I learned about Libboo while attending Boston Startup School this past summer, and immediately fell in love with the product. I studied Creative Writing with an emphasis on publishing in college, and am a lifelong lover of books, so Libboo made immediate sense to me. I couldn’t believe my luck when the people at Libboo were just as awesome as the product itself!
While it was clear that Team Libboo was a close-knit family, they immediately accepted me and welcomed me into all of their traditions and inside jokes. When they asked me to come and do a “test week” working on Libboo, I said yes without hesitation. By Wednesday of the test week, I had a job offer. By Friday I had officially accepted!
My role at Libboo has been and will continue to be a phenomenal learning experience. I joined the team at a very exciting but very stressful time and was immediately given the task of redesigning the entire website, testing it, and making changes based on user feedback, all within a couple weeks. At the same time, I was helping with business development efforts and user acquisition, creating infographics and ads, and obsessively checking and updating Libboo’s Twitter and Facebook pages. It sounds insane, but I LOVED it. I remember one night during one of our “burn weeks,” I glanced at the clock and saw that it was 10:47pm. I was still at work, but I didn’t even care because I was so excited by what I was working on. That’s when I knew 100% that I had made the right choice in joining Team Libboo.
Since then, I’ve continued to wear about 50 hats and be involved in all aspects of Libboo. As half of Team HayKatz (Katherine and I — the unstoppable marketing force!), I’ve churned out weekly infographics and promotional materials, written and edited press releases that are now plastering the Internet (wahooo!), started the Buzzer Adventures comic strip, created a media kit, and done a revamp of the entirety of the content on the Libboo website. I have also designed, redesigned, and designed again the Libboo website, created cartoon versions of the entire team (including Fernando, your helpful guide through Libboo!), led friends and new acquaintances through user testing, and incessantly bothered Richard, who I have not yet met in person, with tweaks to the site. It’s been busy, but it has been an adventure, and I could not be prouder of the success of the Libboo pilot thus far.
Every day, I am still excited to go to work and be a part of such an exceptional team working on a product that, in my probably-biased-but-still-meaningful opinion, is going to change the publishing industry. It’s rare that a recent college grad is able to find a job where they see every minute the impact they are making, and at Libboo, I know that what I do is important. I wholeheartedly believe that Libboo is going to be BIG and I am so happy to be a part of it.
Minister of Creative Content
Now that our pilot has launched, it’s time for the second issue of Buzzer Adventures–our buzzer-centric comic strip. This week, Buzzer Man shows you how to buzz responsibly.
We’ll be posting a new issue of Buzzer Adventures every two weeks, and we want you to send us your ideas! What do you want the next adventure to be?
Tweet your ideas to @Buzzer_Man, leave us a comment on this post, or on our Facebook page. We’ll pick the winning idea next Friday (October 5th). If we pick your idea, we’ll turn it into a Buzzer Adventures comic strip and include a cartoon version of you!
Missed the first installment of Buzzer Adventures? You can check it out here.
My name is Chris Howard and I started with Libboo when Libboo started with me – well – technically me and Richard, but who’s checking
Back in late 2007, myself and my good friend Richard Hawthorn pondered what would happen to authors if digital books ever became as successful as digital music. Not only that, a number of our closest friends and family are aspiring and talented authors who we knew weren’t considering writing as a career simply because it’s too much like a lottery. For fun, we made a (really bad) website called Libboo.com for our friends and family to come together and collaborate on their ebooks.
Fast forward four years, several jobs, getting married, and a lot of indecision – I happened upon an inspirational set of lectures from Boston local legend, John Landry, while working at MIT. John was infectious – a moody-looking man with booming laughs and a smile-worn face inspired a room of “sloanies” to think that success isn’t driven by process and protocol, but by passion and a thirst for change. John’s lectures brought me back to revisit Libboo but from a totally different perspective–one of using my passion and thirst for change to help those close to me be discovered for their talents. Libboo–as we know it–was born and the awesome Richard was as eager and willing to sacrifice well-paid jobs as I was.
That was 18 months ago. Since then, I have learned (I hope) to be humble, appreciate change, and test the limits of my work-life balance. I have never been so proud yet so intimidated by such a group of people as Team Libboo – they are sharp, fast, witty, and very hard to talk down. That is why we are going to win and help talented people be discovered in crowded places.
