Frequently Asked Questions

WEbook 101

Getting Started

WEbook Projects

WEbook People

Getting Published

The Legal Stuff

This is an awesome FAQ - but what if I have more questions? Feel free to drop us a note at info [at] WEbook [dot] com.

What is WEbook?

WEbook is the place on the Web for writers, readers, and thinkers who are interested in the written word in all formats and genres. The WEbook community reads and rates member-submitted work, helping to choose, shape, and develop future literary stars— and in the process, transform the publishing world!

There are as many paths to publication as there are writers, and WE provide tools to make the journey easier for everyone.

Our community of readers and writers is here to help improve the writing of aspiring authors, share feedback and have fun. So, whether your goal is to find like-minded writers, share your story, critique the Next Big Thing, find a literary agent, or land a publishing contract— WE’re your writing community. Join us today!

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Who is behind WEbook?

Well, you, the site's writers and readers are really the "WE" behind WEbook, but there is also a passionate team behind this online publisher. Located in New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Sydney, WEbook is backed by one of the world's largest organisations currently working for the international book publishing market.

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Who is WEbook?

WEbook is the aspiring novelist hoping to hit the best-seller list. It's the weekend writing warrior who's ready to take the next step. It's the self-publishing renegade looking for creative ways to find new readers. It's the literary agent looking for the next big thing. Most of all, WEbook is you - the writer.

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What can I work on at WEbook?

WEbook puts the power in your hands to start any new project or to contribute to a work in progress. A quick inspiration for writing a novel or your finished novel, your memoir or a chapter, your essay or your quick tip, the anecdote you can't stop telling. Check out our most active projects now or get started on your very own WEbook.

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Do I have to pay to join?

Perish the thought! WEbook is a free online publishing solution for all.

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How can I benefit from WEbook?

PLATFORM. WEbook.com is a great platform for you to pen your thoughts in a dynamic web environment. The site allows you to create a profile to highlight your interests and accomplishments, and we'll aggregate all your projects, reviews, friends, and groups within your personal WEbook.com pages for easy access anytime.

PEOPLE. You will find a very talented community of writers, reviewers, and readers at WEbook who will give you terrific feedback on your writing, whether you start your own project or jump into one of the existing public projects on WEbook. You can work on a public project or start a private project with a group of your friends and benefit from their input.

PUBLICATION. WEbook is the space online to improve  your writing, get feedback and make the best decision in terms of your path to publication. You can use our cool author-to-agent service, AgentInbox or, you can submit your work to the PageToFame. 

PRIDE. Finally, you'll enjoy the esteem and admiration of friends, fame, pride, and that nice warm feeling you get inside when you do something you've always dreamed of.

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Why collaborative writing?

Collaborative writing is not a parlor game. At WEbook, collaborative writing activities take many forms. Writers can create chapters together, contribute individual features to a collection, or just get feedback on their own work. WEbook dismisses the legend of the lonely author working alone in the attic in favor of an entirely different model: The dynamic creation of a new kind of content, borne of the active involvement of countless talented writers, readers, and reactors engaged at WEbook.com.

WEbook leverages the wisdom of the crowd to create, rate, and elevate the very best work for publication.

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How do I start a new project on WEbook?

To get started on your project, click on any 'Start Your Project' links and buttons that can be found on the WEbook homepage and throughout the site. Next, give your project a title, write a short teaser (that's the 1-2 sentence blurb that appears with each project on the homepage), and then a more detailed overview. The casual browser coming across your project will decide whether to read your work largely based on the teaser and overview, so it should be compelling and well-written. You can also use this space to state specifically what kind of feedback or help you're looking for.

Next, choose whether your book will be fiction or non-fiction, and a collection (like a collection of short stories of an anthology of articles) or a continuous work (like a novel or a non-fiction book arranged into chapters). You can also choose both a main topic and a secondary topic, and enter as many keywords as you like. Choosing appropriate topics and adding good keywords will help other interested writers and reviewers find your project later on.

It's a good idea to upload a cover image - your book will get more readers and better feedback if you use a good picture. You can upload any graphic to which you own the rights. Images that are taller than they are wide (meaning vertical or portrait in orientation) will work best.

