.  It is a compulsion, a need, a desire as strong as any can be.  Yes, the challenge is big and yes it will be bumpy along the way, but as every writer knows the drive takes over and the act of creativity becomes all that matters. This is what it was like in the early stages of iWriteReadRate. For more on my person motivations read my post: The Story of iWriteReadRate.

Our new ebook website allows writers to upload, receive feedback, interact, promote and sell their work from a central location.  We have a number of Social

iRead (© H. Kopp-Delaney http://www.koppdelaney.de/koppdelaney.de/Willkommen.html)

Network integration features built-in from the very beginning. Further to this they’ll receive up to 70% of the cover price they set when someone downloads their ebook.

As aspiring authors and avid readers ourselves we’ve thought hard about what features we’d want from our site, and have packed as many in from the beginning as we can.

With an initial four page brief, a lot of enthusiasm, and buckets of hope we set out building our website over a year ago. I’m delighted to say that we launched our pre-registration site in December 2010 and started to build our internet presence. 

Pressing the button to upload the pre-registration site was tumultuous.  We weren’t far into the physical site build at that point. By launching this we were all committing and dedicating ourselves to see this project through to completion. It was a very exciting moment in the development of the website, and personally a very inspiring part of the process.

iRate (© The Ticket Collector http://www.flickr.com/photos/conversely/)

During the course of building the site and over the subsequent months we’ve had great uptake and connected with a myriad of amazing people through our growing social networks.  We spread our time across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and try our best to be interactive and supportive with our followers.  Come visit our social networks to say hello!

In a lot ways what we’ve done from scratch with the website is very much like being a new author as they start out to build their profile and platform.

We’ve had the pleasure of meeting many fantastic people as well as interviewing a people with industry knowledge – tapping into their expertise for the benefit of our members. These have included the Editorial Director of 40kBooks, the founder of US based Novel Publicity, and the Director of Cornerstones Literary Consultancy.  We’re hoping to continue connecting with publishing insiders so that they can share their wisdom with us and our members in the future. For more, check out: Competition, Writing Advice, Interviews & Writer Spotlights.

At the end of April we opened for our Beta Phase.  This involved giving access to our pre-registered members to allow them to upload their work and help us test the site in a live environment. It was a little nerve racking for us, but it worked out well.

When we first unboxed the Beta in all its shiny glory I had to remind myself to breathe.  From a drawing and a few notes it had now transformed itself into something physical, ‘virtually’ alive. It might be obvious that I’m not a parent, but this almost felt like I imagine it would feel during those first few moments when you bring your first child screaming into the big bad world: exciting, challenging, and slightly scary that you’re now partially responsible for this entity as it grows and develops.

It is indeed an exciting time to be a writer and a reader, with a generational shift happening all around us.  It’s possible to say that the changes in writing, publishing, and consuming literature are the most significant since the invention of the printing press all those hundreds of years ago.  iWriteReadRate is all about embracing The eBook Revolution and helping to support writers through their journey and in building their platform. 

We are confident that in today’s age of instant communication – through the internet – that most well written, well edited, and well presented work will find an enthusiastic audience somewhere; it’s just a matter of finding them. It’s been a lot of work to get to this point, and now the fun really begins. I hope you can join me on this journey which I hope will develop into a global writing community that gives feedback on work while selling your stories as ebooks. 

This is just the beginning for us, and there’s some fantastic enhancements to the site just around the corner.

For more information visit us: iWriteReadRate website (Click Beta Site). 
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