We have some more new features and changes to the site to show you guys this week. Most awesomely, you can now upload Word documents to our editor! To see what else is new, you can watch this video walkthrough of all the changes that we deployed on Wednesday:
More new stuff coming next week!
We’ve got a new front page!
We’ve been doing some super secret work at Libboo HQ to make the site even awesomer, and we’ve finally got some stuff to show you. First off, we’ve got a new snazzy-looking front page, complete with virtual bookshelf:
We’ve also got a few new features for authors and promoters. As an author, you can now see who your best promoters are, instead of only being able to see who’s promoting a specific Libbook.
Once you click “See All,” you get a list view of all of the people that are promoting your Libbooks and how well they’re doing.
As a promoter, you now have the ability to see how many more hits you need on a particular Libbook before receiving a badge.
-Libboo is no longer taking 15% of the royalties you receive from storefronts such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Our aim has always been to help authors, and as such, we’ve decided to lower this to 5%, and will soon update our pricing page to reflect this change.
-You can now add a link to your site on your bio. We think this will be especially great for illustrators, since now they can link to their online portfolios and show off their skillz.
-Improvements to the book discovery page are coming soon!
Libboo started in 2009 as a simple pet-project by friends to allow their friends to create written content online together. 2011 however proved to Team Libboo that Libboo can be so much more.
Throughout the last 12 months, Libboo has won various innovation competitions, gained the exposure of the world’s leading press, created works with bestselling authors, and established itself as a forerunner in the new digital publishing age. However these next 12 months are going to be truly exciting and we can finally reveal what all our hard work has been for:
I am proud and honored to announce the launch of Libboo Team Publishing.
Team Publishing by Libboo is a world-first. We have dabbled and experimented these last few months to create a mechanism which will take the best out of the traditional publishing model and combine that with the efficiency of the self-publishing model. It is clear self-publishing is here to stay and the access it brings to authors is unquestionable. However self-publishing lacks the ability to find talent, gain exposure – and once you have self-published – managing royalties and copyright between many storefronts and your team members can be a nightmare. These were the benefits of the traditional model – and these are the benefits we have introduced into Team Publishing. Now you can create content in teams, market it in teams, and sell your work via the major online storefronts at the click of a button. Libboo does all the dirty work letting you and your team focus on creating awesome writing, and then sharing it once it’s complete.
We hope you find our new approach engaging, and I personally am incredible grateful of our team here at Team Libboo – Richard, Fernando, Katherine, Po, Dan, and Joey – for guiding Libboo to what it is now becoming.
Yours sincerely and a happy new year,
As September 1st rolls in, the new month says goodbye to the old and hello to the new! Today’s blog is a very special one. We have two major events happening at Libboo:
The Publishing of ‘Paradox’
Welcome to the new, better than ever version 2.0! Visit www.libboo.com to discover the new Libboo – shinier than ever, with new features and easier to use. Here are a few things that you will find:
- An updated cleaner interface, streamlining the whole process of reading, writing and networking.
- A faster site, using a more efficient and streamlined codebase.
- Improved searching for Books and Users
- Event filtering, allowing you to quickly search though and filter a list of books/users/reviews/comments etc, etc…
- Improved writing and versioning when you are working on a Libbook with other team members.
- Updated social links, making it easier to post your favourite Libbook to Facebook, Twitter etc…
- The addition of a score matrix, letting you see exactly what you are successful at and what you may want to focus more on.
- A dramatically improved help system with an updated set of information aimed at getting you started on your Libbook project, reading and networking in no-time.
We are constantly looking to improve – always aiming at bringing you a better experience. Click on the ‘feedback’ button and be part of our design innovation team and help shape the future of Libboo. We believe in the power of community!
IT’S TIME TO PUBLISH!
September 1st marks the official end of Phase II – With many writing teams working on their version of Paradox, it is time to click the ‘publish’ button. We thank EVERYONE who has read, written and networked to help make this book a reality. The world’s first ‘globally-written’ murder-mystery novel.
Earlier this year, Libboo teamed up with best-selling author Richard Wiseman -who provided the first chapter of this murder-mystery. And then the adventure began! We had hundreds of writers creating their one storyline, making a ‘writing-tree’ which thousands of of people read and interacted with. And then began phase II. Our algorith called KEBL – produced the best possible path for a story based on how people interacted, read and wrote along the ‘writing-tree’.
