The odds of becoming a famous, wealthy children’s book writer are very close to zero. According to my calculations, less than one in a thousand writers get a bona fide publishing deal, and only ten percent of all published books sell thousands of copies. The publishers I am currently talking to in Israel do not publish ANY new children’s books of first-time authors.
So, as writers we have three options. The first is to self-publish and print our own books. This is a lousy option, you only end up with a garage full of books, bookstores will not even stock them and you lose thousands of dollars in content editing, copy editing, illustration and cover design.
The second option of self-publishing on Amazon/Kindle is also fraught with difficulties. If you can master the difficulties in uploading an illustrated manuscript to Kindle (I cannot), and you expect to quickly recoup the thousands of dollars you have spent on content editing, copy editing, illustration and cover design, please think again. According to Guy Kawasaki in APE, 90% of books uploaded as e-books on Amazon sell less than 50 copies (a net income of 100 dollars or less). And because the books are DRM (digitally rights managed), no one is going to know about them, except the people you post to.
In order to help other writers and illustrators overcome these problems, we decided to develop a platform and community with the following goals in mind:
Simplest Platform for picture e-books.
Our platform for creating and sharing e-books allows you to make a beautiful picture book in a matter of minutes, adding text, jpeg, pnd, gif. You can also embed videos, maps, sound, games and much more. Alternatively you can upload a pdf document to the library in a matter of seconds.
The platform was created by Ran Shternin who is my wonderful co-founder and CTO.
Search Engine Friendly
The website is HTML5 – based, which means that search engines are able to read every word of every book and categorize every picture. Thus every additional book (there are now over 100,000) promote every other book. If you find this hard to believe, so do we, but check this out: many of our titles and authors are already on the first page of search.
My wife and I funded the project from royalties I received from the mouthwash. Ourboox is basically free. You can create, share and promote as many books as you like.
The books are also free to read online.
Soon we will be offering premium services for our aspiring authors, for the ridiculous amount of $1 per month. This will help us develop new features for our community.