Next, you get to choose who can participate in your project. If you want to write the book by yourself, but you want feedback from the community, click "All WEbook members" under PARTICIPANTS and "I will be the only writer" under WRITERS.

Finally, you can designate a percentage of your royalties for people who provide feedback to your project. This option allows you to provide an incentive for highly valued readers, editors, and reviewers to help you with your project. If you're not sure whether you want to share royalties with your feedbackers, choose "I'll decide later."

When you're done, click "Start writing" to go to the book home. If you're writing a collection, click "Add an article" to start writing. If you're writing a continuous work, click "Add a chapter" and you'll see a pop-up where you can give the chapter a name and write a brief synopsis. (The synopsis is optional - it's mostly helpful for projects being written by more than one author, but you can use it to outline what happens in each chapter, if you want.) Click OK. When you're ready to write, click "Start Writing," type or paste your text, and click "Submit for feedback." To add a new chapter, click "Add a Chapter" in the right hand column.

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How do I decide if I want my project to be Public or Private?

At WEbook, you have lots of options for who can participate in your project. You make this decision when you start your project. If you want your project to be totally private, select "I want to choose who can participate" under PARTICIPANTS, and don't send anyone an invitation to join your project. Select "I will be the only writer for now" under WRITERS. If you choose these settings, no one else will be able to read or review your work. (What's the fun in that?)

If you want to write the book by yourself, but you want feedback from your friends, click "I want to choose who can participate" under PARTICIPANTS and send invites to your friends both on and off WEbook. Then choose "I will be the only writer" under WRITERS.

If you want everyone on WEbook to be able to read and review your work, choose "All WEbook members" under PARTICIPANTS.

One of the best things about WEbook is writing with other people. If you want to work on a project with others, first choose whether you want to invite friends of everyone on WEbook under PARTICIPANTS. Then choose "All participants" under WRITERS.

While some projects can really only be written by one person - you! - your project will be more active and get more readers if you allow other people to write, too. Why? Because each person who submits to your project brings along his or her own audience. So if you're looking for the quickest way to the top of the Active Projects page, consider starting a group-written project.

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Can I change my project settings later?

After you've started your project, you can change the settings anytime by clicking on "Edit Settings" in the my TOOLS menu of your project. You can make a private project more public - for example, if you were initially getting feedback from only a small group of friends, you can open the project up to the whole WEbook community. However, you cannot make a public project more private. If you've set a project to accept submissions from other writers, you can't change your mind later. This protects the interests of writers who submit to public projects. If you decide you don't like writing with other people, you can always start a new project and write it by yourself.

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Why does WEbook ask me what percentage of my royalties I want to share with people who give me feedback?

You can choose what share of the project royalties will be allocated to significant feedbackers - folks that offer substantial insights and comments on the work while it's being written. You can use this to provide an extra incentive to people who can help you take your project to the next level. If you offer a percentage, it will be up to you to fulfill your promise if your work is published. It may seem early to decide right now, so you can always decide later.

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What tools are available to writers on WEbook?

1)   We give you a great interactive platform on which to write and through which to share your writing with your friends.

2)   We keep all your projects, submissions, reviews, groups, and friends collected and updated on your personal WEbook profile and homepage.

3)   We update you with a live feed whenever your project has a new submission or your work gets new feedback.

4)   You'll find a lively writers forum, writing tips, and research tools available to use within all projects to help you interact with other writers, contributors and readers.

5)   Last, not least, tap into 911 Writers Block to help you punch through the occasional freeze up. More writers' tools are coming soon.

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What happens to my writing when I post it on WEbook?

We've given you lots of options. When you start a project on WEbook, you choose whether to make your work private, public, or shared with a group that you create. But don't stress over the decision. You will be able to change your preference later if you choose.

PRIVATE: If you want, you can start a private project where you are the only author. When you click on Start a Project, we'll ask you if this is your preference. In this case you and you alone will be able to see and edit your work at WEbook.