During the summer, various teams worked and edited their version of PARADOX. And today is the day to publish. We invite you to read, interact with the teams and promote your favorite version Keep an eye out as you navigate the new Libboo – Read and promote your favorite version of
In October 2011 – we will announce the winning version. All proceeds from this project will benefit the:
A UK based non-profit promoting literacy around the globe.
A special thanks to all the writing teams who worked hard to make Paradox a reality. Congratulations!!
And remember, get it written at Libboo.com | now v2.0!!
Be sure to follow our weekly blogs, bringing you information and news about writing, tips for authors and community info. You can also follow us on www.facebook.com/libboo and on www.twitter.com/libboo
As we were humming along, working on our podcast #7; I peered out the 14th floor window and saw this amazing view of the city of Boston. The glow of the city lights against the evening sky gave that feeling of adventure and excitement!
Our week’s adventure included a book project launch, a guest blog, one podcast, filming videos and the MassChallenge Pitchfest 2011.
We are including interviews and news reports in our podcasts along with the usual banter that Chris and Fernando are very good at. On the social media front, we are bringing a lot of relevant content for our community of writers, editors, illustrators, etc, through our twitter feed and Facebook page. And we always look forward to your suggestions and feedback!
I submitted my first invited blog – Wow! We are definitely getting the ‘word’ out about all the amazing things happening in our community. So, I will post a link to the invited blog as soon as its out.
And speaking of new adventures – we launched our MassChallenge book project called ‘The Incubator Project‘ – a crowd-sourced book about the life and evolution of start-up companies within the MassChallenge program. We invited the MC finalist teams to help us by joining Libboo and write about their experience as entrepreneurs. But wait, there is twist! In this book, the companies are the main characters, telling their story as they evolve and grow through the MassChallenge program. So a big THANK YOU goes out to all the 2011 MC Teams who are joining in on this literary adventure! So even at MassChallenge, we are getting written, at Libboo.com
Be sure to follow our ‘News from the Cube’ every week at www.libboo.com/blog!
You can follow our adventures on www.twitter.com/libboo and get the latest content, including writing tips and advice at www.facebook.com/libboo.
Today we launched the beta version of libboo.com. Building on the work we did for the alpha, we added these new features…
Roles and Professions – On Libboo you can now specify what it is you enjoy doing most. Options range from being an Editor to being a Promoter. It is a good idea to set your Roles and Professions so others may find you more easily. It’s also an excellent way of managing your team when writing a Libbook – ensuring you have a good balance of collaborators with different and appropriate skill sets to what it is you wish to create.
Ask Libboo – Here is your chance to help others – by asking new questions that are yet unanswered or answering others to help those in need. You can ask anything on Libboo! From “What is Libboo?” to “Who am I?” – rest assured that any question can be answered and you as a user of Libboo can judge with answers are better than others.
Stickers – We are incredibly excited about Stickers! Stickers are small applications that sit, at all times, to the right of your screen whenever you are on Libboo. You can add as many stickers as you like and Libboo will remember your favourite stickers to make sure they are there for you next time.
Tasks – You can now create tasks for yourselves and others when writing a Libbook. If you are the Editor, you can set tasks to specific users whereas if you are not, you can set tasks for yourself. However every single task that is made can be seen by everybody so you can all chat about them on your Libbook’s Conversation page.
Promotions – You can now select your favourite Libbooks and Promote them on your own profile! You can literally add any Libbook, whether it’s yours or not, whereby you are given your own unique link to spread around the internet. Whenever somebody reads a Libbook by using your link, you get credited with a ‘hit’! The more ‘hits’ you get, the more people will want you as their Promoter!
eBooks – Every single Libbook that is created on Libboo can now be downloaded in the open eBook format (epub). This format is recognised by nearly all e-readers and software for computers. It is the way forward for eBooks and Libboo.com is proud to be using the format.
We hope you like them!
Today, after 18 months of work, we Launched the alpha version of our site.
It’s a private alpha, so we’re only inviting a select few, but in time we’ll be inviting more, until we launch the beta, when everyone can play.
For the alpha users – Let us know what you think, what to improve, what you like, and what you don’t…