IN BETWEEN: If you choose (and we hope you do), you can invite your friends to join your project at any time. As you go through the Start a Project process, you'll simply make your project "Private" but then choose the option to invite as many of your friends on or off WEbook.com as you'd like, either to write with you or just review your work and provide feedback.

PUBLIC: Finally, you can make your project public to the entire WEbook community and benefit from feedback, reviews, comments, and even written contributions from a range of site users. You can choose this option when you Start a Project or you can choose to make an existing project public any time.

 

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How can I get more feedback on my work?

We know you came to WEbook in part to get good feedback on your work. The golden rule is pretty much in force on WEbook. The more you put in, the more you'll receive. As such, the best way to get more participants and feedback for your work is to be an active member of the community, offering great feedback to others. Browse Active Projects and Top Writers to find other writers you like. Read other members' work and give them feedback - then invite them to check out your work. You can also check Top Reviewers to find the most active feedbackers on Webook. WEbook Groups are another good place to look for feedback. Join or start a Group based on your writing interests. Connect with other writers in the group, and use the forums to ask for help on your project.

Finally, use the "Share" button to post your work to Facebook, Digg, MySpace, or wherever you hang out on the web. You can also use "Share" button to e-mail it to your friends and ask them to take a look.

 

What is a Project Leader?

The Project Leader is the person who starts a WEbook project. For a single-author work, the Project Leader is the author.

For books written by multiple authors, the Project Leader had the original brainstorm for the book and continues to act as an editor and moderator, guiding the project from idea to finished product. The Project Leader ensures a book's success by recruiting writers, reviewers, and other contributors; facilitating forum discussions and brainstorming sessions; giving great feedback to project contributors; and making final decisions about how to structure the book. The Project Leader decides which submissions are included in the finished book. Last, the Project Leader decides when the book is ready to be submitted for community voting and publication.

The Project Leader can hand over the mantle of project leadership to a new Project Leader at any time.

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Can I put images, illustrations, or photographs in my project?

You can now add images to your WEbook submission. If you have photos or other graphics out there on other image-hosting sites (Photobucket, Flickr, Yahoo, etc), this will be a breeze.

Here's how it's done:
From your WEbook.com submission, in the writing area, you'll spot a nifty button in the toolbar that looks like a tree. That's the image button. Click on it, and a dialog box will appear giving you the option of inserting the URL for an image hosted on one of these other sites. Simply go to Photobucket, Flickr, or your image site of choice, copy and paste the direct link to that image (this may be the URL or the site may provide you the "Direct Link" somewhere on that page). Paste the link into the "Image URL" line. That's it. Hit "Insert." Please Note: copying and pasting the URL from the page where your photo appears often does not work. In Flickr, you would use the All Sizes button above the image and grab the URL that appears in a text box below the image.

You can provide for image dimensions, etc., but you don't have to. Once you click "Insert" and the image appears in your submission, you can click on it and use the guide marks to enlarge or reduce it.

Images are limited to 495 pixels in width. If your image is larger than this, it will be automatically cropped. If you see that happen, try again and limit the width in the dialog box to 495 or resize in the original form. Like all content on WEbook, images and illustrations are subject to legal protection. You can only insert photos and images that you own. Learn more by reading the WEbook Terms of Use.

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How can I change the settings for my project?

To change your project settings, go to your project and find "My Tools" in the bottom left. Click on "Edit Project Settings." Here, you will be able to change the project's title, description, genre, and language. You'll also be able to change the settings for who can participate in your project, and add or change your cover image.

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How can I get more feedback for contributors to my project?

Most people come to Webook with a wish to read and be read. Encourage your contributing members to be very active both within the project and without. If they give more feedback, they'll get more feedback. If you're a Project Leader eager to secure more feedback for the contributions to your book, first read How can I get more feedback on my work?

When it comes to public projects-especially large ones-one of the most effective things you can do is shuffle the submissions. If the same submissions are always being displayed at the top of the "Start Reading" column, they will get the most views and feedback. To reorder submissions every now and then (and we know this won't work with a continuous work where the order really matters), go to your project and select "Manage Submissions" on the left navigation under "My Tools". After that, the pattern of rotation is completely up to you. You can either send submissions to the top or individually re-number each one to create a new order.

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My article, story, or chapter got removed from a multi-author project. Why?

Project Leaders can decide which submissions get included in the finished versions of their projects. If you submit writing to a project started by someone else, the Leader of that project can decide to remove your submission from the book. If you want to know why your piece was removed, you can send a polite message to the Project Leader by clicking on "Message Me" from his or her profile.

If your submission is removed from a project, you can still access it from the "My Submissions" section of your personal homepage. Authors can also remove your own submissions through a link at the bottom right of your submission text which reads 'Remove'.

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Can I submit my article, story, or poem to more than one WEbook project?

Yes. If your work is well-suited to more than one project, you're welcome to submit it everywhere you think it fits. If it ends up being included in more than one project chosen for publication, WEbook may decide to publish it in only one book.

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How Do I Paste from Microsoft Word without all the crazy formatting?

Microsoft Word does not convert cleanly to HTML, which is the programming language websites use to display information. This isn't a problem with WEbook's text editor. When MS Word converts to HTML, it adds all kinds of funky tags and symbols that you can't get rid of unless you edit the HTML manually. These hidden tags can cause you to lose your formatting and bump up your word count. Avoiding this problem is easy. If you're using MS Word, first copy your text from the document, then, using the WEbook text editor, select the clipboard icon with the W at the top. This will open up a small window. Within this window, simply paste your document, then select “Insert” to make it a part of your WEbook project. This will strip out the hidden tags that cause problems.

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How do I find members at WEbook?

If you're just poking around to see who's writing, visit the WEbook People page. From there, you can see who made the Top Writers group; meet new members looking for collaborative writing opportunities; or check out the top reviewers who help shape up-and-coming publications. Or visit Active Projects to see what's hot on the site and who is behind it. If you know the pen name of a WEbook user, you can search for them using the "member" option in the "look up" field, right below the WEbook logo. After you find your pal, make her or him a WEbook "friend" or create a new group so you'll always know what your pals are working on.

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What's a Top Writer?

Every day, WEbook sifts through the writers and ratings and recognizes the cream of that day's crop in the Top Writers group. These folks are good. The status reflects the way the WEbook community, in its inestimable wisdom, has rated these writers at WEbook.com. Perhaps it's style, substance, or a pervasive sardonic wit, but these writers are Tops. Time will tell how long these folks will live on the list. Rating is 24/7, and you could be the next literary luminary.

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What's a Top Reviewer?

At WEbook, good books are built not only by great writers but also by great reactors, who help improve the work through feedback and reviews. Great writing sometimes needs contrarian company. Top Reviewers are the folks the WEbook community feels are providing the best feedback on active WEbook projects.

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What's a WEbook Group?

WEbook groups allow you to connect with people you like. You can start a group with friends you've known for years, or with great writers or feedbackers you meet at WEbook.com.

WEbook groups are a terrific writing collaboration tool. Groups allow you to get regular updates on what your groupies are writing, what they think of something you wrote, or just the latest news in their lives. WEbook groups can interact through forums, RSS feeds, and dinner parties at your house. Of course, that last part is up to you.

Join a group from the Active Groups page, or start your own!

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How can WEbook help me get published?

Currently you have two options:

1)    Submit your work to an agent through our author-to-agent service AgentInbox. By using AgentInbox you are connecting with a literary agent and taking a more traditional path to publication (via the online tool). Learn more here.

2)    Submit your work to PageToFame and test out the strength and appeal of your book idea and opening. Writers submit samples of their work and readers rate it. The best work gets the attention of participating literary agents and a shot at getting published!  Learn more about PageToFame.

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How can I improve my chances of getting chosen for publication?

There are two great ways to improve your odds of getting published through WEbook:

There are two great ways to use the community to improve your writing and your odds of getting published:

1)   Make your work the best it can be. Take advantage of the great community feedback at WEbook to revise and improve your writing before you submit it to AgentInbox or the vote. Look for Top Reviewers and invite them to read and comment on your work. To make sure you get plenty of feedback, return the favor! The more involved you are in WEbook projects, through reading, writing, and giving feedback, the more likely you are to get a good response from other WEbookers.

2)   Get the word out. Invite friends to WEbook to read and comment on your work. Send an email to friends and/or use the "Share This" tool to update your status with a link to your Project on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Or reach out through actual face-to-face contact. Whoa. That's radical.

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Has WEbook published any books?

Yes!  WEbook published its first book, Pandora, in February 2008. Pandora is a riveting thriller, written by more than 30 writers and other contributors at WEbook. WEbook published Jan 20: True Stories, Real People, One Day and 101 Things Every Man Should Know How to Do in the January of 2009.  In June 2009, WEbook published The Legend of Vinny Whiskers and Shirt for Dessert in July.

All book are also available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

 

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Who owns the rights to my work I post on WEbook?

Well, first, our Terms of Use requires that in order for you to upload material to WEbook.com or write anything on the site, you must own the rights to that content. Further, as the Terms provide, you retain the copyright to your work that you post on WEbook.com. WEbook takes a license merely to show it on WEbook.com (we need that to put it on the site, you might imagine), but you retain rights and you can remove material you write on WEbook at any time.

If you decide to submit your work for publication in one of the WEbook voting cycles, and your work is selected for publication, WEbook will offer you a publishing agreement. That agreement would be between WEbook and you, the author. At that point you would have a choice of whether you wish to move ahead with WEbook under that agreement or something we agree to, or whether you wish to decline our publication offer. But that choice remains yours throughout the writing and voting process. Easy enough.

If you do choose to publish with WEbook - and we sure hope you do if you're asked - you stand to receive a 50% share of profits from sales of your work. That's not half bad.

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Is my WEbook work protected from theft and plagiarism?

When you go to Start a Project on WEbook, you can make your work "Private." This will ensure that no one other than you and the few people you may choose to invite to your project see your work. Now, the real benefit of WEbook is that you have the option of getting great input from others, so we think there's real value there. Plus, if you do ever want your work considered for publication, you will need to submit to the Voting Cycle, which will mean that site users will read your submission and vote on whether or not it should be a published WEbook.

Let's say you decide you do want your work to be more open during the writing phase (and by the way, you can change your mind and broaden the viewing anytime), or you elect to submit for voting. As a general matter, anytime you "publish" content you garner a copyright in that work. This would happen if you included it in a letter, published it in a book, or published it at WEbook.com or any other web environment (including your own site). Now, WEbook.com allows you to preserve and retain your copyright when you post work. We simply ask that you give us a license to "publish" the content at WEbook.com. Makes sense.

The fact is that whenever you put your work out there, you create some risk that someone who lacks your creative verve and penchant for adding to the world of ideas might improperly and illegally co-opt your work. It can happen if your work is in a digital or print format. You could say that it's a bit easier to select, copy and paste off a website, but in reality someone could retype and reuse pages from a book as well. It's just a bit more trouble in the latter case. Moreover, when you post work on a website, particularly if it's WEbook.com, it's likely that more people will see it. WEbook has thousands of users, which is terrific if you want feedback or if you want to showcase your creativity to a broader audience. In some ways, the slightly increased risk of misappropriation comes along with the great benefit of sharing your work with more people. It's a bit of a tradeoff.

At the end of the day, however, your rights are the same regardless. If someone steals your copyrighted work, you have a legal right to proceed against them for infringement. That's the case if they find your work on a website or in a book. Setting up an alert like "Google Alerts" for the work you write can be really helpful in seeing where your content might surface in other places on the web. It's a tool we use as well.

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Is my personal information private and secure on WEbook?

Yes. WEbook will not share or rent this information. Please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for complete details.

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Can I post a book or content I've already self-published elsewhere?

WEbook allows you to post on WEbook.com any content that you own and have a right to post at WEbook.com. So if you have undiluted rights to your work, even though it's been self-published, you can feel free to upload your work on WEbook.com, get feedback, and throw yourself into consideration for WEbook publication if you'd like.

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Can I see a video about rights and legal details for WEbook authors?

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